Unfortunately, unless you’re sponsored by a sugar daddy, have won the lottery, or still live in mom’s basement, you’re probably working for a goddamn living. That translates to sitting for extended periods of time, being tempted by cupcakes, doughnuts, and questionable vending machine treats, and definitely gaining back those five pounds you lost last summer. We shall overcome, and by overcome we mean “beat office obesity by exercising right in your office/cubicle/desk chair.” Yah, people may see you and think you’re losing it, but can you put a price on a six-pack you got while sitting and trolling through Pinterest? Probs not. Your boss will be super proud of how productive you are.
1. Seat Squeezes
Sounds weird and kind of is—while sitting at your desk, squeeze your butt, hold for like 10 seconds, and release. Repeat this shit until your ass is numb and your butt is like, sculpted and lifted.
2. Leg Raises
It’s not like you’re actually doing work, so it’s time to strengthen your core, bitch. While you’re sitting, straighten both legs and raise them slowly. Hold for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat this shit as many times as you can without noticeably sweating. You can even put a weight like a briefcase or your purse on top of your legs to up the ante.
Alright so they’re not as insane as the real thing, but doing “squats” at your desk will help get your heart actually moving and help to stave off those years of obesity coming for you as a result of sitting 10+ hours per day. From your chair, stand up, sit back down, and repeat like 20 times until someone walks by and decides you’re really fucking weird.
4. Shoulder Press
This will require finding something heavy, so get lookin’. Grab something that weighs like, 10-20 pounds (like your conscience, for instance) and hold it at shoulder length. Raise it over your head and back down for 12 reps three times or until your shoulders scream for mercy. Maybe save this one for when your coworkers are all on their lunch break so nobody calls the police.
If you have a spinny rolly chair, congrats. Grab the edge of your desk with your hands, pull your feet off the floor, and pull yourself back and forth using your arms and core as many times as you can.
Since you aren’t getting that 5% increase because of your attitude (WTF), try this raise instead (I kill myself with the jokes). Raise your legs up on to your chair in a cross-legged position. With your arms on the armrests, push up to raise your body off the seat. Stay that way for 20-30 seconds then release and rest. This is doubly hard in a spinny chair, so be fucking careful.
There are so many things about a desk job that are so not betchy, but we put on a brave face from 9 to 5 because we need money. Sitting at a desk all day obviously makes you stiff and tight, and your muscles feel like shit by the end of the day. I mean, unless you’re that freak with a standing desk or the psycho who runs to Barry’s Bootcamp at her lunch break, you’re sitting all day and not doing your body any favors. These yoga moves will stretch your body out and activate the muscles you’ve been neglecting all week, so go through each one and feel free to thank us when you feel amazing by the time you get to happy hour.
1. Downward Dog
Most yoga classes start with a downward dog because it warms up your shoulders, back, and legs so you can get a full body stretch in one move. Start on your hands and knees, and stretch your elbows and relax your back. Then, press onto your palms as you tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor, pressing the floor away from you as you lift your butt upwards. You should immediately feel the stretch in your calves, and you can even peddle through each foot to stretch your legs out more. If you’re doing this right, your body should be in a V-shape with your arms out in front of you.
2. Pigeon Pose
Pigeon pose is the ultimate hip opener, so if you do a lot of running or spinning, this will be a game changer for you. I mean, that three-second stretch at the end of SoulCycle is bullshit anyway. In your downward dog pose, bring your right shin forward with the right knee toward your right wrist, and your right ankle toward your left wrist. Lower your hips to the ground with your back leg extended and reach your torso as far down to the ground as possible. Switch sides after holding the stretch for a few seconds, or stay longer if it feels amazing.
3. Child’s Pose
This pose has nothing to do with children, so don’t mind the name because it’s slightly creepy. Child’s pose stretches your thighs and your upper body, so it’s amazing if you’ve been sitting all day. Start on your hands and knees, spreading your knees wider than your hips while keeping your toes touching. Sit on your heels and bow forward so that your torso is in between your thighs and your chest is on top of your thighs. If you want the extra stretch, bring your forehead all the way down to the floor or reach your arms out in front of you.
4. Forward Fold
This move is the yoga equivalent of taking your 6-inch heels off at the end of the night. It just feels SO GOOD and you wonder why you didn’t do it earlier. Forward fold is literally just folding your torso over your legs so that your body is literally folded over with your hands as close to the ground as they can go. Make sure your knees are slightly bent and that you’re folding your torso with your hips and not your lower back. Hang in this position for a few seconds, and shake around if you have any tightness in your neck or shoulders.
5. Cat-Cow Stretches
This move is the ultimate back stretch, so if you have any back pain whatsoever, cat-cow stretches will literally save you. Don’t mind the name because we’re not sure WTF it has to do with a cat or cow, but it definitely does the trick and you’ll be obsessed. Start on all fours with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Make sure your head is in a neutral position, and drop your belly downwards while lifting your chin upwards to look at the ceiling. Then, round your back and and look downwards, stretching your lower back. Alternate between the two and take your time on each bend. Your body will thank you when you don’t have to crack your back at your desk chair five times a day.
6. Cobra Pose
Not only does Cobra pose make you look like a zen, green juice-drinking version of Cleopatra, but it also has amazing benefits for your body. It turns out stretching your body out like a cobra is amazing for your back, chest, and even your abs, so it’s also a great stretch to know if you just did an ab workout and want to be able to laugh tomorrow. Start lying on your stomach with your head facing down, and then keep your elbows close to your body, lifting your chest off the floor. Your legs and feet should press into the ground as you press your upper body away.
Anyone who has ever been to a yoga class knows that Savasana is literally everything. At first glance, Savasana pose just looks like you’re lying on the floor. Upon second glance, that’s exactly what it is. And that’s why we fucking love it. There’s nothing better than lying on your back and doing absolutely nothing while some woman with a soft voice tells you to invite peace and silence into your practice. I mean, we might not be the most flexible or advanced yogis, but we can deal with lying on the ground and postponing all our responsibilities for a few more minutes. Namaste.
Read: How To Work Out At Your Desk Without Freaking Out Your Coworkers