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Printable 15-Minute Desk Workout

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This is the printable version of our 15-Minute Desk Workout Video. We recommend that you watch the video (and read its supporting text) before trying this abbreviated version.

Wall Squats
 

15 reps

 

 

Lean your back against a sturdy wall, with your feet planted 1-2 feet in front of you. Bend the knees to squat down and straighten them to push back up.

 

 

Keep the abs engaged, your back straight, and your weight in your heels. Make sure your knees don't go past your toes. 

 

 

Exhale as you stand back up and inhale as you lower down.

 

 












Wall Lunges
 
15 reps

 

 

Step forward with your right leg, placing your left heel up on the wall and the ball of the left foot on the floor. Face forward and bend the knees to lunge straight down, then push back up.

 

 

Don't learn forward. Try to balance your weight evenly between both feet, and keep your toes pointed forward.

 

 

Exhale as you push back up and inhale as you lower down.

 

 

Repeat on opposite leg before moving on to the next exercise.

 

 










Calf Raises
 
15 reps

 

 

Stand tall with feet wider than the hips and toes turned outward.  Hold onto the wall for support. Raise your heels up away from the floor and slowly lower them back down.

 

 

Exhale as you lift your heels and inhale as you lower down.

 

 











Wall Pushups
 
15 reps

 

 

Place your toes 2-3 feet away from the wall and you hands shoulder-width on the wall in front of you. Keeping the body in a straight line, bend the elbows to lower your body towards the wall and extend them to push back up.

 

 

Keep abs engaged and the body straight—don't lean forward with just your chest.

 

 

Exhale as you push back up and inhale as you lower towards the wall.

 

 













Close-Arm Wall Pushups
 
15 reps

 

 

Place your toes 2-3 feet away from the wall and you hands close together in a triangle shape (thumbs and pointer fingers together).  Keeping the body in a straight line, bend the elbows to lower your body towards the wall and extend them to push back up.

 

 

Keep abs engaged and the body straight—don't lean forward with just your chest.

 

 

Exhale as you push back up and inhale as you lower towards the wall.

 

 












Triceps Dips with Chair
 
15 reps

 

 

Sit at the edge of a sturdy chair and take an overhand grip of the chair's edge, straightening the arms and lifting your body off the chair and placing the feet flat on the ground. Bend the elbows to lower your body down towards the floor and straighten the arms to come back up.

 

 

Point your elbows back behind you—not out to the sides.  Make it harder by straightening the legs more (placing your feet further away from the chair).

 

 

Exhale as you straighten the arms and push up and inhale as you bend the arms and lower down.

 

 










Seated Hip Flexor & Extension
 
15 reps

 

 

Sit tall on your chair, feet flat on the floor, hands grasping the sides of the chair, facing forward. Lift your right knee up (so your thigh is raised off of the chair) and extend your leg, toes pointing towards the ceiling. Bend at the knee and lower the thigh back down to complete one rep.

 

 

Exhale as you lift and extend your leg and inhale as you bend and lower your leg.

 

 

Repeat all reps on the right leg and then do this exercise on your left side.

 

 




























Seated Knee Lifts

15 reps

 

 

Sit at the front edge of your chair, hands grasping the sides of the chair. Keeping the spine straight, lean back until you feel your abs engage. Keeping the knees bent and legs together, lift your knees up towards your chest and slowly lower them back down.

 

 

Make sure you're not leaning into your chair back. Keep your abs pulled in tight and your torso still.

 

 

Exhale as you lift the legs up and inhale as you lower them down.

 

 










Seated Side Bends
 
12 reps

 

 

Sit tall on your chair, feet flat on the floor, without leaning into your chair back. Engage the abs and place your hands next to your ears, elbows bent. Moving from the waist, bend down to the right, bring it back up, and then bend down to the left, focusing on the obliques on the sides of the waist.

 

 

Keep your head and neck in line with the spine.

 

 

Exhale as you sit back up and inhale as you bend to the side.

 

 









Shoulder Roll Stretch
 
4 reps

 

 

Sit tall on your chair, feet flat on the floor, without leaning into your chair back. Engage the abs and roll (circle) your shoulders forward.

 

 

Breathe deeply.

 

 

Repeat shoulder circles in opposite direction (rolling shoulders back) before moving to next stretch.

 

 











Shoulder Stretch
 
Hold for 10-30 seconds

 

 

Sit tall on your chair, feet flat on the floor, without leaning into your chair back. Engage the abs and bring your left arm across your chest, holding it below the elbow.

 

 

Keep the shoulders relaxed down and away from your ears.

