Summer may be coming to an end, but the beach body you worked so hard for doesn’t have to! Speaking to experts, we have brilliant exercises you can do right from your work desk that’ll help you stay toned.
We’ve all been there — gym motivation can be extremely hard to come by in the colder months. And before you know it, your hard-earned bikini body is slowly slipping away. But while heading outside for a run or dragging yourself to spin class CAN seem like a chore when it’s dark and gloomy out, there’s sneaky ways you can get your workout in while at the office. Even better? All you need is a can-do attitude and your desk chair! Click here to see pics of celeb couples working out together.
Speaking EXCLUSIVELY with Kathy Kaehler, Better Living Expert and host of the Cat & Kaehler Show on LATalkradio.com, we learned that it’s actually a lot easier than you may think to burn a few extra calories here and there during your workday, and by the time you get home in the evening, you may not need to go for that jog after all! Kathy, who’s trained celebs such as Cindy Crawford and Julia Roberts, recommends diving right into a fitness mindset before you even hit your desk in the morning. “Before getting to your desk, take the stairs,” the fitness guru said. “You can take them one-by-one, but by taking two steps at a time, it will engage a greater number of muscles and will burn a few more calories.”
Once you’re in your actual office, if you feel comfortable, pop a squat on the wall for a few seconds — your thighs will thank you later! “Before you take a seat, another butt blaster and leg toner is a wall sit,” Kathy said. “It’s one of my favorites because it burns instantly but stamina will come the more you do it.” To execute a proper wall sit, Kathy suggests sitting back against the wall shoulder width apart. “Slide down a sturdy wall, no partitions, until your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle — like you are sitting in an imaginary chair,” the expert explained. “Hold it there for as long as you can up to 3 minutes.”
Already feeling the burn? Good. One more quick exercise that can be completed before you sit down for the day is a wall push-up, and they’re super great for toning up your arms. “After coming away from the wall, turn and face it to strengthen the arms and chest with a wall push-up,” Kathy said. “Stand about three feet from the wall, again a sturdy wall, place hands flesh against the wall, shoulder width apart. Slowly lower your body toward the wall bending the elbows. Exhale as you push back.” Kathy recommends completing 10 to start and then building up to 20 reps.
When it comes to chair exercises, Kathy has five go-to workouts. “[These] will keep large and small muscles toned and tight while keeping the posture, neck, and shoulders lose and relaxed,” she said. Sounds perfect, right? Exercise number 1: leg extensions. “Sitting up tall in your chair, and hopefully in a chair with no wheels or with wheels you can lock, rest your forearms on the arms of the chair or hold the desk ledge in front of you lightly. Slowly extend one leg in front of you, pull in the abs and squeeze the thigh muscle. Hold for 5 seconds and return.” Kathy advises repeating that motion 20 times and then doing the same on the other leg.
Exercise number 2: neck extensors. “Sitting at your desk can wreck havoc on your body, especially in the shoulder and neck area. This exercise targets the back and sides of your neck,” Kathy explained. “Sit up tall in your chair. Raise your hands above your head and bend your elbows while you interlace your fingers together and place your hands on the back of your head. Push your head back into your hands and push your hands against the movement. Do this five times. You will feel the muscles in your back as well. Then turn your head toward the right arm and slightly look down as if to smell your armpits. I know, gross, but the stretch is amazing. Do the same on the left side and then repeat the whole thing.”
Exercise number 3: chair ab twist. For this exercise, Kathy says a swivel chair is needed! “Bad posture and weak core muscles can happen in what seems an instant when in a desk position,” the celeb trainer said. “This exercise can be your bikini body lifeline.” Does anyone else love the sound of that? Here’s how to do it: “Sitting up straight in your chair, lift your legs slightly to get your feet off the ground or slightly extend your legs. It’s super important to pull your abs in while doing this exercise,” Kathy reminds. “Grab the edge of your desk with both hands. Using those core muscles swivel your chair from side to side. Do up to 12-18 reps.”
Exercise number 4: shoulder shaper. “Sitting up straight in your chair, flex your elbows so the left hand is in front of the left shoulder and your right hand is in front of your right shoulder. Flare your elbows back and outward to the sides below shoulder level. Make fists with the palms facing forward. Fully extend your arms upward without locking out your elbows. Keep your abs pulled in and exhale and your extend the arms and inhale as you bring them back down. To make this more challenging, hold a book, or if you keep three pounds weights in your desk, use them.”
Exercise number 5: booty lifter. For this routine, squat in front of your desk chair and use a chair with no wheels or locked wheels. “Stand with feet hips width apart. Bend and lower your hips until your butt is a few inches from the seat. Slowly stand back up. Do 15 to start and build up to 30. As you stand exhale and squeeze and the glutes.” Kathy added that this particular exercise is also “good for after snacks or lunch” because it “helps with digestion.”
“As a fitness professional, I would recommend a daily routine of these exercises while at work,” Kathy told us. “It doesn’t matter when you do them or how many you do at a time. The great thing about exercise is it is cumulative. Before quitting time, make a goal or a game with yourself that you will have completed this workout task.”
Celebrity personal trainer Michael Blauner, has similar shape-toning moves. “It’s important to stimulate your metabolism frequently to remain healthy,” Michael told us EXCLUSIVELY. “And short bursts of exercise are perfect for just that.” The fitness guru recommends elevated hamstring stretches by moving your chair back from your desk, remaining seated and placing your foot up on your desk while reaching for your toes. “Do a few on each side — this is super important to keep hamstrings flexible from all the sitting, which in turn will help prevent back issues,” he said.
An isometric chest press is another great exercise you can do while at your desk. “Place your hands together, in a prayer position, in front of your chest. Apply pressure together to tone shoulders and chest. Hold 30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. How simple is that? Michael also loves chair dips while stuck behind a desk. Just hold the sides of your chair and try to push up only using your arms. “One set of as many a possible is good,” he recommends.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — can you see yourself doing some of these exercises at work? Aren’t they genius?