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The 15-minute office workout

January 27, 2014 15:50 IST

The 15-minute office workout

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Brinda Sapat

Stuck at a desk job? Squeeze in this 15-minute workout to stay fit.

The biggest problem for working people is making the time for exercise. There is good news!

Doing even a 15 minute workout is going to get you results! Studies now show that small bursts of exercise done a couple of times in the day are as good as one long session.

Working out in an office is restricting, so here's a 15 minute shaping workout tailored just for you at your desk!

Follow this workout on alternate days of the week.

Before you begin, go up and down stairs for 3-4 minutes or a brisk walk around. This is very important in order to warm up your muscles so that you don't get a pull or cramp during the exercises.

You will need a resistance band or tube. Pick a middle level one.

Note: please check with your doctor before beginning the exercise programme.

Click on NEXT to read on...


Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/ Rediff.com
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The 15-minute office workout

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1. Squats

This works your entire lower body.

Place your chair way behind you but within reach. Stand with your feet hip distance apart with your arms out in front of you.

Bend your knees and lower your hips towards the chair (Your knees must stay in line with your ankle and not surpass your toes). Just as you touch the chair, stand up again taking care not to lock your knees.

Do 16 repetitions.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com



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The 15-minute office workout

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2. Push Ups

For your chest and backs of the arms. Stand far away from the desk with your hands placed wide on the desk.

Lower your hip till it is in line with the body. This is the start position.

Now bend your elbows and lower your chest  AND hip trying to get the chest towards the desk.

Squeeze your chest and push up to the start position.

Do 12-16 repetitions

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com




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The 15-minute office workout

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3. Folding Chair

Sit at the edge of your chair. Recline back a little and bring your knees into your chest.

Extend the legs out again without letting them touch the floor. Repeat bringing the knees in and out. This works out the abs.

Do 12- 16 repetitions.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com



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The 15-minute office workout

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4. Rows

This works your back and back of the shoulders.

Use your resistance band or tubing for this.

Sit at the edge of your chair with legs extended. Place the center of your band/tube under the feet and then cross it so you are holding the opposite ends in your hands.

Start with your arms extended. The tube or band should be taut. Wrap it around your hands if it is loose.

Now pull the elbows back in a rowing motion as you squeeze your back, and then slowly extend again. 

Do 16-20 repetitions.

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5. Lateral Raises

This shapes up your shoulders.

Stand with the center of the tube/band under your feet and cross it over holding opposite ends in your hands.

Start with your palms turned in towards your thighs. keep your elbows soft. Now raise your arms up to shoulder height, initiating the movement at the shoulder.

The shoulder, elbow and wrist should be in a straight line.

Do 12-16 repetitions.

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6. Rear Kicks

For your butt! Stand. Tie one end of the tube/band around your right ankle.

Step on the tube/band with your left foot (about a foot's distance from the right foot). Hold on to the other end with your hand. Now right leg behind you as you squeeze your butt.

Push with the heel. Make sure you push back with control and DON'T swing.

Bring it back to start position. Without letting it touch the floor, lift up for the next rep.

Do 16 repetitions with each leg.

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7. Reverse Plank Hip Lifts

This one is for your lower back, hips and hamstrings.

Stand backing your desk. Place your hands on the edge of the desk with fingers pointing towards you.

Walk your feet forwards till you are in an inclined position. Now lower your hips and raise them up as you contract your hips and back.

Try to lift as high as possible, almost arching the back. Do it in a smooth, controlled motion.

Do 12-16 reps.

Repeat all 7 exercises, lowering the number of reps if necessary.

Round off with some good stretches like a sky reach and  toe reach. Link and raise your hands behind you to open up the chest and shoulders. Pull your heel into your hip to stretch out the front of your thigh. Take your legs apart and then twist your body to one side.

When you are in a rush and can't manage the full 15 minutes, do exercises 1,2,3 and 7.

The workout will refresh and energise you.

TIP: Try to squeeze in a 20 minute brisk walk some time of the day, and eat healthy!

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