Recent studies prove that standing desks have many health benefits, including improved posture and increased energy levels. However, it is important to incorporate some exercises into your workday to get the most out of your standing desk.
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Having a standing desk means fighting off the urge to sit and avoiding the adverse effects of remaining stationary for too long. That’s why it is essential to do some exercises for your back, arms, and core to reap the full benefits of a standing desk. I myself love these exercises that I’m about to share, and they’re easy to do while working.
Best Exercises to do at Your Standing Desk
Standing desks have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their potential health benefits, including improved posture and reduced risk of sitting-related health issues. To maximize the benefits of a standing desk, it’s important to incorporate some physical activity into your routine. Some of the best exercises to do at your standing desk include calf raises, desk push-ups, and standing twists. These exercises can help keep you energized and productive, and can also help improve your overall health and well-being. It’s important to listen to your body and take breaks as needed, and to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine.
Below we have listed the top 21 exercises which you can opt for on standing desk:-
1. Squats (Best All-Round Standing Desk Workout)
Squats are a great exercise to do when standing at your desk. They help strengthen the muscles in your core and legs, making them an easy way to get some exercise throughout the 8-10 hours you spend at your desk. However, according to RealSimple, in this article, “Not using the proper squat form when you workout could be painful and even result in injury.”
Proper Way to Squat Safely
- Stand straight with feet hip-width apart.
- Slowly lower yourself into a squat.
- Keep your back straight, core engaged, and chest up.
- Bring your arms out in front of you and use them to help balance yourself.
- Straighten your legs to lift back up to the starting position.
- Repeat 10-15 times, depending on your fitness level.
Doing squats while standing at your desk is a great way to take mini breaks during the day and get some exercise in. However, it is essential not to overdo it. Start with a few squats and work up to more as your fitness level increases. Day by day, you will find that these squats help build your strength and improve your energy levels.
2. Gluteal Squeeze (Best Exercise in a Shared Work Space)
Having a sit-stand desk in a shared office can make exercise feel odd if you are trying to work while doing exercises. In this case, a gluteal squeeze is an excellent exercise to do while standing or even in a sitting position. But I suggest you first overcome any social awkwardness you may have. The reason is, performing a tougher exercise could look out of place at work.
Ideal Way To Perform Gluteal Squeez
- To do a gluteal squeeze:
- Simply stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart.
- Then, press your butt muscles together and hold for a few seconds (I recommend 10 seconds).
- Release and repeat 10-15 times.
See? Easy to do and effective!
Doing the gluteal squeeze throughout your workday will help strengthen your core and improve circulation in your lower body without standing out from the rest of your colleagues.
3. Standing Calf Raises (Easy Standing Desk Workout)
Although some people believe every exercise needs to be challenging to work, calf raises are an easy and effective way to strengthen your calves, especially while working at a standing desk. By improving the muscles in your calves, you will also improve your posture and balance, resulting in a more active and energized workday. It is effective to prevent sciatica as well. Check out our detailed guide on sciatica pain as well.
Proper Way to do Calf Raises
- Begin by standing with your feet together and your arms at your side.
- Keep your legs straight and slowly raise your heels off the ground, focusing on using your calf muscles to lift.
- Hold for a few seconds, and then slowly lower your feet back to the starting position.
- Repeat 10-15 times, depending on your fitness level.
4. Warrior Pose (Best Exercise To Get Your Blood Pumping)
The warrior pose is designed to get your blood pumping and provide a physical and mental boost. This pose stretches the front side of the body, builds strength in the legs, core, and back, and helps improve posture, flexibility, and balance while also engaging your core. As a result, you will have more energy while working.
The warrior pose is a simple standing position exercise:
- Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
- Next, take one large step back with one foot and bend both knees until your front knee forms a 90-degree angle.
- Bring your arms up, so they are in line with your shoulders and look up towards the ceiling.
- Hold this position for 10-15 seconds before switching sides and repeating as often as you’d like!
5. Single Leg Balancing (Best Exercise For Balance and Core Strength)
Our list of best standing desk exercises is incomplete without single-leg balancing exercises. A good balance is essential for any activity, especially when spending long hours at your desk. By doing single-leg balancing exercises, you can increase your balance and core strength while standing at your desk.
The single-leg balancing exercise is easy and convenient- perfect for improving your balance and core strength, but it doesn’t have much time or space. All you need to do is stand on either right or left leg for 10-30 seconds before switching to the other, although adding a small weight can give it an extra challenge.
6. Chair Dips (Best Exercise To Strengthen Your Upper Body)
Chair dips are great for building muscle in your arms, shoulders, and chest while at your desk. For the “Chair Dips” exercise, you will need a sturdy office chair or stool with arms that can support your weight.
- Sit down on the sturdy bench or chair and place your hands on the edge.
- Put your feet out so your butt goes slightly off the edge of the chair, and extend your legs out in front of you.
- Then lower yourself until your arms make a 90-degree angle before pushing back up to start.
- Do 10 – 15 repetitions based on how strong and fit you are.
7. Hamstring Curls (Best Exercise To Strengthen Your Hamstrings)
When standing at your desk, it’s important to keep your hamstrings strong to help prevent lower back pain. The hamstring curl is a movement where you bring one foot up towards your backside and then lower it. It would be best if you aimed to do 10-15 reps on each leg for the best results. This particular stretch strengthens your hamstrings and helps avoid injury and tension in your lower body.
