Pain Free Working

10-Minute Total Body Desk Exercise Routine

If you work a 9-5 in front of a computer, chances are you’re spending an unnecessary amount of time hunched over your screen in a bad posture. Try as we might to become conscious of our back’s curve, maintaining a consistent and correct posture requires muscle strength

But because our work takes up so much of our time and energy, we may not be able to spare a few hours for a full workout at the gym. This becomes a cycle: we spend too much time hunched over and straining our backs, weakening our muscles. The fatigue from incorrect posture prohibits us from performing regular workouts.

But the great thing is, we don’t have to stay stagnant during work. This quickie workout routine ensures you’re getting much needed movement throughout the day that prevents muscle and joint pain. If you’ve been looking for doable workouts that don’t require hitting the gym, this one’s for you! These workouts can be done right at your desk or in your home office. Don’t worry if you share an office space, because this routine can also be done in a vacant room.

The Ultimate 10-Minute Office Workout Routine

The ultimate 10-minute body workout is a set of five exercises, done for 1 minute each. Do it during your lunch break or free time. Remember that this routine will target your entire body. It also requires no exercise products. 

Find your space, play some music to pump yourself up, and have a bottle of water handy! Let’s get into it!

1. Butt Kicks

This office workout routine starts with toning the glute muscles right at your desk. Think of this exercise as jogging in place, only this time your foot touches the back of your butt on each step. These high-energy moves will target your legs and give you an ample amount of cardio. Repeat for 1 minute, then rest for 10 more seconds.

2. Squat Jumps

Next, get ready to sweat with squat jumps. Make sure you have enough space around you to perform this exercise — you don’t want to go bumping into a chair or table, or your coworker’s area if you share a space.

Start by assuming a squatting position with feet and heels far apart. Bend your legs while keeping your back straight and your butt out, making sure your knees aren’t bent past your feet. Hold this pose for 1 second before jumping up with arms extended high. Upon landing, go back to squats. Repeat these moves alternately for 1 minute, then rest for 10 seconds.

3. Side-to-Side Squat

This exercise will work your leg muscles as well as your glutes. Assume a squatting position once again by opening your right leg and lowering your upper body, back straight and knees bent. Go back to standing position, then squat again, and this time switch sides by opening with your left leg. Repeat this workout for 1 minute and give yourself a 10-second rest afterwards.

4. In-Place Sprint

Our next desk exercise is a sprint in place. Don’t worry, this also takes just a minute so there is minimal disturbance to your co-workers! Sprinting is a great way to elevate your heart rate and lose body fat. The good news is you don’t need a treadmill to do it; you can do it by your office desk, in the living room, or in a vacant conference room or break room. 

5. Mountain Climbers

The next desk exercise is great for utilizing multiple muscle groups in your body. This strength training exercise benefits your arms, back, shoulders, core and leg muscles. Since this requires your whole body’s movement, you can look for a vacant spot in your office to perform this exercise. 

Start by putting yourself in a high plank position with shoulders aligned directly over the wrists so your hands are placed shoulder-width apart. Keep in mind that the core, as well as the glutes and thighs, should be engaged as you alternate your left and right knees to your chest as if you’re “running” against the floor. 

Repeat for one minute. Perform the move as quickly as possible to give your routine a boost of low-impact cardio workout. 

6. Tricep Dips

Now for this exercise, you’re not required to use any fancy gym equipment. You’ll only need a stable desk chair from your office and your body weight. This exercise will get your tricep muscles activated and strengthened. 

The first step is to put both hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the chair, then slowly bend your elbows to lower your hips down, but not so much as to touch the ground. Be sure to keep your back near the edge of the seat, then push your hips back up by straightening your elbows, returning to the starting position. That completes one rep! 

Aim to do 15 to 20 reps, or as many as you can fit into 1 minute. You can also choose to bend or straighten your knees in front of you to modify this workout. 

7. Push-ups

This desk exercise routine is one of the perfect workout routines for building both upper body and core strength, especially for people who need the extra muscle endurance to prepare for a long workday in the office.

Here are some fitness tips in doing push-ups properly: keep your torso straight, avoid rounding your spine and your shoulders, squeeze your glutes, pack your elbows as you continue to raise and lower your body using your arms. You should be able to feel tension in the muscles in your back, your abdominal area and your triceps and biceps. Hands should still be firm against the floor, shoulder-width apart. 

For most people, doing this exercise 10 to 20 times in 1 minute should be enough. Don’t forget to let yourself pause if you need to do something else, like taking a water break or simply catching a few breaths. 

Alternative body workout for push ups:

If you’re lacking the strength to do full push-ups, try wall push-ups instead! Wall push-ups are more beginner-friendly and less likely to tire you out, so you can still save some energy for the rest of the exercises. 

To perform this exercise modification, simply assume the push-up position against the nearest wall with your feet a few inches farther back. You may keep each heel firmly planted on the ground or stand on your toes. Bend your elbows and lean your body more towards the wall. 

8. Plank

An important piece of advice to note is that working your upper body muscles is an important part of all office exercises. This is another great workout that targets all the important muscles. It also requires no exercise products.

When doing the planks, avoid arching your back, sinking your hips or tilting your head upward. For this to work, you’ll need to make sure the weight is distributed evenly across your whole body. Maintain a straight line from your head all the way to your toes, keeping your core engaged and each knee straight.  

Hold this position for 1 minute, then release to the floor. 

9. High Knees

This is a great cardio-intensive workout that also engages your leg muscles and core. To begin, stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Try to lift one knee up to your chest. Swiftly switch to the other knee. Continue alternating between each leg, moving at a running pace.

10. Squats

Rounding out this 10-minute workout is the squats. You can perform this by a desk in your office, with or without weights, or even by holding on to a chair for better balance. To perform this, all you have to do is stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Slowly squat down until your thighs are only slightly higher than your knees. 

Hold this pose for around 30-40 seconds, resting afterwards. Try doing this before lunch break to boost your metabolism

Final Word

We hope this 10-minute fitness routine was able to give you a few more workout ideas! 

Want to keep each work day more physically engaging? Check out our site for more at-desk workouts to follow. Continue your fitness journey with this 10-minute shadow boxing routine and a few breathing exercises!

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.