Working out at work
STARTING back at the office after a summer break often leaves us feeling exhausted by the end of each day, and a workout is the last thing we feel like heading off to do.
But what if you could get in that exercise while you’re at work, leaving your evenings free for relaxing in what’s left of the summer sun? Here is a great exercise programme you can do in the office.
• Mini circuit
Complete each exercise one after the other as a mini lunchtime circuit.
• Mini hits
Choose one exercise each hour of the day and perform one set.
• Week of wonders
Choose 2 exercises per day and perform 2 sets of each exercise. Select another two exercises the next day and do so for all five work days.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1. Some drink bottles for hand weights (try borrowing the milk containers from the staff room) or grab some cheap hand weights, take them to work and store them under your desk.
2. A sturdy office chair, preferrably without arm rests and not on wheels. Grab one from the lunch room or, if using one with wheels — be extra careful that it doesn’t get away on you.
OFFICE PROGRAMME EXERCISES:
• Leg extensions
Sets: 15 on each leg
1. Seated in your chair with a nice tall posture, place your hands on the side of the chair for support.
2. Lift your right leg up slightly from the chair and slowly straighten it until it is fully extended. Hold for three seconds, squeezing the muscle before slowly bending your leg back down.
3. Do not rest it back on the chair, keep it slightly off the chair and straighten your leg again. Yes, I know this will burn but the results will speak for themselves.
4. Finish the specified number and swap to the left leg and repeat.
• Shoulder press
Sets: 12 on each side
1. Seated in your chair with a nice tall posture, grab your drink bottle or hand weight and hold in your right hand with your left hand resting on your leg.
2. Lift your elbow to shoulder height and push the weight towards the ceiling leaving a slight bend in your arm to ensure you keep the muscle engaged.
3. Hold for 2-3 seconds and then lower and repeat. Switch to the other side.
• Thigh Squeeze
Sets: 5-8 repetitions
1. Seated in your chair with a nice tall posture, grab your drink bottle or hand weight or even a phone book.
2. Place the water bottle, weight or phone book between your legs just behind your knees. Squeeze your legs together to hold the object there without the use of your hands.
3. Now squeeze a little harder keeping a nice and tall posture and hold for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat.
• Triceps Dips
Sets: 10-12 repetitions
1. Seated in your chair with a nice tall posture, place your hands on the edge of the chair just under your butt.
2. Slowly lift your weight off the chair and move yourself forwards until your bottom is over the floor and not the chair.
3. Slowly bend at the elbows and lower yourself gently, hold for 1-2 seconds and slowly push yourself back up. “Slowly” is the key word here. There’s no point rushing through as this makes it more difficult to get that muscle working. Repeat the movement for the specified number of repetitions.
* As with all exercise, make sure you work within your limits. Remember that you do not have to do the entire workout. If you feel tired, rest then carry on when you are ready. For total body conditioning, remember to combine your exercise regime with a healthy nutrition regime.
— By Lee-Anne Wann, NZ Herald