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8 Office Exercises to Strengthen Your Core

8 Office Exercises to Strengthen Your Core

Working a desk job for 40 hours a week leaves most people with very little or no time to hit the gym or exercise at all. Many people have a ton of health and fitness goals, but due to busy schedules, most don’t even get to fulfill those body or health goals at all. A lot of people would rather use their free time for rest and relaxation rather than sweating it out. 

Having a sedentary lifestyle isn’t really the most ideal. For us to be at our best health, we need to move our body each day, even just for a couple of minutes.  You may be asking yourself right now, “how can I even workout while I’m on my desk?” Well, fret not, we’re here to help you out. In this article, we’ve rounded up some core strengthening exercises that you can do while sitting at your desk. Achieve your body goals with these desk exercises!

How Can You Gain Abs While Sitting At Your Desk?

It may sound like an impossible effort, but we’re telling you, it’s achievable. Not only will you get your body in shape, but you’ll benefit from it health-wise and productivity-wise. Even if you don’t have the time to leave your desk, you can easily do these workouts on your office chair. You don’t need to have someone like a personal trainer just to be able to do these workouts.

What are the 3 Exercises That Strengthen the Core?

Having a strong core is more than just having abs, it can give you a host of benefits for the body, such as strengthening your back, improving your balance, having a better posture, and assisting in avoiding injury. While there are numerous ab exercises out there, the majority of them are built on these 3 fundamentals. 

  • Bicycle – This involves lifting the leg, knees, and feet off the ground with your hands behind your head. The bicycle is easy to master and can accommodate any fitness level. With this workout, you’ll notice improvement in your core strength. No device is needed to perform this.
  • Twist – This move strengthens the obliques for a strong core. It can strengthen the muscles near the spine and alleviate back pain.
  • Plank and Knee-In – This is probably the most challenging move out of the three. This improves core strength by forcing the lower abdominals, obliques, and lats to extend and pull. By doing this, you also strengthen your leg, glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

With these three ab exercises, you can immediately start and achieve the level of core strength and abs that you’ve always wanted. Furthermore, you can better your balance, alleviate back pain, prevent injury, and improve your overall posture.

What is the Best Exercises to Strengthen the Core Muscles of the Body?

Being seated at your desk and stuck in your office chair is the most perfect position to do these workouts. Once you’ve mastered these desk exercises, you can then create your own fitness routine. No need to call for a personal trainer or be an expert at strength training at all just to do these workouts! You can do this by yourself or invite your co-workers along for a great office lunch break exercise session. This way, you and your co-workers can make an effort to take care of your health even when beating a deadline!

Sprinkler Twist

Sit tall on your seat, put your arms up, and place your hand at the back of your head. Twist to the left as far as you can and hold for one second. Return to center. Repeat the motion with your arms still up, but to the right side this time. Do this for 10 times on each side.

Seated Ab Crunches

To do this workout, simply sit on the edge of your chair and with your arms up, place your hands behind your head. With your feet flat on the ground, put your legs together and angle your knees at a 90-degree angle. Slowly lean your torso back towards the chair. Crunch back up afterward and return to your starting position to repeat. Try to maintain a straight spine as you brace your lower half in this workout. Do about 15 reps of ab crunches to complete.

Seated Bicycle Crunches

No, you don’t need an elliptical device for this workout. It’s slightly similar to seated crunches but with a twist. Again, sit on the edge of your chair and put each arm behind your head. As you slowly lean your torso back against the chair, extend an opposite leg and elbow back, and draw your other knee and elbow together in a bicycle motion. 20 reps are needed to complete this routine.

Oblique Squeezes

For this one, sit up straight by the edge of your chair as a starting position, Place your legs together with your feet flat on the floor. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, relax your arms at your sides. Start by lifting an arm up, bend at your elbow, and then do a face-forward bend to the right side or the side that your arm is raised. 

If you can bend lower, that’ll be great. If not, don’t push yourself too much to do so. Afterward, squeeze your sides together so that your hip is slightly raised. Keep your other foot on the floor. To ensure your core is engaged, place your weight at the ball of your foot and relax your shoulders. Repeat the exercise for the other side. Do about 10 reps each side to complete.

Leg Pull-Ins

To do this desk exercise, place yourself on the front end of your seat, legs together and bent at the knees. Place your feet flat on the floor as you straighten your back. Have your shoulders relaxed. Next, lean back 45 degrees and take your hands to the edges of your chair on either side of your thighs. While leaning back, engage your abs and draw your knees towards your chest. If you can’t reach your chest, that’s alright as well. 

Unbend your knees and extend your legs at a 45-degree angle, hold, and draw your legs in once more, bending at the knees. Do this for about 20 times. If your office chair has wheels, lock them in to prevent it from wheeling you away.

Chair-Supported Plank

To do this one, move your chair back slightly. If your office chair has wheels, keep them locked in to prevent it from moving. Place both your hands on the chair or even your desk, straighten your arms, and hold a high plank position. The position of your feet on the floor should be shoulder-width apart. Maintain a straight spine without your hips sinking. Hold your position for about 60 seconds.

Plank With Knee Twist

Simply follow the directions of a chair-supported plank. Ensure that each arm is straight and not bent. After you’ve positioned yourself, draw your abs in toward your spine and pull your right knee toward your left elbow and twist your body to dip your right hip towards your seat. Return to center and repeat the directions with the left knee. Alternate on each side for one minute or do it for 20 to 30 times.

Standing Cross Crunch

If you have a standing desk, then this one is the perfect exercise. Even if you don’t have a standing desk, this is still a good way to get the blood flowing. Stand at your desk with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the back of your head. Raise your left knee and meet it with your right elbow. Next, raise your right knee and touch it with your left elbow. Do this for about 30 times.

You can also switch up your seat to engage your ab muscles even more. Exchange your regular seat with an exercise ball for an hour each day. This can keep you passively engaged while still doing your office work. Don’t forget to pay attention to your posture. Keep your shoulders back and relaxed. 

There you have it! We hope that these exercise moves can help you work your body towards your goal while also putting in work at the office!  No need to rush to the gym just to be able to get a workout in. With the use of a desk exercise, you’ll still be able to hit your body and health goals. 

Always keep in mind that your health and fitness are highly important and that your health comes first before anything. If your body and health aren’t in their top shape, then it’ll be difficult for you to work at all. That’s why it’s vital to be on the lookout for your health. Do remember to take rests and breaks too as they are important parts of taking care of your health as well. Breathing and relaxation techniques can be a part of your routine, too.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Do You Strengthen a Weak Core?

If you feel that your core is weak, your spine and hip joints are bearing the load. This can lead to a lot of health problems such as back aches. You may also be someone who has a bad balance and poor posture with your shoulders usually slouched. You may find that it’s difficult to stand for long periods of time. These health issues can greatly impact quality of life. One way to get rid of these is to engage and work on strength training as it can develop the major muscles of the body.

To improve your core, it is best to activate the muscles by creating a simple routine that you can stick to. If you’re always stuck at work, you’ll find that the exercise tips we’ve given out will work well for you. Of course, you can always modify them to harder, more challenging ones if you find that your body has improved and that you can do more difficult workout routines. These routines greatly benefit your entire midsection, resulting in a better back and more engaged abs. 

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.