Mini-Workout: At Your Desk

Need a pick-me-up at a desk job?  Pass this around to your fellow desk coworkers that look overstressed; they will thank you for it (especially when they reach number 5!)

1.  Sit and Stand:  To engage your legs /torso/hips, cross your arms over your chest and don’t use your hands.  With both feet on the floor, sit on the edge of your seat and stand up.  Place your hands on your chair to lower to sitting if your chair is on wheels so it won't roll away.  Repeat 10 times.  When this is too easy, try hovering 1” above sit in your chair and hold for 30 seconds, continuing to breathe smoothly in and out.

2.  Seated Bicycle or Alternating Toe Taps:  With your abs drawn in tight, lean back slightly but straight.  Hold your chair seat with both hands, shoulders down and back.  Now bring up both knees and pretend to bicycle, pedaling forward 8 times.  Rest your legs and reset your posture, then reverse your legs and pedal backward 8 times.  If pedaling is too intense on your hips or back, try alternating tapping your toes right and left foot 8 times, then tap your heels right and left foot 8 times.  For you extra tough readers, try double taps: both feet lifted, tap and raise 8 times.  Maintain your posture; good form is priority!

3.  Bow and Arrow:  Feet down and sitting tall, reach both arms straight toward your computer screen, then draw one hand back along the outstretched arm, then return to a forward reach.  Repeat drawing the other elbow back; alternate arms for a total of 16 pullbacks.  Keeping your hips toward your desk, turn your head to the arm pulling back and open your shoulders to add rotation throughout your spine and torso.

4.  Overhead Press:  A heavy water bottle comes in handy here; grab it firmly in one hand (with the lid tightly closed) and raise it over your head.  Bring it down to your shoulder with your elbow lowered; repeat pressing it up and lowering 8 times.  Repeat with the bottle in the other hand, pressing the other arm up and lowering 8 times.  Posture check: Are your abs strong and back tall?  Good job...

5.  Back and Chest Stretch:  Still seated at your desk, grab your desk with both hands and push your chair away from the desk, looking at the floor between your legs and stretching your back and shoulders.  Hold ten seconds.  Now sit upright and reach your arms down and back with open palms and look up to lengthen your biceps, chest and neck; hold ten seconds.  Repeat both; you have earned it!

If you stayed with me #1-#5, it was totally worth it, wasn't it?  Have a feel-great day!

View more mini-workouts by Megan in the archives at


  1. Great tips Megan. I always tend to do #5 often, which helps very well and even take "a short walk-around a bit" break. Breaks the routine and help stretch my legs, keeps the blow flowing when tied down to a desk sometimes :-)

    Will have to try the other ones! Good post.


  2. Sounds like a great workout. Will try it tomorrow!


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