A poll conducted in 2014 by a company called Gallup, a global leader in workforce analytics and services, revealed that the average number of hours worked today by full-time employees is actually longer than the standard 40-hours. In fact, their poll shows that the average workweek in the U.S is closer to 47-hours!
Working overtime is great for your personal bottom-line, however it doesn’t leave much room for other important areas of your life – like maintaining your health and working out. So, what is an over-worked employee supposed to do in order to achieve “dream abs?” Try some of the following supplemental ab exercises that you can do even while you’re on the clock.
When you hear the word “crunches,” your mind typically thinks of laying on the floor to perform this abdominal exercise. However, you can modify it so that you can do them while sitting at your desk. To do this, begin by sitting straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Then, position your hands as you would to perform crunches on the floor by placing them on the sides of your head, then curl downward while squeezing your abdominal muscles. Raise back up and repeat.
This technique can be done anywhere in your office – even while sitting in a boring board meeting! While sitting straight up in your chair, squeeze your abdominal muscles as hard as you can, and hold this position for a few seconds. Rest, then repeat.
Similar to the sitting crunches, this exercise will work all of your core ab muscles except your obliques. To begin, sit on the edge of your seat, leaning back so that your upper back is touching the chair back and your tailbone is tucked under you. You can hold the chair arms to help support you. Then, with your legs closed, bring your knees up and your chin parallel with the floor. Performing this step correctly, your body shape should resemble an open suitcase. Hold this position for a few seconds, then bring your knees and chest together. Continue opening and closing your “suitcase” 10 to 20 times. If you begin to notice your back arch, take a break. This is your body telling you that you’ve had enough for now.
This exercise is a great cardiovascular exercise, but it can also help to improve and strengthen your core muscles. Sit on the edge of your seat and rest your arms on the chair arms to help support your upper body. Then, contract your ab muscles while bringing each knee up and near your chest – similar to how you would ride a bicycle. Cycle each leg approximately 20 times, then rest and repeat.
This is a great exercise to focus on your oblique muscles. Begin by sitting straight up at the edge of your chair. Hold a bottle of water with both hands in front of your chest and bend your arms at the elbow while tightening your abdominal muscles. Slowly twist to one side as far as possible. Return to center and repeat with the opposite side. Repeat these steps, alternating from side to side, for approximately 8-10 repetitions per side.
If you’re dreaming about having those 6-pack abs, but feel it’s merely just a dream because you work too much, try some of these quick and painless ab exercises while sitting at your desk. They are designed to help you strengthen your core muscles, which in turn, will help improve your posture, reduce your risk of developing certain diseases, and improve your circulation and overall health.