Fitness Friday 3/4: 3 Squat Variations to Try At Work

Today's workday workout is lower body focused, mainly on the quads and glutes.  These squat variations are quick, but man do they work!  Luckily today's workout is only done one time through (most of the Fitness Friday mini workouts are done 2 or 3 times through), so this will only take you about 4 minutes to complete.  Try it out on your lunch break with a coworker, or when you need an energy boost mid-afternoon.  Let's get that body movin' and out of that desk chair today!  Ready?!

Fitness Friday 3/4: 3 Squat Variations to Try At Work

Fitness Friday 3/4

Today's Fitness Friday mini workout is only done one time through for the full workout, but try to fit it in at least 3 times today.  Try to take as little of a break as possible between exercises.

Squatted Step Touches (1 minute) - get low in a squat with your chest up and gaze forward.  Staying in that low position throughout, step to the right with the right foot, and bring your left foot over to meet it.  Now step to the left, and bring your right foot over to meet it.  Alternate that step-touch pattern for 1 minute, maintaining the low squat position.

Square Pattern Squats w/ Lunges (15 seconds each) - This series of moves is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  Bear with me - it's a long explanation (click here for a pictorial description of this one from a previous workout post.)  Picture an imaginary square on the floor.  In each corner, you're holding a low squat with your legs and feet together.  The horizontal sides are wide stance squats, and the vertical sides are lunges (the leg that's forward in the lunge is the one that's on the outside of the square).  Each position is held for 15 seconds, for a total of 2 minutes.  So, for example, start in the top right corner of the square and hold a squat for 15 seconds with your feet and legs together.  Next, step out to the left into a wide stance squat and hold for 15 seconds.  Now bring the right foot in and hold a low squat for 15.  Step back with your right leg and hold a lunge for 15.  Step your left foot back into a low squat again and hold... so on and so forth until you complete the full square and wind up back in the top right corner (or wherever you started).  Feel the burn!

Wide/Regular/Narrow Squats (1 minute) - start in a wide stance, feet wider than shoulder width.  Do 1 squat.  Bring your feet closer together (about hip width apart this time) and do another squat.  Now walk your feet in so they're close together, knees touching, and do 1 squat.  Now reverse that patten.  Keep the pattern going (narrow/regular/wide/regular/narrow) doing 1 squat in each position for 1 minute.

That's it for the workout, but remember to do this 2 more times throughout your day today!

Readers: chat with me!  Do you exercise at the office?  What do you like to do?  Does your workplace ever hold any type of exercise or fitness programs for employees?  What do you do to get more activity during your workday?  Up to anything exciting this weekend?

Fitness Friday 2/26: Plank It Out

Today's Fitness Friday mini workout is all about the planks!  The Fitness Friday mini workout series is designed for you to get some movement in during your workdays and so you have an idea of some exercises you can do in your office or cubicle while at work.  They're not intended to make you sweat so much as to be a reminder to get up out of your desk chair and move your body.  Ready to get on with the workout?  Grab a coworker and let's move!

Fitness Friday 2/26: Plank It Out

Fitness Friday 2/26: Plank It Out

2 x 3: 2 times through, 3 times today.
Each plank variation is done for 1 minute, and go through the full set of 3 two times for one mini workout.

Up Down Plank - start in a low plank (on your elbows).  Walk yourself up to a high plank on your hands by moving one hand underneath your shoulder and pushing yourself up.  Push the other arm up so your arms are now straight (and hands are flat on the floor, spine aligned.  Walk yourself back down onto your elbows, one arm at a time.  Keep the pattern going for 1 minute, switching which arm leads halfway through.

Birddog Plank - start in high plank, lifting your right arm and left leg simultaneously.  Hold this position for 5 seconds.  Drop them down and switch sides.  Alternate in this pattern every 5 seconds for 1 minute, maintaining spinal alignment and a strong core throughout.  Trainer Tip: if the high plank version is too much, drop the move down to your knee.

Knee-to-Chest Plank - get into a high plank position on your hands, abs pulled in tight.  Alternate bringing your knees in to the opposite sides of your chest slowly.  Keep your hips down and spine aligned.  Keep going for 1 minute.

Remember to go through that once more for the full mini workout, and 2 more times throughout your day today.  Have fun with it!

Readers: chat with me!  Do you incorporate exercises into your workdays at all?  What ones do you do?  Do you do planks in your workout routines?  Any favorite variations?  What's everyone up to for the weekend?

Fitness Friday 2/19: Off the Wall

Today's Fitness Friday mini workout is a quick one, but it'll get you standing up out of that desk chair and moving some major muscle groups, which is the main goal of the Fitness Friday series here on the blog.  All you need for today's workday workout is some wall space on a sturdy wall that will support you leaning against it.  So go grab a coworker and let's move those muscles! 

Fitness Friday 2/19: Off the Wall

Fitness Friday 2/19: Off the Wall

2 x 3 - 2 times through the exercises, 3 times today
Find a sturdy wall that can you can lean on and let's work those muscles!  Each exercise is done for 1 minute, and you'll go through them 2 times for the full workout.

Wide Arm Push Ups - stand facing the wall with your feet slightly away from it, hands placed on the wall in front of you a little wider than shoulder width.  From here, lower your chest towards the wall in a push up.  Keep going for 1 minute.  Trainer Tip: the closer and more upright you are to the wall, the easier the push ups will be.  To make them more challenging, walk your hands down lower so you're at more of an angle.

Alternating Single Leg Wall Sits - face away from the wall and lower yourself down into a "seated" position, 90หš angles in the knees if you can, back flat against the wall.  From here, lift one leg up and hold it out straight for 15 seconds.  After 15 seconds, switch legs.  Do that 2 times on each leg for a total of 1 minute.

Low Arm Side Bends - come up from the "seated" position slightly, back still flat against the wall, arms down by your sides with the backs of your hands against the wall.  From here, lean over to one side keeping your back against the wall, engaging your abs and obliques to lower yourself down and bring you back up.  Alternate sides for 1 minute.

Repeat that one more time through, and try to get in the full workout 2 more times throughout your day today.

Readers: chat with me!  Do you incorporate exercises into your workday?  What do you do?  Do you have a system for reminding yourself to get up out of your desk chair and move?  What's everyone up to this weekend?