 

 

Breathe deeply. Repeat on opposite side.

 

 

Overhead Triceps Stretch
 
Hold for 10-30 seconds

 

 

Sit tall on your chair, feet flat on the floor, without leaning into your chair back. Engage the abs and bring your left arm overhead, placing the palm on the center of your back and supporting the elbow in your right hand.

 

 

Breathe deeply. Repeat on opposite side.

 

 

Upper Back Stretch
 
Hold for 10-30 seconds

 

 

Sit tall on your chair, feet flat on the floor, without leaning into your chair back. Engage the abs and extend your arms up toward the ceiling.  As you squeeze your shoulder blades together, pull the elbows down and back. 

 

 

Hold the stretch and breathe deeply. Repeat one more time.

 

 












Neck & Chest Stretch
 
Hold for 10-30 seconds

 

 

Sit tall on your chair, feet flat on the floor, without leaning into your chair back. Lace your fingers behind your back, straightening the arms the best you can and opening up the chest.  Relax your chin down towards your chest. 

 

 

Breathe deeply.

 

 

Spine Stretch
 
Hold for 10-30 seconds

 

 

Sit tall on your chair, feet flat on the floor, without leaning into your chair back. Lace your fingers in front of you, scoop your abs in and round your spine back, keeping the shoulders relaxed down.

 

 

Breathe deeply.

 

 

Neck Stretches
 
Hold each for 10-30 seconds.

 

 

Sit tall on your chair, feet flat on the floor, without leaning into your chair back.  Relax your chin down towards your chest and hold.

 

 

Lift chin up towards the ceiling and hold. 

 

 

Bring head forward and tilt right ear towards right shoulder and hold.

 

 

Bring head up and tilt to the opposite (left) side and hold.

 

 

Breathe deeply throughout your stretches.

 

 



















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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
Nicole was named "America's Top Personal Trainer to Watch" in 2011. A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, she loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Her DVDs "Total Body Sculpting" and "28 Day Boot Camp" (a best seller) are available online and in stores nationwide. Read Nicole's full bio and blog posts.

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Member Comments

  • This is my new workout for my breaks - 4/3/2014 8:23:00 PM
  • This is my new workout for my breaks - 4/3/2014 8:22:33 PM
  • SUSANHAW
    To print, use the "print" button at the bottom of the menu on the left side where it says Share. - 3/13/2014 11:54:36 AM
  • Cool, though I don't have any walls. - 12/26/2013 10:52:47 PM
  • What are alternatives for those of us stuck in heels and skirts/dresses all day at our desks? - 12/20/2013 12:42:23 PM
  • this is great, only... not so printable? I tried copy-pasting it into a word document, but that messes up the formatting and spreads it out over at least four pages.

    It's not a single image that could be copied or saved to a computer, and I can't find a print button to get a printer-friendly version.

    That leaves using screen shots and MS Paint, but that's a bit tricky and probably not something for every Sparkmember.

    Print button would be a great help! - 11/7/2013 6:04:32 PM
  • VDAVID
    you are right I can squeeze these exercise in between my breaks and lunch thanks - 10/17/2013 9:49:51 PM
  • I don't know anyone who works in a place where any of these that could be done. Everyone I know works in a small cube. Companies are trying to pack more and more employees in smaller and smaller places to save money. They price us at a "per square foot of floor space" basis. - 9/21/2013 11:40:21 PM
  • Thank you for showing how to exercise at a desk. Those who sit all day really do need to exercise to protect their health. - 7/24/2013 9:36:18 AM
  • MYTWOWHEELS
    What is the best way to print this off with out having to cut and paste each page? - 5/23/2013 11:03:14 AM
  • I don't have an available wall, I have a small cube. For the next iteration, can you please do a cube “small office space” workout. Also, any ideas about a desk workout that is more inconspicuous, so I do not bother the other employees around me would be great. Thanks! - 12/12/2012 10:49:48 AM
  • MAYMORRIS1
    I did the exercises and they were easy to do. However, I was worried about getting all hot in my work clothes, but it wasn't bad at all. - 9/6/2012 2:39:43 PM
  • MAYMORRIS1
    I did the exercises and they were easy to do. However, I was worried about getting all hot in my work clothes, but it wasn't bad at all. - 9/6/2012 2:39:23 PM
  • How can I figure out how many calories I have burned with this? - 8/14/2012 1:31:02 PM
  • SANDIBETTS1
    Thank you--these work from home or work. I will share with other staff members. - 6/17/2012 7:25:35 AM
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