Desk-jockey fitness

Who needs the gym when you can train in the office? Boost performance and aid recovery with this guide to work-based workouts – just be sure the boss isn’t looking…


More after the break

“Assume a press-up position, but place your feet on your chair,” instructs Michael Watts, head of performance at Aston Villa. “Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows, until your chest nearly touches the floor. Hold the position, then powerfully push yourself back up. Perform 12 push-ups, rest for 60 seconds and repeat 3-4 times.” Hopefully the cleaners will have been in the night before.



“You can even do squats at your desk,” insists Watts. “Slowly lower yourself down, then as you brush the seat with your backside, stand up again. Do this 25 times, rest for 60 seconds in between sets and repeat. Do this 3-4 times to condition those all-important leg and bum muscles.” To avoid ridicule from colleagues, maybe get the whole office involved in a Mexican wave.




Watts’ next instruction: “Take off your shoes and slowly roll the soles of your feet over a tennis or cricket ball – hold the sensitive points for 30 seconds. This will relieve tension and look after the tissue that surrounds the muscles in your feet.” This is a top exercise, but you might want to warn your work colleagues first about the resulting pong.




“Stand up and put your right leg behind you, resting your forefoot on the seat,” says Watts. “Make sure your standing foot is not too close to the chair. Slowly lower yourself down to the floor and drive up again. If your front knee pushes over your toes you’re standing too close to the chair.” And for goodness’ sake, only do this if your chair doesn’t have wheels.




“This is a great core exercise,” beams Watts. “Put your forearms on the front of your chair (again, one without wheels), with your feet on the floor. You should have a straight line from your heels to the back of your head as you perform a plank. Hold for 30 seconds, then rest for 30. Do this three or four more times.” The downside? Your colleagues may think you’ve well and truly cracked.

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