7 Ways To Work Out At Your Desk — Without Alerting HR!

Anyone who rocks a desk job knows that the lack of activity can ultimately lead do the dreaded, um, soft muscles. But, between looming deadlines and client dinners, sometimes getting to the gym is just not an option. So, to ensure that you can still slip into your pencil skirts and button-downs, we tapped Amanda Gratzianna, T2 trainer at Equinox fitness clubs, for seven ways to work it out at work. While you probably won't want to abandon your regular fitness routine altogether, you can at least stretch and tone without leaving your cubicle — just try to keep your hand out of that office candy jar!
Model: Michelle Martin of Ford Models; Clothing: Courtesy of Karen Millen; Office: Courtesy of XA, The Experiential Agency.
Standing Hip Extension
"These are great for strengthening the glutes, which otherwise would remain completely inactive while sitting at a desk," says Gratzianna.
1. Stand at your desk with your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles all in alignment.
2. Using your desk for handheld support, extend your right heel behind you, while keeping your back straight.
3. Return to the start position. Repeat eight to 10 times per side.
Sit To Stand
According to Gratzianna, "This is an ideal way to strengthen and tone your lower body, while also working on your balance."
1. Sit at the edge of your desk chair.
2. Without using your arms for support, hinge forward and drive up to a standing position. Be sure to keep all of your weight in your heels.
3. Return back to a seated position without using your arms for support. Repeat eight to 10 times.
Star Arms
"This exercise is perfect for undoing all of the tightness and soreness caused by working on a computer for hours," says Gratzianna. "It opens the chest and shoulders while simultaneously strengthening the back."
1. Start with arms extended out in front, hands touching.
2. Open the arms into a "T" position, turning palms up and squeezing the shoulder blades.
3. Return to start position.
4. Open arms diagonally, turn palms upward, and squeeze the shoulder blades together, while turning the head to watch the top hand.
5. Repeat on opposite side, and repeat on both arms eight to 10 times.
Pigeon Pose Stretch
"This is a great move for loosening tight hips and low backs, a common complaint in many people who sit during their workday," says Gratzianna.
1. Stand three to four inches away from your desktop.
2. Bring one leg into the surface, placing the side of the shin on the table. Make sure the ankle and knee are aligned.
3. Hinge forward from the hips to stretch the glutes, keeping the shoulders rolled back.
4. Hold for 30 seconds per leg then repeat.
Trap Stretch According to Gratzianna, "This is great for stretching out a tight neck from hours of staring at a computer screen."
1. Grab the underside of your desk with one hand.
2. Pull up on the desk while turning your head away from your hand.
3. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
Desk Push-Ups
"Like a traditional push-up, this modified version will strengthen the chest, arms, and core," says Gratzianna."It's a great full-body exercise!"
1. Place your hands on the edge of your desk, directly underneath your shoulders.
2. Bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the desk until your chest is one to two inches away from your desk.
3. Push up, keeping your ears, shoulders and hips all in alignment.
4. Repeat eight to 10 times.
Desk Dips
"These push-ups are aimed at strengthening the triceps and banishing arm jiggle," says Gratzianna.
1. Stand with your back facing your desk, hands on the edges of your desk.
2. Keeping your lower body parallel, bend your elbows and lower down.
3. Press up, bringing yourself back to the starting position. Repeat eight to 10 times.

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