Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in today’s hurried world is difficult. After a day of being confined to the desk, the energy to commute and get to bed may seem unseen. Achieving any desired goal requires a starting point and taking action with the resources at hand. Sitting at the desk for long hours can lead to a number of adverse physical effects, such as stiffness, repetitive motion injuries, sore glutes, and aching knees. To alleviate such issues, here are 11 easy leg exercises that can be done while at the desk wearing your work apparel and without getting too sweaty.
1. Flex your hips.
To work on strengthening your legs and hips, you can do a hip flexion exercise. Start by sitting down in a chair. Then, lift your left foot a few inches off the ground, ensuring that your knee remains bent at a right angle. Hold this stretch for as long as you can. Then, switch legs and repeat. Do this movement 15-20 times.
2. Raise your toes.
With the toes lifting and the heels firmly on the ground, toe raises are the perfect way to open up the ankles and prevent soreness. This exercise can be done either while seated or standing. It’s the perfect stretch to keep your ankles healthy and happy.
3. Do some lunges.
Get up and move about! Start with some lunges to open and stretch the muscles of your legs. As you take a step forward, sink into the lunge and feel the tension in your muscles. You can also try some variations such as the backward lunge. It’s a great way to exercise your legs without taking up extra space or having to get special equipment. So get your legs moving and challenge yourself!
4. Tone your calf muscles.
Looking to build some muscle in your legs? Try calf raises! Calf raises work to not only strengthen and tone the calf muscles, but also improve balance and ankle stability. To do a calf raise standing up, lean back on a desk or wall for support and rise up onto your toes, keeping all your weight on your toes for a few seconds before coming back down. A seated calf raise can also be done – simply sit and repeat the same motion. Give it a try and see the results!
5. Lift your legs.
Sit up straight in your chair and use the arms for support. Extend one leg away from your body and hold it there for a count of five. Alternate legs and complete 10 repetitions per leg. This exercise will help improve blood circulation and strengthen your leg muscles.
6. Do ankle rotations.
Achieving greater strength and flexibility in your feet is key for reducing the chance of ankle sprains. Rotating your ankles is an easy way to accomplish this. Point your toe forward and move your ankle in a clockwise direction for five seconds. Then go the opposite direction for another five seconds. Repeat for the other foot. Aim for five sets of ten rotations.
7. Do hovering leg raises.
For a different variation of the usual leg raise routine, try the hovering leg raise. Start by sitting up in your chair and raising your legs together so that they are parallel to the ground. Then, lower your legs so that they are just hovering a couple of inches from the floor. Hold this position for as long as you can, before releasing and repeating. This exercise works both the legs and the core.
8. Squeeze your thighs.
You can easily tone and strengthen your thigh muscles while seated at your desk, simply by using a small pliant ball! Keep the ball at your desk for easy access. Put the ball between your knees and squeeze it as hard as you can. Count to five and then slowly release the tension but don’t let the ball drop. Repeat this exercise 15 times for great results.
9. Raise your knees.
Take a seat in a chair and try knee raises to help stretch and strengthen your hip muscles, abs, and thighs. With both knees bent, raise one leg up as close to your chest as possible. Remain in this position for five seconds before slowly releasing the leg. Then do the same with the other leg. This exercise is an effective way to work on those important areas of your body.
10. Use your office chair to do squats.
If your chair has wheels, secure it against a wall so that it can’t move. Position yourself in front of the chair and squat down as if you’re about to sit, stopping before your rear touches the seat. Raise yourself again, and make sure that your knees aren’t in front of your toes as this could create the risk of injury.
11. Tap your feet football-style.
While sitting at your desk, position both feet on the floor in order to work out the muscles. Start rapidly tapping with your feet in place, just like in the football hustle. Tap with your feet for 30 seconds then take a short break before repeating the task for another 30 seconds. Complete this exercise as many times as possible throughout the day.
Get Moving to Feel Great
A sedentary lifestyle carries with it some concerning health risks, such as diabetes, lower back pain, cramps, deformation of muscles, and poor posture. To reduce your risk, it is important to find exercises that work for your lifestyle and daily schedule. Start with whatever is accessible to you and start moving! Every bit of exercise will make a positive difference.