Recently, Bustle asked us what are the best workouts when you’re sitting at your desk all day? So we came up with a list of the perfect exercises to do to improve back and core strength as well as burn major calories.
Here’s some excellent workouts you can do after sitting all day:
- High Intensity Workouts – If you’ve been sitting all day, you have been burning just the minimal amount of calories (whatever your basal metabolic rate is) and your metabolism isn’t working very efficiently. Speed it up by getting your heart rate up and make up for all the missing burned calories with just 30 – 45 minutes of HIIT. This type of workout will give you the biggest “Bang for your buck” energetically speaking and is great if you have a particularly busy schedule. Try doing one of these free workouts.
- Go for a Run – Running is a great workout no matter what you do. But if you’ve been sitting all day, it’s particularly beneficial since it will work your entire body and get your heart rate elevated. Running has many meditative and stress-relieving benefits as well, which could be very helpful after a long day at work. Just make sure you warm up before going too fast because some of the most important muscles for running – glutes, hamstrings, hips are the ones that get tight from sitting all day. Warm them up, run, and then remember to stretch afterwards.
- Dynamic Stretching – Dynamic stretching is a great series of exercises to do after a long day of sitting. Dynamic stretching is a way to stretch your body while moving (not sitting or standing in a stationary position.) This helps to loosen and warm up your muscles and tendons for the workout ahead since they will be very tight from sitting. This is a great way to ease into any workout you choose to do afterwards.
- Track Workouts – Instead of running at a set pace for a few miles or a given amount of time, try doing workouts on a track instead. Track workouts will work your speed while distance or timed runs are more about endurance. You can make these sprinting workouts on the track super intense and get the same benefits as HIIT workouts (listed above) in just 20 minutes of work. So if you’re super busy, but you want to make up for sitting all day and boost your metabolism, these could be a great go-to.
- Pilates – Pilates is a great workout to do after you’ve been sitting all day because it will strengthen and tone your muscles in a safe and low-intensity way. Pilates will help you improve your posture and strengthen your core muscles which should help prevent back pain that is all too common from sitting. Interspersing these moves with a run or more high intensity moves will give you a combined cardio and strength workout as well.
Jon Pearlman is a former standout tennis player at Harvard, ATP-ranked touring pro, and author of The Lean Body Manual. He founded Mission Lean to share his unique formula for lean body fitness and nutrition, an approach that took over a decade to develop and perfect. He is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist.