Get in Shape for Summer Without Ever Leaving Your Desk [Video]
Does your work keep you chained to your desk most of the day? Is it hard to find the time or energy to exercise before or after work, or on your lunch hour? AOL Jobs recently spoke to Stephanie Mansour, CEO of Step It Up With Steph. She is the creator of the Cubicle Crunch -- a series of stretches and exercises that you can do at your desk to get in shape.
Here are the top 10 exercises:
1. Stress buster
Relieve stress and take deeper breaths by stretching your shoulders and chest -- this will help improve posture and open up the muscles in the chest. Sitting up tall, clasp your hands behind your back and gently pull arms away from your back. Stretch the front of your body in your chest.
2. Ab strengthener
Feeling flabby in your midsection? Act like you are zipping a tight pair of pants and engage your lower ab muscles. You can pulse (squeeze, release, repeat) 10 times, a few times throughout the day.
3. Upper arm and shoulder strength
Get a leaner upper body by doing push-ups while seated at your desk. Engage your ab muscles and place your hands shoulder-width apart on your desk. Bend your elbows, leaning forward toward your desk, then press away. Repeat 10 times.
4. Quad toner
Tone your quads while sitting down by pointing one leg forward and squeezing your thigh. Slowly lift your straight leg up to hip height, then tap it back down. Repeat 10 times per leg.
5. Glute stretch
Stretch your glutes and relieve low back pain by crossing one ankle over your knee and leaning forward. Feel a stretch in your glute, hold for 20 seconds then switch sides.
6. Hamstring stretch
Stretch your hamstrings to also relieve low back pain by standing up and leaning forward, letting your head and arms dangle in front of you. You can open your feet as wide as your hips and even bend your knees to make this more comfortable.
7. Neck tension
Relieve neck tension by dropping your right ear down toward your right shoulder and feel a stretch in the left side of your neck. Hold for five deep breaths, then repeat on the left side.
8. Mobility improver
While sitting in your chair, gently twist to one side, looking over your shoulder, and take a few deep breaths. This will help with digestion and also help regain mobility in your spine.
9. Wrist strengthener
You can reduce carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis by stretching your wrists. Press your hand and arm away from your body, then turn your fingers down. Use your other hand to gently pull your fingers down away from your wrist. Feel a stretch underneath your wrist, hold for 10 seconds, and repeat on other side.
10. Butt and thigh tightener
On your way to the bathroom or water cooler, lunge your way there instead of walking! Step your right foot forward, a few feet in front of your left foot, and slowly bend down. Keep your right knee directly over your ankle, and bend your left knee. Then step forward with your left foot, and repeat until you're at your destination.
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