Although, people nowadays are more inclined towards physical activity to lower the risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc. many people spend a large part of their day sedentary or sitting at their desk in their office. But this should not stop you from executing some simple exercises that can activate muscles and improve functional movement. Following are 8 basic exercises that you can do easily while sitting down:
- Isometric Leg Extensions
Strong legs are important as they carry our body weight. This exercise focuses mainly on the quadriceps.
How to do it: sit on a chair with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Raise your right leg straight while keeping the left leg at a 90 degrees angle. Hold the extended leg for at least 10 seconds. Lower the leg until it is parallel to the left leg. Repeat for 10 reps on each side.
- Isometric Biceps Curls
Strengthening our biceps can help us lift heavier objects much easier. This exercise works the biceps making them stronger and firmer.
How to do it: Begin with both arms at your sides. Bend your arms at the elbows, bringing the hand towards your shoulder. Squeeze the biceps at the top of the movement and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat for 10 reps. You can move both arms at the same time or alternate them.
- Scapular Retractions
Many people sit on a chair with their shoulders slouched instead of sitting upright with their shoulders slightly pulled back. This exercise focuses on the rhomboids, retracts the scapula thus preventing you from rounding your shoulders. This exercise also helps to improve your posture.
How to do it: begin with the arms extended forward and parallel to the floor. Now pull the arms back and squeeze the shoulder blades. Hold for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat 10 times.
- Isometric Adductor Hold
Adductors are muscles that are activated during leg exercises such as lunges, deadlifts, and squats. They are important for overall leg strength and for hip flexion and extension.
How to do it: plant your feet on the floor with a stability ball placed between your legs. Squeeze the legs together as close as you can and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
- Pelvic Tilt
This exercise engages the abdominal muscles while relieving the pressure from the lower back.
How to do it: sit with your back straight and hands on your knees. Now rotate your pelvis and tuck it under thus engaging the abdominal muscles and relieving the tension in your lower back. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then tilt your pelvis forward. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Weighted Calf Raises
Calf muscles are the most neglected muscles of our body. In this exercise you can keep the feet in three different positions – toes turned in, toes turned out, or toes forward to completely engage the calf muscles.
How to do it: cross your arms and place your elbows on your knees. Now lift your heels while contracting your calf muscles. Repeat after holding for 3 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
- Oblique Twists
This exercise is more effective in getting rid of muffin top. It focuses on the side abdominal muscles or obliques helping you to get a strong and firm core.
How to do it: squeeze your belly button into the spine, engage the abdominal muscles, and cross and raise your arms in front of you. Rotate your waist from right to left. This makes one repetition. Repeat at least 20 times to make those abdominal muscles work.
- Arm circles
This exercise focuses on the shoulder muscles and improves the posture.
How to do it: raise your arms in line with the shoulders making a T shape. With your palms down rotate your arms in 20 forward circles. Now turn your palms up and rotate your hands in 20 backward circles. Repeat 3 times.