Whether you’re a CEO or a clerk in training, most likely your schedule is packed—so much so that you barely have time to eat dinner, much less hit the gym. But what if you could incorporate a few quick strengthening and toning exercises into your workday? Here personal trainer Mike Zieminski from NYC’s Core Club (he kicks Nicole’s ass on a regular basis) shares his favorite exercises that are cubicle conducive. Now what’s your excuse?
Two-Leg Squat: Zieminski favors this exercise because you don’t need any tool to do it other than your body. Making sure that your hip, knee, and ankle are all in a straight line, move at a controlled pace as you squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor—or as close to parallel as you can get. Don’t forget to keep your toes pointed straight ahead (lose the stilettos), to keep your upper body standing tall, and to engage your core by drawing your belly drawn inward while squatting. Aim for 15 to 25 repetitions and two to three sets.
Desk Push-ups: More challenging than push-ups against the wall, this intense move challenges and improves upper-body strength. To do it, face forward and place your hands on the edge of your desk with your legs out behind you in traditional push-up form. Keeping your glutes and core muscles tight, lower your chest to the desk for 15 to 25 repetitions. Repeat this exercise for two to three sets. If you are looking for a challenge, consider moving your push-ups to the floor or completing them while lifting one leg off the ground to incorporate a little balance and core training into the move.
Tricep Dip: To target the hard-to-tone triceps, do a seated dip from the edge of your chair (or desk, if your chair is on wheels). To complete the move, sit on the edge of your chair and place both hands next to your hips as you walk yourself away from the seat. Keeping your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, bend at your elbows and lower your body 6 to 10 inches before raising yourself back up to the starting position. For a greater challenge, extend your legs until they are straight before beginning the dip. Complete 15 to 25 repetitions for two to three sets.
Seated Adduction: To work your inner thighs, sit on your desk chair so your hips and knees are at a 90-degree angle. Then, place a pillow or something soft between your knees and squeeze your inner thighs together. Hold this “in” position for two to five seconds, and then return to the start—never letting the pillow fall between repetitions. Do two sets of 15 to 25 repetitions.