08 July, 2011
AB Exercises for the Office
Sitting for close to eight hours in a chair doesn't have to turn you into a soft slouch. With a few simple exercises, you can utilize your days sitting in the office strengthening and building your abdominal muscles. Whether you have access to privacy or must sneak in your ab workouts without the boss noticing, you can fit a number of ab exercises in your regular workday.
The abdominal muscles can be controlled and worked without anyone noticing. Sit up straight on the edge of your chair and inhale deeply through your nose. Tighten up your abs as you pull in the air. Hold for a count of 10 or so and release the air through your mouth. Do this 10 to 15 times often throughout the day. Not only will you be exercising your abs, you also can use the breathing technique to reduce stress and increase circulation to your brain. The same abdominal breathing technique can be done while standing. Do it while you're waiting for copies or standing at your desk.
If you've got a private office or you don't mind your co-workers seeing you lie on the floor, get down and do 10 crunches every hour. Remain at your seat if it's not possible to get down on the floor. Extend your arms straight out in front of you and twist your body as far to one side as you can without moving your hips or legs. Slowly rotate your arms from side to side, keeping your back straight. Turn your head and neck in synch with your torso to apply the most pressure to your core. Repeat 10 times a few times during the day. Raise your arms straight up above your head while sitting and bend as far as you can to one side, contracting your abs as you bend. Breathe out and straighten up and then bend to the other side.
A new favorite for fitness enthusiasts looking to stay fit while at the office is to use a stability ball instead of a char. Find a ball that can inflate to the height you need to maintain the proper ergonomic reach to your keyboard and desk, or invest in one of the new exercise ball chair models that incorporates the ball into the seat. You must utilize your abdominal muscles and your entire core to remain balanced on the ball and not fall over. In addition, you gain balance and stability that can help to strengthen your back. While the ab workout may be low intensity, trainers at Gearfire report that hours build up and the low-intensity workouts lead to high-intensity ab strength.
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