Five-Day Office Workout Routine

By:    Published: July 22, 2011

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Face it, hitting the gym after work seems like an impossible task. Most people are tied down by errands, or they're just too tired for any physical activity. Of course, there's always the morning workout routine, but there are a lot of people out there who don't even have time to eat breakfast, let alone hit the gym before rush hour. Then, there's the lunch time workout, but there's usually not enough time for that. If you're looking to get in a good workout, but can't find the time to exercise, here is an office workout routine for the week to help you stay in shape:

Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday: Upper Body

Start the week by giving your upper body a good workout with some push-ups and chair dips. Here are ways you can do these two exercises in the office without the need for extra space or gym equipment:

Standing Pushup:

  1. Stand in front of a wall about one to two feet away. Place your palms flat against the wall at about shoulder height. If you have to lean to reach the wall, that's ok.
  2. With your feet not too far apart, bend your elbows to lean towards the wall as far as you possibly can. Make sure your legs and back are straight.
  3. Push off the wall until your arms are straight again and you are back in your starting position. Repeat until you've reached the maximum repetitions for the set, then do as many sets as you can.

Tips:

  • The farther you are from the wall, the more you have to lean, which will increase the amount of effort required to do the standing pushup.
  • To get an even better workout, try using a flat countertop like your desk, or the counter in the bathroom or break room. The more you have to lean, the closer you are to doing a standard pushup, which would be the most optimal form.
  • This version of the pushup can be done just about anywhere, giving you the option of choosing an area with more room or privacy other than your desk.
  • Try to do more repetitions of the standing pushup than you would with the standard pushup.

Try this next exercise for your office workout, and interchange it with your pushups on the days you exercise your upper body:

Chair Dips:

  1. Start by sitting towards the edge of a stable chair with your hands at your sides by your hips.
  2. Grasp the sides of the chair and creep forward until your rear is hovering just in front of the chair.
  3. Using mostly your arms and a little bit of your legs, slowly lower your rear towards the floor as far down as you can possibly go.
  4. Again, using primarily your arms, push up from the seat to lift your body back up to the starting position. Repeat this as many times as you can to complete one set, and do as many sets as you are able to.

Tips:

  • You want a stable and sturdy chair. If your desk chair has rollers that can't be locked into place, look for another chair that doesn't move.
  • For a much more difficult exercise, try lifting one leg as far as you can as you lower your rear towards the floor with each dip.
  • Your legs should be bent at about a 90 degree angle at the starting position.
  • Your elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle when you are lowering your rear towards the floor.

Thursday/Friday: Lower Body

These lower body exercises should be alternated between your upper body exercises for your weekly, office workout.

Squats:

  1. With your feet spread shoulder width apart, place your arms folded in front of you, outstretched in front of you, or behind your head.
  2. Bend your knees and lower yourself as far down as you possibly can, sticking your rear end out.
  3. Slowly rise back to the starting position and repeat this as many times as possible to complete one set. Do as many sets as you are able to.

Tips:

  • The more you bend your knees and lower you go, the better the workout. However, don't overextend yourself. Do the type of squat you are able to without injuring yourself. You should feel the burn, but not actual pain.
  • Keep your back straight while completing this exercise.
  • Where you place your arms will affect the difficulty level of the exercise.

Use this next exercise to also workout your lower body and interchange it with your squats to add more variety to your office workout routine:

Lunges:

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart. You can either place your hands at your sides or on your hips.
  2. Take a big step forward with your right foot and slowly lower your body until your right leg is bent at almost a 90 degree angle, and your left leg has its knee almost touching the ground.
  3. Rise and step back to the starting position. Now repeat the same motion with the other leg. Switch back and forth between both legs as many times as you can to complete a set.

Tips:

  • Keep your movements slow and controlled. You're only cheating yourself if you try to rush through this exercise.
  • Keep your chin up and your back straight. Good form is very important for any type of exercise.
  • Hold office items of equal weight in each hand and keep them at your side while doing this exercise to get a better workout.
  • You can stay stationary while doing this exercise, or you can do a lunge-walk if you have an area where you can perform the exercise.

More Office Workout Tips

You'll notice that this office workout routine doesn't focus on every muscle of the body, nor does it include stretches or any cardio. Well, that's what these extra tips are for:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Seriously, there are still people who don't utilize this easy cardio workout when they're at the office. Now, if your office is on the 20th floor and up, you can cheat and take the elevator part of the way.
  • Park your car further than you normally would. Not only will it make you walk more, but you're practically guaranteed a parking spot.
  • Go for walking breaks instead of snacking or smoking breaks.
  • Try doing some bicep curls every so often with your briefcase, handbag, backpack or laptop bag.
  • If you've got the room and the downtime, like waiting at the copier or fax machine, don't just stand there. Do some stretching!
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