Spending all day sitting down, whether you’re working at a desk or just parked on the sofa, can lead to damaging restrictions in movement and mobility.

This workout can prevent common injuries that result from such inaction, and will make your body better prepared for exercise. 

That said, it’s ideal for those with more active lifestyles, too, and makes for the perfect pre-weights warm-up.

The dynamic movements and isometric holds will improve muscle activation and range of motion, increase your heart rate and raise your core temperature.

The Desk-Break Workout

“You can do these moves as a warm-up, but they also work as a quick-fire circuit during a break in your nine-to-five to reverse the negative effects of sitting hunched over your keyboard,” says says PT Luke Chamberlain.

“The exercises work best as a circuit. Do all the exercises in order without rest and complete a minimum of 2 rounds. With each round you should feel and see an improvement in your range of motion, balance and control.”

The Best Workout For People Who Sit Down All Day | Men's Fitness UK

1. Clock Lunge Matrix

Beginner: 5 reps each leg
Intermediate: 5 reps each leg, holding dumbbells by your sides
Advanced: 5 reps each leg, holding kettlebells overhead

  • Stand on one foot and imagine you’re in the middle of a clock face.
  • Place your non-standing foot at 12 o’clock in front of you, then pivot and place it at 6 o’clock, then 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. That completes 1 rep.
  • On the first rep this movement should be a step, but increase the range with every rep until you reach a lunge. Then switch legs.

The Best Workout For People Who Sit Down All Day | Men's Fitness UK

2. Wide Squat Thrust

Beginner: 15 secs
Intermediate: 30 secs
Advanced:45 secs

  • Start in a straight-arm plank position.
  • Jump both feet forwards at the same time to land outside your hands.
  • Drive your hips towards your hands as your feet land, then jump your feet back to the start position.
  • Keep your core braced throughout.

The Best Workout For People Who Sit Down All Day | Men's Fitness UK

3. Lunge Thrust

Beginner: 15 secs
Intermediate: 30 secs
Advanced: 45 secs

  • Start in a straight-arm plank position, then bring one foot forwards until it’s planted outside your hand, driving your hips towards your hands as your foot lands.
  • Return to the start, then bring the other foot forwards.
  • Keep your core braced throughout.

The Best Workout For People Who Sit Down All Day | Men's Fitness UK

4. Thoracic Rotation

Beginner:15 sec hold each side
Intermediate:
 30 sec hold each side
Advanced: 
45 sec hold each side

  • Start in a straight-arm plank position, then bring one foot forwards until it’s planted outside your hand.
  • Take the opposite hand off the floor, open your chest, point and look towards the ceiling.
  • Drive the front knee forwards and away from the body, brace your core and straighten your back leg. 

The Best Workout For People Who Sit Down All Day | Men's Fitness UK

5. Internal Hip Hold

Beginner: 10 sec hold each side
Intermediate: 
20 sec hold each side
Advanced:
 30 sec hold each side

  • Start in a straight-arm plank position.
  • Bring one foot underneath your body and place it outside the opposite leg.
  • Slowly lower your hips towards the floor and hold.
  • The target is to achieve a 90-degree angle with your legs so your hips are close to the floor.
  • Brace your core and relax your shoulders. 

The Best Workout For People Who Sit Down All Day | Men's Fitness UK

6. External Hip Hold

Beginner:10 sec hold each side
Intermediate: 
20 sec hold each side
Advanced:
30 sec hold each side

  • Start in a straight-arm plank position.
  • Bring one foot away from your body.
  • Slowly lower your hips towards the floor and hold.
  • The target is to achieve a 90-degree angle with your legs so your hips are close to the floor.
  • Brace your core and relax your shoulders. 

 

 

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