You want to workout, but you're stuck at your desk. The good news is, you don't have to go to the gym to workout -- you can strengthen your butt and leg muscles without ever leaving your office. No need to set aside a hour to do them all at once, either.
Do a few repetitions of several exercises every day, or full sets of a few exercises on alternating days. In general, these exercises are performed eight to 10 times each, working up to two to three sets in a row.
Squats are a popular exercise for strengthening the butt muscles. However, this exercise also targets muscles on the front and back of your thighs.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Push your butt backward. Bend forward at the hips and slowly bend your knees as if you are sitting down in an invisible chair. Lower down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, then stand back up. If needed, place one hand on your desk for balance.
4-Way Leg Lifts
Leg lifts performed in four positions target muscles all the way around the thighs.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand up straight with your hands on your hips. Keeping your knee straight, lift your right leg up in front of you as high as possible. Don't lean your body backward. Hold the lift for 2 to 3 seconds, then return to a standing position. Repeat this exercise in three more positions -- lifting your leg straight out to the side, straight back behind you and in front of your opposite leg.
Heel raises strengthen the muscles in your calves. Make this exercise harder by performing it on one leg at a time, or starting with your heels hanging off the edge of a step.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand up straight and raise up on the balls of your feet. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, then slowly lower back down.
Lunges are another exercise that target multiple muscles at the same time. Lunges strengthen the butt muscles on the leg out front, and thigh muscles on both legs.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot forward approximately 18 inches. Place your hands on your hips and slowly bend both knees, lowering your body toward the ground. Keep your body straight up throughout the movement. Lower down until your back knee lightly touches the ground, then stand back up. Alternate leg positions after 10 repetitions.
- Williams College: Exercise at Your Desk
- BMC Public Health: Acceptability and Feasibility of a Low-Cost, Theory-Based and Co-Produced Intervention to Reduce Workplace Sitting Time in Desk-Based University Employees
- International Journal of Workplace Health Management: Exercising at Work and Self-Reported Work Performance
- Australian College of Sports & Fitness: Home Workout Body Weight
- Australian College of Sports & Fitness: Top 35 Lower Body Exercises