Workout from your kitchen table with these five ‘desk-ercises’
Our very own answer to Joe Wicks, Dominic Bowser, senior personal trainer at Sound Mind and Body gym in Benton, is helping us to stay active, motivated and healthy while at home.
By Dominic Bowser, Sound body and mind
As we’re spending more time at home, many of us have made our living rooms or gardens into workout zones so we can keep active and get our exercise fix. There is, however, another place in the home perfect for a workout too…your desk.
Whether you’re not motivated to do a full workout at home, need help to make sure you keep moving regularly while working at home or are looking to mix up your fitness routine, these five desk exercises could be the answer.
Slouch and extend
Sit tall in your chair, with your feet on the ground. Let everything above your hips slouch. Once slouched, place a finger gently below your sternum (the soft bit just below where your ribs join in the centre of your chest). Lift your ribs up as high as possible and hold. Repeat three times.
Upper body rotation
Sit tall in your chair, with your feet on the ground. Place your right hand on your left shoulder and left hand on your right shoulder. Keeping your hips still, rotate as far as you can without pain to the left and then to the right. Repeat three times. Each time you rotate notice a focal point in the room. The next time you rotate to that side, see if you can notice a point further around.
Sit tall in your chair and tighten the top of your thighs as if to push the chair backwards. Relax then tighten the back of your thighs as if to pull your heels back and the chair forwards. Repeat 10 times in each direction.
Calf and shin exercise
Sit tall in your chair. Raise your heels as far off the floor as possible. Pause. Lower your heels slowly to the floor. Keeping your heels on the floor raise the front of your foot as high as possible. Pause. Lower the front of your foot to the floor. Repeat in each direction 10 times.
Using a sturdy chair with no wheels, place your hands on the edge of the chair either side of your thighs. Shuffle forwards so your bum is off the chair. With your elbows pointing backwards, slowly lower your bum towards the floor. Stop when you feel you’ve gone far enough and raise back up. Repeat ten times. You can make this harder by straightening your legs out as far as possible, so you are resting on your heels, while making sure your torso remains vertical.
Using a sturdy chair with no wheels or arms, turn the chair so the backrest is to the side. Sit sideways, slouch and lean back. As you lean back raise your knees and feet until they touch the underside of your desk. Continue to lean back, still slouched, until you feel it in your abs. It’s important to maintain the slouched position to protect your back. If your back starts to hurt, stop immediately, reset, and try again. If it still hurts don’t do any more reps. Repeat 10 times.
Once you’ve mastered the ab hold, try taking the hold out to the maximum position, then doing a small ab crunch and twist either side. Repeat 10 times.