Fitness & Training, Cardiovascular fitness

Cardio: How about a workout in the office?

Would you like to get back into exercising but you don’t have enough time? Use your time at work to work out. From discreet workouts on your office chair and a special cardio training session during lunch break to a few simple tips for getting more exercise every day, here’s a great way to bring exercise to the office.

Doing exercises at the office without moving from your chair

Many exercises can be done discreetly without even moving from your desk, using a simple office chair:

  • Work on the thighs by raising the legs horizontally and keeping them stretched for a few seconds.
  • Simply lift your feet a few inches high by keeping your legs bent at 90 degrees and placing your hands on the edges of your chair, then stretch your thighs and abs without getting noticed by your work colleagues.
  • Use a small 1-litre bottle of water as a dumbbell to work on your biceps between meetings.
  • Do small strength-building exercises by sitting on the edge of your chair with your back straight and contracting the abs for 10 seconds at a time.
  • With your feet firmly on the ground, sculpt your buttocks by contracting one buttock, then the other one alternately for 10 seconds each time.

You can complete your office exercise routine by stretching before every break time, and regularly if you’re sitting at your desk for long periods of time.

The stairs: your cardio asset at the office

If you are lucky enough to work upstairs, take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can to improve your fitness. The smallest movement during the day counts to fight against inactivity. Stairs are a great asset for working on your cardio. You can vary the exercises by taking the opportunity to turn the stairs into a piece of real fitness equipment:

  • Dynamic Stair Climbing: This is the classic way of climbing the stairs in a more rhythmic version to increase your heart rate.. This exercise can be performed easily and discreetly throughout the day. It is also ideal as a warm-up before a cardio workout at the office. Be careful when descending and perform each movement slowly.
  • You can also perform walking lunges on the stairs to work the buttocks and thighs. Climb 2 to 3 steps at a time, using your heels to push yourself up the stairs and work the gluteal muscles. The leg that remains behind should be well stretched. The exercise should be performed while climbing, at low speed with a moderate and regular rhythm.
  • Want to blow off steam? Opt for a mini sprint by running up and down the stairs and taking two-steps at once at a higher speed. Keep your back straight, even leaning forward a little on the way up and breathe deeply.

To optimise your workout at the office,, make the most all your free time to move around throughout the day: do a sprint, go up and down the stairs before picking up your documents, tiptoe 10 or 20 times while waiting your turn in front of the coffee machine, etc. 

5 cardio exercises to do at the office

You can also use your early morning, late evening or lunchtime at the office to do real cardio training sessions. Pack a change of clothes and comfortable shoes and use the furniture in your workspace to create your own cardio workout, alternating different bodyweight exercises that are quick and easy to do anywhere:

  • Squats: with your feet and shoulder-width apart, crouch with arms stretched forward, keeping your back straight.
  • The dips office desk version is done with a chair: with the arms placed behind you on the edge of the seat, stretch your legs and bend your arms to stretch your triceps.
  • Pumps: you can perform them directly from your desk.
  • Burpees: if you have enough space on the floor, try this 3 in 1 movement by bending the legs, sheathing in the push-up position and doing a dynamic jump to return to the vertical position.
  • Jumping Jack: perform jumps on the spot by spreading your arms and legs.

These exercises are perfectly suitable for moderate HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts. You can do 3 rounds of 15 repetitions for each exercise, varying the difficulty of the sessions and the number of the rounds depending on your level and the time you have to work out at the office.

Check out our Fitness & Training page for more advice.