#OMworkouts – tighten and tone at your desk

Sure, you can do lunges and squats at the office, but you either work with some pretty accepting people or have a door that closes. Inspired to find exercises you can actually do (mostly) from your desk, for the next three weeks we will be posting a new move each day. Check back here, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to see the next exercise and follow along with the hashtag: #OMworkouts.

Note: For any seated exercises, keep proper posture in mind: back straight, chest up, shoulders back, abs on (as in flexed).

Note #2: we suggest doing an exercise for as long as you can rather than for a specific amount of time or reps so it is more likely you are able to do the moves while continuing to work.

Day 15 (LAST DAY) – Friday, Jan. 29
Hip flexions

While seated, lift your right foot a few inches off of the floor, keeping your knee at 90 degrees. Hold for as long as you can. Repeat with the left foot. Set your reminders to do four times per day.

Day 14 – Thursday, Jan. 28
Shoulder strengthening

Sitting with good posture, bring your shoulder blades together as if you were trying to hold a pencil between them, keep them together for a moment, then release and repeat. Do for as long as you can, four times per day.

Day 13 – Wednesday, Jan. 27
Chair sit
Pretend you are about to sit in a chair, but there is no chair behind you. Hold this position for as long as possible, four times per day. Ideally, your knees would be at 90 degrees, but do your best to get as low as possible. As always, back straight, chest up, and abs on!

Day 12 – Tuesday, Jan. 26
Overhead tricep extensions
Take a heavy item and lift it above your head. Bending at the elbows only, move it up and down reaching from your upper back to above your head without swinging your arms forward as you come up. Keep your biceps by your ears. Do as many as you can, four times a day.

Day 11 – Monday, Jan. 25
Bicep curl

Find something easy to hold with a bit of weight to it. Start with your right arm – keeping it at your side, curl your forearm until your hand is at chest or shoulder height and continue until you tire. Switch to your left arm. Do this four times per day.

Day 10 – Friday, Jan. 22
Tricep dip

You need a steady chair for this, or roll your chair against your desk or cubicle wall. Sit on the edge of your of your seat with your feet stretched out in front of you on the ground and your hands gripping the seat on each side of your bum. Slip your butt off the seat, your knees should come to a 90-degree angle (if they don’t, just adjust) and lower yourself down until your shoulders come in line with your elbows, then come back up. Do this repeatedly until your tris are screaming “No more! No more!” If you’re shy, do this at a quieter time of day when you’re less likely to be seen. Repeat four times daily.

Day 9 – Thursday, Jan. 21
Oblique twist
Sitting in your chair, grab on to the sides of your desk, lift your feet, and do some exaggerated twisting. Remember that your abs should be “on.” Continue for as long as you can and repeat four times per day. Video on Instagram.

Day 8 – Wednesday, Jan. 20
Tushy squeeze
Sexism aside… Maury Ballstein knows a good tushy squeeze. Simple: while seated in your chair, flex your butt for a few moments, then release. Repeat as long as you can, do 4X per day. If you don’t squeeze your buns, no one will.

Day 7 – Tuesday, Jan. 19
Wall push-ups
With your feet a foot or two from the wall, abs flexed, and back straight, do as many push-ups against the wall as you can, four times per day. This version is chest push-ups – arms in line with shoulders. Try tricep push-ups for a different burn: tuck your elbows in to your sides instead and lower yourself down slowly, keeping your arms at your sides. If you’re shy, can you find just a bit of private space? Perhaps the bathroom stall again (let’s hope your office washrooms are in pristine condition). Optional: Try doing the push-ups using your desk as a brace rather than the wall to create more difficulty.

Day 6 – Monday, Jan. 18
Seated in the middle of your chair (so your back is NOT against the rest), grab on to the arm rests to brace yourself and, keeping your legs at a 90-degreee angle, lift them in to your chest. Do this as many times as you can, four times a day. Optional: Seat yourself right against the back of the chair and only brace yourself by resting your forearms on the armrests rather than gripping them to make this move more difficult. Option 2: A modified version of this if you are new to crunches – sit on the edge of your chair, feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the arm rest and lean back until you almost reach the back of your chair, then continue moving forward and back.

Day 5 – Friday, Jan. 15
Wall sits

Maybe you can’t do this one at your desk, but it is easy enough to find a private space to do this exercise, like a bathroom stall. Keeping your proper posture in mind, stand about a two feet from a wall. Lean back and let your back slide down the wall until your hips are at a 90-degree angle with your thighs. Your knees should also be at 90-degrees so readjust if needed. Hold this position for as long as you can. Do four times a day. Optional: Cross one leg over the other to make it more difficult.

Day 4 – Thursday, Jan. 14
Leg raises
While seated, lift and straighten one or both legs, flex your quads and hold for a few seconds. Then lower your leg(s) down without letting your feet touch the ground. Repeat until your legs are tired, four times per day. Optional: If you have something you can balance on your feet for extra weight, go for it! Example here.

Day 3 – Wednesday, Jan. 13
Calf lifts
Sitting with your correct posture, feet flat on the ground, lift your heels up and down, keeping your toes on the ground, and flex your calves as you come up. Again, do it as long as you can, four times a day. Optional: Have something heavy you can balance on your thighs (like a sealed ream of paper)? Load it on for more of a burn. Video here.

Day 2 – Tuesday, Jan. 12
Toe tap
This one is very easy – quickly tap your toes while sitting in your office chair. Do this for as long as you can until your muscles are too sore to continue. How hard is it to tap your toes and type at the same time? Give it a try. Quick video on our Instagram.

Day 1 – Monday, Jan. 11
Thigh tightener
Fold up a scarf or sweater so that it will fit between your thighs while sitting in your chair (remember your posture!). Turn your abs “on” and squeeze your thighs together as hard as you can for as long as you can. Set your Outlook calendar reminders to do this four times throughout the day. Check out the video here.

Extra tips for everyday:
~ take the stairs whenever possible
~ don’t e-mail officemates, get up and walk over (if it won’t disturb their work; be considerate)
~ park farther away from the office (every step counts)
~ better yet, walk to the office, bike, run, rollerblade, or even skate if you’re along the canal