Sitting at a desk all day does nothing for your buns and thighs. Even worse, your desk job can eventually trigger muscle imbalances in your lower body. To combat this, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing cardio for at least 30 minutes daily, five days a week, and strength training on at least two days. Lack of time is no excuse, because you can do some of these exercises right at your desk.
Chair Squat Exercise
Squats are one of the most effective exercises for the glutes, quads and hamstrings. Stand in front of your chair. Bend your knees and squat until your bottom makes contact with the chair. Without resting your weight on the chair, stand back up while squeezing your glute muscles. If you wear high heels, take them off before doing this exercise. Repeat this for 15 repetitions. If you can, do two or three sets.
Include Hip Adductions
The website Fit Day suggests doing hip adductions, which work the muscles in the inner part of your thighs. Weak adductors can lead to hip and lower back problems so it is important to keep them strong. Start seated in a chair and place something firm but with some give in between your knees such as a rolled-up towel, a soft medicine ball or a sweatshirt. Squeeze your knees together as hard as you can for three to five seconds. Relax, but keep the object between your knees. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Perform Isometric Contractions
Isometrics are types of muscular contractions in which the muscle does not change length. To work the glutes isometrically, sit in your chair with both feet flat on the ground. Squeeze your glutes as hard as you can for five to 10 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds and repeat. For the quads and hamstrings, squeeze your thighs as hard as you can while simultaneously pressing your heels into the floor. Do not press too hard that you stand up. Repeat each exercise 10 times.
Hip Extension Exercise
Hip extensions target the glute muscles but the hamstrings are the secondary mover. Stand behind your chair. Lift your right leg straight up behind you using your glute muscles. Slowly lower it back down, and repeat. Do 10 per leg. Also do hip abductions, which work the smaller gluteus medius muscle. Extend your right leg out directly to the side of your body, keeping your knee facing forward, and slowly lower it back down. Do 10 on each side.
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise
- Fit Day: Try These 5 Leg Toning Exercises at Your Desk
- “Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning”; National Strength and Conditioning Association; Baechel, Thomas R. and Earle, Roger W; 2008
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.