Let’s face it: Typing on a keyboard all day is not a great arm workout. But if you’re able to take short breaks during your workday, it is possible to work your biceps or triceps while you’re at work and even at the office. For some of these exercises you’ll need a hand weight or resistance band, but a full water bottle also works.
Try out these at work exercises:
1. Push and pull: While seated at your desk in a rolling chair, grab hold of the desk and slowly push your chair away from the desk, and keep going until you’re looking at the floor and feel a stretch in your back. Then pull slowly back into the desk. Do 15 repetitions.
2. Curls: Bring a hand weight to work and you can work your biceps while reading documents or talking on the phone. Hold the weight (or water bottle, as mentioned above) at your side and then slowly bring it up to your shoulder, keeping your elbow firmly at your side. Do up to 20 reps, then switch sides.
3. Triceps kickbacks: Grab that hand weight or water bottle in one hand, stand next to your desk, and put the leg behind you that’s on the same side of your body as the weight. Lean forward slightly. You can stabilize yourself by holding onto the desk with your other hand. With your upper arm at your side, bring your elbow a few inches behind your waist, and keeping your upper arm as motionless as possible, gently move the weight forward and backward.
4. Push-ups: Push-ups can be done against your desk or on the floor, and are one of the best exercises for working out many muscles in your upper body at once, including your biceps and triceps. Keep your stomach sucked in and your back flat, and push yourself up and down slowly.
5. Dips: This is a great exercise for strengthening the triceps. Get a sturdy, stable chair. Scoot to the front edge of the chair and place your palms on the edge. Using your arms to support yourself, move off the edge of the chair and slowly lower your buttocks about six inches. Then slowly raise yourself back up. Keep your core tight, and make sure your arms are doing the work here, not your legs.
6. Overhead triceps extensions: Grab your hand weight or full water bottle (ideally, a smaller weight than what you used for biceps is better, but use what you have!). Grasp it in one hand and raise that arm over your head. If the weight is too heavy, you can grasp it in both hands at once. Slowly lower the weight to the center of your back, while keeping your elbow firmly locked into place beside your head. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.
7. Resistance band exercises: If you can bring a resistance band with you to work, arm workouts are even easier. For bicep curls: Stand on top of the band with palms facing up and elbows at your sides, and do bicep curls, moving only your lower arm. Squeeze your muscles as you bring your arms up, and move slowly, focusing on good form over completing a large number of repetitions. For triceps kickbacks: Put one foot behind the other, standing on top of the band with your front foot and holding on with one hand. Make sure the band is tight. Lean forward slightly, and do the triceps kickbacks as described above.
Do this workout every other day, and in a few weeks you’ll see the difference — as will your coworkers, who may start asking if they can join in.
About the Author:
Patty Englebaugh founded ErgoStoreOnline.com in 1993. She has 19 years of experience installing ergonomic office furniture and computer accessories that create healthy work environments in home and corporate offices as well as in the healthcare, education, government, and business sectors. Call her today (Mon-Fri 8-6pm EST) for one-on-one support for your ergonomic needs: (877) 971-0151.