This Lunchbreak Workout Will Up Your Fitness, Minus The Sweat
Because nobody likes BO.
With annoying-but-critical chores like cleaning, cooking and general life admin taking up most of our evenings, the only time for a workout is during our lunch breaks. And while I always admire colleagues who are super productive during lunch, especially those who get changed into their activewear to ‘duck out’ for a quick five-mile jog; returning to the office drenched in sweat is not my idea of a comfortable afternoon at work.
Not to mention the fact I don’t have the luxury of an hour-long break. Most days I’m lucky to have enough time to shovel takeout down my gob while tapping away at my laptop.
However, an aversion to sweatiness and non-existent work breaks needn’t thwart your efforts to get fit. As it turns out, there are some highly effective strengthening exercises you can do right at your desk without ever perspiring or needing to reach for your activewear.
“The key to this is to keep your movements slow and controled – to improve strength without getting too sweaty,” says personal trainer Tegan Haining, whose clients include David Beckham and top model Lara Stone.
Haining recommends a set of five exercises during your work day, each focusing on a different group of muscles. This will increase strength and tone your body without the hassle of actually leaving the office and having to shower afterwards.
It’s ideal if you can repeat the cycle three to five times each day. If so, you can expect to see increased levels of strength and fitness. Who says working out has to involve hard work? Here are the easy exercises you can start using at the office, today…
1. Eccentric lowering desk push up
Take your hands slightly wider than shoulder width and place them on your desk. It’s crucial to make sure you keep your bodyweight forward over your wrists, while slightly tucking your pelvis under to engage your lower abdominals. Squeeze your glutes and begin to lower your chest to the desk for a count of 10 then push back up. Repeat ten times.
2. Wall squat
Sit with your back up against the wall and your thighs parallel to the floor.
“The key here is to keep your tummy pulling in and up, engaging your core and keeping your chest up straight,” says Haining.
“Try to think about pushing evenly through the feet and squeezing the glutes to keep the quads from doing all the work.”
3. Isometric T
Keeping a slight bend in the knees, hinge forward from the hip keeping your tummy pulling in towards your spine. Take your hands out straight to the sides creating a ‘T’ shape.
Turn your thumbs up to the ceiling and think of squeezing your shoulder blades together engaging all the back stabilisers along the spine. Breathe and hold here for up to a minute, however if you begin to lose form, stop and reset.
4. Split squats
Come into a split squat position with one leg forward and one back, making sure your hips are facing forwards. Drop the back knee down to an inch off the floor and then push all the way up, squeezing both glutes at the top.
Go for 20 reps and then for an added bonus, hold the low position and pulse up and down for 20 reps before changing sides.
5. McGill sit-ups
“This is a challenging physio-style exercise which really isolates your abdominals,” says Haining.
Lie on the floor and place your right hand on your lower back. Straighten your right leg to the floor, keeping your left leg bent. Push the tongue up on the roof of your mouth, inhale, and as you exhale pull your belly in, maintain pressure on your hand and lift your chest up straight towards the ceiling.
“It’s important not to curve your shoulders forward,” the trainer says, “think of lifting your body up towards the ceiling like a cord is pulling your chest straight up. Hold for five seconds, then lower and repeat five to ten times, then change sides.
Images supplied by Tegan Haining via Bennett PR.
Comment: What’s your lunch break fitness routine?