5 On-The-Go Exercises for the Workplace | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

5 On-The-Go Exercises for the Workplace

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Business professionals are creatures of habit, and finding time to do certain exercises is one of the greatest challenges.
  • Each individual must make the effort to move the major muscle groups throughout the workday.
  • Each exercise below is meant to address a combination of major muscle groups and to improve the circulation in the limbs.

Across the country, millions of people work in offices. This sedentary way of working has presented problems for higher-ups in these companies for decades. After all, as the health of employees declines, so does productivity.

Company-sponsored gyms have been built to address this growing concern and allows their workers to get fit at the office.

Visits to the gym are not convenient for everyone, but everyone can stand up in their work area and get moving a couple of times each day. If an intern can workout, then all business professionals can take the time to get fit as well! After all, some ab workouts only take four minutes.

Each exercise below is meant to address a combination of major muscle groups and to improve the circulation in the limbs. When these exercises are performed daily, those power lunches can be burned off without extensive effort.

For even more exercises that can be done from your office or home, sign up for an Exercise.com PRO account today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more.

Where Should You Do These Exercises?

Most work areas include enough room to allow each of the following exercises to be completed in succession or individually throughout the day.

One of the ways to ensure that no one is too embarrassed is to encourage others in the area to take a break at the same time and do some exercises together.

There are many workouts that need zero weights. This should be music to any businessperson’s ears.

1. Stationary Knee Lifts

This exercise is also called walking high knees. However, you probably don’t want to be walking around the office doing this exercise.

In order to accommodate the office setting better, just do stationary knee lifts.

Even those with a weak back or neck can complete this exercise without strain. The consistent movement will work the back muscles that surround the ribs while encouraging improved blood flow in the legs.

  • Stand up away from the desk with sufficient room to move the arms and legs.
  • During this exercise, the arms are held bent at a 90-degree angle at the elbow with clenched fists.
  • Lift the right leg and allow the knee to bend while lowering the arms to the point that the hands are parallel with the lifted knee.
  • Repeat with the left leg for a combined total of 20 repetitions.

2. Chair Dips

Use of a chair without wheels is recommended for this exercise. If a stationary chair is not available, ensure that the desk chair is firmly blocked on two sides to prevent accidental falls.

When this exercise is completed correctly, the back of the legs and the muscles in the lower back will be stretched with each motion. This exercise can look a lot like a regular bench dip.

  • With the chair firmly blocked, stand in front of the chair and place both palms on the leading edge of the chair. Some people prefer to place one hand on each side of the chair, but the chair seat can get in the way.
  • Place the feet hip-width apart and lower the torso while bending the knees and hips.
  • A steady movement will stretch the muscles when this exercise is completed in 10 repetitions.

3. Desk Push-up

Just like the name indicates, this exercise uses the desk as the floor in a push-up that will increase arm and back strength.

This is the same type of form that can be seen in the incline push-up. Care must be exercised to ensure the hands are firmly on the desk’s edge.

  • Stand away from the desk at a comfortable distance. The difficulty of the push-up can be increased by standing further back. Hand position can be adjusted to strengthen various muscle groups in the arms.
  • For 10 repetitions, use the edge of the desk to push back until the arms are straight.

4. Triceps Kickback

Also known as the dumbbell kickback, this exercise is a great option for getting fit at the office.

  • Keep the arms by the sides while bending the arms and then straightening them from the elbow while marching in place.
  • The legs are marching in place while the body is bent at the waist.
  • Twenty repetitions will be felt in the back of the upper arms.
  • A full water bottle in each hand will add some resistance for the tricep muscles.

5. Side-to-Side Lunge

Following long meetings in uncomfortable chairs, the side-to-side lunge relieves tension in the hips and lower back.

  • While standing, take a large step to one side with the toes pointed forward. Bend the knee while keeping the opposite leg straight.
  • Make the same motion to other side for a total of 10 lunges to each side.

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What If I’m on a Business Trip?

Experienced road warriors know that exercising on the road is possible with additional effort.

Certain activities must be included every business trip to avoid some serious health conditions that are caused by immobility for sustained periods.

  • Walk Multiple Times – Take a walk in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening. Ten minutes each time will assist with the stiffness that is borne from sleeping in an unfamiliar bed and being confined to a different schedule.
  • Stand in the Airport – Instead of sitting in one of the stiff chairs waiting for an airplane, consider walking the area and standing until time to board the plane. Flights are uncomfortable and standing while in flight is not the safest approach to air travel.
  • Stretch on the Plane – During very long flights when the skies are smooth, get up from the seat at least every hour. This habit will prevent that stiffness in the neck, back and legs that causes cramps during the night.
  • Avoid Elevators – Whenever possible, the traveler should attempt to get additional exercise during the day by walking stairs and avoiding the convenience of elevators and escalators. Awareness of respiratory strain should be noted when the destination is at a higher altitude.

The Bottom Line

Business professionals are creatures of habit, and finding time to do certain exercises is one of the greatest challenges.

Each person has a different need for cardiovascular exercise, but all of these exercises will prevent the repetitive strain injuries that are more common in the workplace each year.

One can even fit exercise in on their business trips. After all, hotels do not take the time to create the hotel gyms for nothing.

Ergonomics reduces the risk of these injuries, but each individual must make the effort to move the major muscle groups throughout the workday.

When other people see one person adopting these exercises, a new trend can start in the office to prevent embarrassment and encourage healthy exercise for everyone.

So what are you waiting for? Take these steps and get business fit!

For even more exercises that you can do in the office, go PRO today to access workout plans, training logs, and more.

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