Fitness Friday 1/15: Exercise from Your Desk Chair

Happy Friday, everyone!  It's the first Fitness Friday mini workout post of 2016.  For those of you who are new to the Fitness Friday series here, or are new to the blog in general, my goal for these posts is to remind you to get up and move your body during your workday.  These mini workouts are designed not so much to make you sweat, but to move all the major muscle groups in some way, and to give you some ideas of easy exercises you can do right in your office, cubicle, or on the go.  They're quick, effective, and can easily be done on your lunch break or for an afternoon pick-me-up.  Even better if you get your coworkers involved, too!  Keep reading for today's mini workout, which is one that you can do without even leaving your desk!

Fitness Friday 1/15: Exercise from Your Desk Chair

Fitness Friday 1/15

2 x 3 (2 times through, 3 times today)
For each of the exercises, stay on the same side for 30 seconds, then switch.  The first 2 exercises are done seated at your desk, and the last one requires you to stand up out of your chair briefly.  Let's go!

Crossover Leg Lifts - from a seated position with your back pressed against the back of your chair, cross your right foot over the top of your left knee, opening up your right hip as much as possible.  From here, either keeping your left knee bent (easier), or extending that leg out straight (harder), lift your left leg up so your abs engage.  Lower back down to start, lightly tapping your foot to the floor.  Keep raising your leg to feel your abs work for 30 seconds on each side.  Trainer Tip: if that top leg position is too much for your hips and lower back, cross one on top of the other lower down on your leg at the ankle or shin.

Opposite/Opposite Desk Crunch - stay seated in your chair, with the desk close to your body so your elbows can rest on it easily.  From here, press your left knee and right elbow together (desk in between) as if you're trying to squeeze them together through the desk.  Hold that position for 30 seconds, engaging the abs, then switch sides.

Single Leg Stands - this one will require you to stand up out of your chair briefly.  Start seated with one leg lifted slightly off the floor (or extended out straight if you can).  Keeping that leg raised the entire time, stand up out of the chair.  Lower back down to sit.  Keep going for 30 seconds on each side, focusing on keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips (i.e. you're upright, not leaning forward to stand).  Use your glutes and your quads to raise and lower yourself, not momentum.  Trainer Tip: if the single leg version is too much, keep both feet on the ground.

There you have it!  Remember to go through that once more for your first mini workout round, and repeat that 2 more times throughout your day.

Readers: chat with me!  If you're new to the Fitness Friday series, how did you like it?  If you've been trying them out for a while, how are they going?  Do the posts remind you to get up and move during your workday (or at home)?  Any exercises or other content you'd like to see in these posts?  How are you staying active this weekend?