How to Exercise at Your Desk

Have enough energy to work out, not at your desk?  Try this.

I know, I know, you know, I know. I’ve been saying that a lot lately. It’s sweet because on the one hand I really feel like we know each other, you know? Like you can reliably expect what I’m going to say and feel like, “Ha, ha, ha, oh, Leandra! There you go, talking about being cool or how much fun resort season can be, or, there you also go! Treating exercising like it is your second coming of age.” On the latest clause, here’s the thing: I have no choice.

The way in which metropolitan humanity interacts socially these days is while exchanging notes on the treadmill. Meeting for a spin class. Discussing rising glutes. Drinking the subsequent smoothies.

And for the most part, I get it. Here I only started exercising like a year ago (yes, it took 25 years, no I don’t regret the preliminary quarter life-long-state of being sedentary) but I have to say, it feels cool. My thighs are rock hard and my butt practically flirts with my shoulder blades because it has been lifted so significantly. But that’s not even the half of it. I AM IN A GREAT MOOD! When the sun doesn’t shine, the resistance bands do! When the threat of rain looms violently overhead, I just look to my weights and train. Train, I tell ya! Get fit.

Oh, who am I kidding? Working out sucks. I favor sleep over leg lifts 10/10 times. Drinks over bicep curls 11/10 times and serving jury duty over burpees. Point blank. But summer is close, my friends. So close, in fact, that I can smell it on my knees. And that means skin — lots of it, in the flesh! On display! Out for public consumption. Which might possibly trick you into thinking that you need to prioritize exercise over living well (sleeping, drinking, jury duty), but I’m here to tell you that it’s not true. Okay? All you have to do is procrastinate while at work and perform the following five subtle fitness movements, modeled by the team to ensure tighter skin.

I think tighter skin is one of the grosser phrases I’ve typed out.

1. Kegels at your desk


These are so insouciant and mysterious that no one knows you’re doing them. You might not even know you’re doing them but here is the deal: you are doing them by simple virtue of clenching your inner thigh muscles together — as though you are holding in pee or something. Clench and unclench in pulsating intervals until boom: your inner thighs are no longer angel foreskin (now they’re rock hard gem stones!) and you can withstand a 4 hour drive after 10 bottles of beer on the wall.

You will know how well you’ve done them the next time you attempt coitus.

2. Wall sits against the nearest wall (or column)


Sure, someone in your office might wonder why you’ve decided to turn yourself into a human desk, but that is only because he or she has never experienced the mythic power that is the ability to remain in squat-formation for upward of three seconds. By doing this in intervals of, let’s say 5 minutes (not easy! I know!), there is no doubt in my mind that come time for Iron Man (or, you know, your weekend in Montauk with Amelia and her freaky cats), you will feel like the best version of yourself.

3. Side twists in your chair


The thing about obliques is that everyone ignores them, when in reality, they’re the most important part of getting tighter skin. (There’s that gross-ass phrase again.) Why, without side twists (left, right, right, left, whatever), how do you expect to engage yours abs’ peripheral vision? Pray tell.

4. Raise da roof! 


This is a simple bicep exercise, and while you might feel self-conscious executing it in an office environment, I ask you to reconsider. Why? Because raising da roof might very well be how you become the office’s most-loved employee. How? Figure this: my lunch just arrived. If Amelia raised da roof every time my lunch just arrived I would feel like she really cares about my being well-nourished. Thanks Amelia!

5. Leg lifts


One more for your legs because you have so many shorts. Pretend they are made of wood and make like an isometric tree. Hold them off the ground then lower your right foot, then left, while keeping the opposite one raised. Do this for two minutes then call me and say “thanks.”

If you complete all of these exercises, go ahead and fuel up on some pancakes. If you’d rather use shopping as your cardio, I don’t blame you. I’ve been doing it, and I’ve made some resolutions. In addition to lifting your butt, squats also lift your spirits — especially if you’re having performance anxiety. You know what else you can do at work? Indulge in some pampering.

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