How to Work Out at Your Desk

Here’s how to make your full day at the office flab-free.

Ladies and gentlemen, ‘deskercise’ is a real thing and you should all be taking part.

Most of us can agree that an average workday consists of being shackled to a desk for 8 to 10 hours, with most excuse for movement confined to walking to and from the kitchen to snag your third donut of the day. Sure, finding time to work out at the gym with a demanding job isn’t always feasible, but that doesn’t mean you should cut off all ties with your good friend Cardio. This isn’t a promise that you’ll be 10-mile marathon ready by the time the clock strikes 6PM, but if you ever wanted an excuse to get your blood pumping right in the confines of your cubicle, you better listen up (and sit up straight, goddamnit). 

Fitness expert and personal trainer Don Saladino of Drive495 (the guy who trains Ryan Reynolds and Sebastian Stan, among others) shared his expert tips on how to warm up and work out in the office as a surefire way to get you feeling healthier and happier. By following his guidelines and expertise, you’ll be impressing that cute girl from HR in no time. 

Before you begin your desk workouts, warm up with these exercises: 

1. Neck circles standing (3 circles in each direction) 

2. Neck side to side (3 in each direction) 

3. Neck chin to chest and chin to ceiling (3 reps in each direction)

4. Arm circles (3 forward slow + 3 back slow) 

5. Hip circles (3 circles right leg in both directions + 3 circles left leg in both directions)

The purpose of these are to go to maximum range in each joint. This warm-up is extremely important to regain all the flexibility and length lost by sitting at your desk. You can do this section as frequently as needed thought the day.

One valuable trick is to never sit more than 30 minutes throughout the day. Set your timer or alarm and make sure you walk around a little once it goes off. For those of you who can’t do this, I recommend purchasing a standing desk. Make sure you stand with good posture and don’t hunch or shift!  


Aug 24, 2015 at 4:55am PDT

Now, it’s time to move on to your workout with 2-3 repetitions:

1. Do some deep squats while holding the desk for support. Get low and deep. Holding the desk will allow you to sink into your hips while keeping a flat spine. (20 reps)

2. Next, do push-ups with your hands on the desk. This will be an easier variation than a standard push-up. Make sure to squeeze your glutes, which will help turn this exercise into a core movement. (20 reps)

3. Move on to bench dips. You won’t have a bench, so substitute that for your chair. (20 reps)

4. End with plank touches, with your hands on the desk just like the push-up. While maintaining a perfect plank, tap your left shoulder with you right hand. Proceed to go back to the starting position and switch hands and shoulders. (10 reps each arm)

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

Photos by Getty Images