Hamstring curls are a valuable exercise for strengthening the muscles in the back of the thigh, known as the hamstrings. In addition to improving muscle balance and posture, strong hamstrings can enhance athletic performance and increase lower body strength. Regularly incorporating hamstring curls into your workout routine can also improve mobility and flexibility, allowing you to move more easily and comfortably. By targeting the often-neglected hamstrings, this exercise can help to prevent muscle imbalances and injuries, and contribute to overall functional fitness.
8. Standing desk pushups (Best Exercise To Strengthen Your Arms)
Pushups are one of the best exercises to strengthen your arms and core. To do it while standing, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your palms on the edge of the desk. As you inhale, lower your body down until your chest is almost touching the desk, and then push back up as you exhale.
Standing desk pushups are a convenient and effective way to improve upper body strength and muscle tone, increase cardiovascular endurance, and boost core stability. These pushups can be performed anytime and anywhere, making them a great option for those without access to a gym or traditional workout equipment. In addition to the physical benefits, standing desk pushups can also help to reduce stress and improve mood. By incorporating this exercise into your daily routine, you can improve your overall fitness and well-being in a quick and efficient manner.
9. Side Lunges (Standing Desk Workouts To Strengthen Your Glutes)
Side Lunges are a great way to target your glutes and thighs. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Next, take a big step to the side and lower your body until both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Then, push back up and repeat on the other side. Perform 10-15 reps on each side for best results.
Side lunges are a valuable exercise for improving lower body strength and flexibility, as well as balance and stability. By targeting the muscles in the hips, thighs, and glutes, side lunges can help to improve muscle tone and enhance athletic performance. In addition to these physical benefits, side lunges can also help to improve posture by strengthening the muscles that support the natural curvature of the spine.
10. Marching in Place (Best Exercise to Increase Your Heart Rate)
Standing still and moving your legs up and down is a great cardio exercise at your desk. All you have to do is march on the spot for a few minutes, which gets your heart rate going and gives you more energy.
11. Shoulder Stretch (Best Exercise To Release Tension)
Shoulder stretch exercise is excellent for relieving tension in your neck and shoulders. Stand up straight at your desk and roll your shoulders back and down. Please take a deep breath and then bring your left arm up across your chest and hold it with your right hand on the exhale. Feel the stretch in upper body and then repeat on the opposite side.
12. Standing Desk Exercise Walking (Best Exercise To Get Moving)
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do at your standing desk. While you may be standing, walking is still a great way to get your heart rate up and burn some calories. This is also a good opportunity to get some fresh air and take a break from work.
13. Abdominal Curls (Best Abdominal Exercises)
A great way to improve your posture and strengthen your core is to perform abdominal curls also known as standing crunches. To perform this exercise, stand in front of your standing desk and place both hands on the edge. As you inhale, curl your torso towards the desk, hold for a few seconds, and then slowly lower your body as you exhale. Aim for 10-15 reps for best results.
14. Standing Calf Stretch (Best Exercise To Stretch Your Calves)
This stretch is excellent for targeting lower body tension as well as stretching your calves. Stand with both hands on the edge of an height adjustable desk to do it. Next, raise one leg off the ground, taking two counts when going up and two counts when coming down. For more intensity, repeat 15-25 times for each leg, either at the same time or alternating legs.
15. Standing Twist / Back Stretch (Best Exercise To Stretch Your Lower Back)
Standing Twist/Back Stretch is one of the best ways to stretch your lower back. You only have to stand at the edge of your desk with your feet hip-width apart and twist your body in a twisting motion. Hold for 15-30 seconds, and repeat.
16. Side Stretch (Best Exercise To Stretch Your Obliques)
Side Stretch strengthens your obliques, the muscles on the side of your abdomen. As the name implies, stand at the edge of your desk and reach your arms over your head. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds, then repeat the exercise on the opposite side.
17. Standing Abs workout
Standing abs workout involves core stability exercises that target the abdominal muscles. To do the standing abs workout, begin by standing shoulder-width apart with your arms bent. As you bend your torso to the right side, bring your right knee toward your elbow. Remember to avoid twisting your hips and shoulders as you move. Reverse the movement and return to the start.
18. Shoulder rolls
Shoulder rolls are another great exercise to do at your standing desk. Do shoulder rolls every few minutes to help you avoid neck and shoulder strain. To do the shoulder rolls, stand up straight with your arms at your sides and roll your shoulders back, then up, forward, and down in one fluid motion. Repeat several times to release tension in your neck and shoulders.
19. Hip Flexor Stretch (Best Exercise To Stretch Your Hips)
The Hip Flexor Stretch is an excellent exercise to stretch your hips. Just stand in front of your adjustable desk with either right or left foot slightly forward and the other back. Then bend your rear knee, feeling the stretch in your hip flexors. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.
Video Recommendations: Best Exercises to do at Your Standing Desk
Overall, standing desks can be an effective way to get your body moving and burn calories while working. Doing standing desk exercises such as squats, calf raises, hip flexor stretches, chest stretches, and shoulder rolls can help you lose weight while using a standing desk.
Plus, it is vital to ensure that you regularly take breaks and stay hydrated. Incorporating these exercises into your daily routine while using a standing desk can improve your overall health and work productivity.
Frequently Asked Question
Can you lose weight standing at your desk?
Yes, you can lose weight while standing at your desk. You can do various exercises and stretches to burn calories and strengthen your core muscles, such as abdominal curls, calf stretches, chest stretches, and shoulder rolls. Plus, by reducing the amount of time you are sitting each day, you can reduce your risk of weight gain and improve overall health.
How many calories are burnt while working at a standing desk?
According to the Circulation study, standing rather than sitting at a desk for fifteen minutes burns an average of two extra calories. So doing this eight hours per day could potentially burn 64 extra calories in a workday.
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