Pain Free Working

6 Muscle Building Exercises You Can Do at Work

If you’re striving to have a fit and healthy lifestyle, you’re probably already doing one or more forms of exercise such as cardio, aerobics, yoga, pilates, and the like. While those exercises can greatly help your health, there’s one workout program that you might not realize you may be missing out on. 

A lot of people don’t realize that muscle building is a vital part of having a healthy lifestyle. Building muscle strength is highly important as it can slow down muscle loss that comes with age, increase bone density, avoid injury, and help ease arthritis pain. Not only that, as a vital part of fitness, muscle building also improves balance, blood sugar control, sleep, and even mental health. 

Whether you’re already a pro in muscle building or you’ve never tried any muscle exercises, fret not! In this article, we’ll be giving you some tips on muscle building as well as providing some exercises that you can do to build strength!

How Can I Build Muscle Mass Quickly?

When it comes to building muscles, one must always keep the saying “Patience is a Virtue” in mind. Building muscle doesn’t happen overnight; in fact, that’s impossible to happen. To build muscle, one must have patience, along with other factors. These factors include the age of the person, their sex, and genetics as well. 

A person’s body is in the constant process of renewing and recycling amino acids, or the protein building blocks, in the muscles. If the body loses more protein instead of gaining, a person can lose muscle mass. If the body deposits more protein in the muscles than it removes, then the muscles will grow. Because of that, the best type of exercise that one can do to build muscle is resistance and strength training. 

The combination of high protein intake and performing resistance training can greatly help in increasing muscle. Resistance and strength training includes exercises and challenges such as lifting weights, using resistance bands, stationary weight machines, and more. Muscles can significantly increase if the person is doing muscle building exercises consistently in a challenging and long-term manner. Enough recovery time is also important when it comes to building muscle. For most people, it can take several weeks or months of consistent exercise before muscle changes become visible.

Which Multiple Muscle Groups To Pair Together For Strength Training?

An important factor for strength training is doing various exercises that may target different muscle groups in the body. Aside from exercise, muscles also need to be rested to regain their full function and generate even more strength. Pairing muscle groups together during a workout can help improve the muscle you are targeting to work on and can also provide more time for proper rest.

This ensures that you are able to focus on the specific muscles in isolated exercises, as well as allow them to recover between workout sessions. More than that, pairing muscles can also help you make your workout plan simpler. You can work on one group one day, then move to the other group the next day, and then another, and so on. 

Some common muscle groups include:

  • Chest, shoulders, and triceps
  • Back and biceps
  • Legs (quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves)
  • Abs

What Exercise Can I Do at Work to Build Muscle Growth?

In general, muscle building exercises are compound exercises because they work multiple muscle groups. Multiple joints and every muscle fiber in the body work hand in hand in these exercises, making them effective and allowing you to move more weight. More importantly, these muscle building exercises can aid you better in progressive overload for more muscle gains. 

It’s recommended to establish a fitness routine for each exercise twice a week, but with the use of different rep schemes and weights. Your first session should be about 12 reps of each with a weight that is challenging but allows you to maintain a good form. Your second fitness session should be 8 repetitions but with a heavier weight.

Sets of 8 to 12 reps are widely considered as the best to build muscle. When one trains in sets of lower reps, it’s usually for strength. On the other hand, doing higher reps is done with fat loss in mind. That said, here are some of the best exercises to increase your muscle mass. Check them out! 

Bicep Curls

Move your chair close to your desk. Next, make a fist with your hand and position your elbow at 90 degrees. Next, turn your hand or open your palm. Push up against the desk with your fist or hand. Do 6 reps, pausing at the top of the movement for 6-10 seconds.


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms down at your sides as your starting position. Next, take a step forward with your right leg and bend your right knee as you do so. Make sure that your thigh is parallel to the ground. Additionally, ensure that your right knee doesn’t go past your right foot. Push up off your right foot and get back to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg. Do 10 reps for about three sets.


Increase the strength in your lower body with this workout. Squats are also one of the best things to include in your fitness routine as they engage some of the largest parts of the body. To do this exercise, begin by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at the sides. 

As you keep your chest and chin up, push your hips back and bend your knees as if you’re about to sit on a chair. Make sure that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Bring your arms out in front of you in a comfortable position. Pause for a second, extend your legs, and return to the beginning position. Do about three sets of 20 reps.

You can make squats even more challenging by having a barbell resting on the meaty part of your upper back, holding it with your hands and lifting it with your core engaged and chest up at all times. We do recognize that not everyone has a barbell at home and the office isn’t exactly a place you can store one, so the gym might be your best bet if you want to perform challenging back squats. 

Overhead Press

If you’ve gone to a gym, we’re sure you’re familiar with the sight of someone doing a barbell bench press. While you can’t exactly haul bench press equipment into the office and do that particular exercise, here’s a good alternative for you. An overhead press is slightly similar to a bench press without having the need for barbells and the like. Best of all, you can do this right at your desk. Additionally, this exercise strengthens the shoulders and your upper back. One thing to note is that this one should be done with a controlled movement to reduce the risk of injury.

To do this, sit upright in your chair and flex your elbow. You can also do this standing with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart. Your left hand should be in front of your left shoulder and your right hand should be in front of your right shoulder. Your elbows should be a little flared out to the sides. Next, lightly clench your fist with palms facing forward. Afterward, fully extend your elbows without locking them out, your hands moving toward the center over your head. Slowly lower your upper arms to return to the initial position. Complete about 10 reps. 

If you want it to be more challenging, you can use a book or a water bottle to press overhead. If you have space in your office, you can also keep a set of dumbbells with you and use them instead.


Pushups are commonly done by numerous people because it involves several muscles in the body all at the same time. To do this, start in a plank position with your core tight, shoulders pulled down and back, and your neck neutral. Bend your elbows and lower your body down to the floor. Next, lift up slowly and steadily. Focus on keeping your elbows close to your body during the movement. Perform as many repetitions as possible. 


The one works best if you have your personal office space or an available area where you can have a pull-up bar installed. If you have a limited office area and can’t visit the gym, you can also install a pull-up bar at your home instead. Pull-ups work the arms, shoulders, as well as the middle chest area. 

To start doing pull-ups, jump up and grab the bar with your hands approximately shoulder-width apart. Your palms should be facing away from you. Grab the bar tightly as you bring your elbows to your chest to lift your body off the ground and your head above the bar. Hold for about three seconds and then lower yourself. Perform as many repetitions as you can.

We hope that this list of exercises can aid you in your road to building muscles! As always, if you feel any kind of discomfort, please seek a professional personal trainer or a doctor to provide you with medical advice and to ensure that you don’t injure yourself. Stay safe and healthy always!

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.