It’s finally time to address the centre of your body in this third set of exercises designed for desk-sitting professionals. The main focus of this series has been strengthening the muscles that hold a proper posture while sitting at a desk – something that is difficult to concentrate on when you have important stuff to do! Incorporate our upper body and lower body circuits for maximum strengthening results.
Poor core strength is often disguised as lower back pain, and you’ll find that the treatment for such pain is often a prescribed set of core exercises. In this third and final circuit, Personal Trainer Tina Ahmadi takes you through the exercises that will keep your core strong and stable, so that you can focus more on your professional life, and less on the aches and pains that accompany a sedentary work environment. Disclaimer: Neither Tina nor I, are medical professionals so we make no medical claims in this article.
” These circuits are designed to keep the body strong and functional so that sitting at a desk doesn’t become painful. Take only a short 20-30 second rest between each exercise and a 1-2 minute break before repeating the full circuit again. Aim to repeat each circuit for 3 rounds (4 if you’re up for a challenge!), or do one round of each circuit (lower, upper, and core) for a full-body blast. Doing this several times per week will help relieve desk-sitting pains and improve quality of life in general.” – Tina Ahmadi, @tonedwithtina
This core workout is designed to strengthen your centre so that you can more easily maintain good posture throughout your workday. A sturdy core reduces lower back pain, especially when you’re cross-training with exercises such as those included in this series’ upper and lower body circuits.
1. Forearm Plank x 30-45 Seconds
Lie face down with your elbows placed directly underneath your shoulders. Lift your hips so that your body is horizontal to the floor. Hold the position isometrically while maintaining a straight line from your heels through to your shoulders.
2. Right Side Plank x 20-30 Seconds
Lie on your right side with your right elbow directly underneath your right shoulder. Extend and stack your legs on top of one another and lift your hips into an isometric hold while maintaining a straight line from your heels through to your shoulders.
3. Left Side Plank x 20-30 Seconds
Same as above, this time on your left side!
4. Russian Twist x 20 Reps (10 per side)
Sit facing forward with your knees slightly bent and your arms parallel to the floor. Use your abdominals to twist gently to the right, back to center, then gently to the left and repeat.
5. Dead Bug x 20 Reps (10 per leg)
Lie on your back, arms down at your sides, and both knees bent in the air at a 90° angle. Keeping the right arm and left leg in this position, slowly extend the left arm back over the head while simultaneously extending the right leg down. Switch and repeat.
6. Bird Dog x 8 Reps (per side, slow and controlled)
Begin on all fours in tabletop position and raise your right arm and left leg into the air. Keep your shoulders and hips parallel to the floor and hold for a few seconds. Now, slightly round your back and tuck your chin to bring your right arm and left leg back towards the center. Squeeze in position and then repeat on the other side.
The hard work is done! Now, you can relax as you release any lingering abdominal tension through a yoga-inspired core cool-down Three recommended postures are:
- A gentle cat-cow flow,
- Baby cobra or an up-dog posture, and
- A child’s pose side-body stretch.
This core-crushing workout is the third, and final circuit in the workout series for people who work at a desk for long periods of time. The full series includes:
- The Upper Body Workout Circuit for Desk-Sitting Professionals
- The Lower Body Workout for Work-from-Home Warriors
- The Core Workout for Posture Correction
Hone in on one area by completing one circuit 3-4 times as fast as you can, OR blast through the upper body, lower body, and core circuit for a full-body burn!