Editor’s note: This post was written by Juliet Kaska, celebrity fitness trainer and Vionic Innovation lab member, and published with permission by Skinny Mom. Kaska teamed up with integrative medicine practitioner Dr. Jim Nicolai to launch the ZenFitness30 Method, a 30-minute yoga-, Pilates- and meditation-based workout. Try this workout when you need an energy boost!
Did you know sitting at your desk all day can negatively affect your heart? It’s important to find time to get up from your desk and move throughout the day. Many of these simple movements can be used throughout the day, specifically if you are always sitting at a desk. The first two moves should be done as often as possible throughout your work day, to counterbalance the continuous strain you put on your chest and back extensors by working on a computer all day. These moves will help you to open your chest and the front of your shoulders, reducing the forward slump of the head and shoulders.
1. Wall-slides | multiple times a day: Sit or stand with your back firmly against the wall, using your abs to hold your back into the wall. Set your arms like goal posts against the wall. Slide your arms up against the wall, bringing the fingertips to touch above your head. Return to the goal post position. Try to maintain contact with the back of the arm, writs and hand to the wall through the entire slide. If your entire arm does not make it back to the wall (a sign you spend too much time at the computer) aim to get the elbows back, then gradually work on getting the forearms there as well.
2. Handcuffs | multiple times a day: Interlace your hands together behind your back, bring the wrists together (as if you were in handcuffs). Slide the thumb side of your hands up your back until the elbows are bent and thumbs are at your sacrum. Draw your elbows towards one another. HOLD for 30 seconds. Return the arms back to straight. Repeat 3-5 times.
3. Superwoman | 3-5 reps: Lie face-down with your arms reaching overhead and your palms turned in towards one another. Draw your abs in, and on the inhale lift your arms, head and legs up off the floor. Imagine reaching your head and neck towards the wall in front of you and your legs towards the opposite wall, keeping the body long. Hold for 15 seconds. Exhale to lower. See more here.
4. Skydiver | 3-5 reps: Lie face-down with your arms in goal post position, your knees bent and your abs drawn in. On the inhale lift up your head, chest, arms and knees. Hold for 15 seconds. Exhale to lower. Repeat 3-5 times.
>> Read more: Try This Desk Workout During Your Work Day
5. Butterfly Stretch and Lift Series | 10 reps, 3 sets: Lie on your back, with the souls of your feet together and your knees apart in “butterfly” position. Tuck the pelvis, and keep it tucked throughout exercise.
Place arms out to your side in goal post arms with the palms facing up. Keep a constant and active stretch in your chest and shoulders by drawing your ribs down with your abs, your belly button pulled to your spine and your shoulder blades firmly pressed into the ground, as you work the back of your wrists and hands firmly into to the ground.
With the same intensity, lift the hips up off the ground, while actively pressing the outer thighs towards the ground. Imagine keeping the lower back elongated. Repeat 5 times.
Next: Interlace your hands behind your head. Take 4 counts to lift your head, arms and shoulder blades off the ground. While simultaneously pressing the outer thighs down towards the ground throughout this move.
6. Hip Openers | 10 reps, 3 sets: Lie on your back with a small ball (tennis ball size) or towel between your knees and your feet hip-width apart, and elbows bent to goal post position.
Tuck your pelvis and squeeze the towel from the upper inner thigh, as if you could turn your thigh bones in and down. Lift up your hips halfway. Keep squeezing in and lift up higher without allowing the pelvis to untuck. Lower halfway down. As you lift, you should feel your butt working and your thighs and hip flexors stretching.
7. Plank Dips | 10 reps, 3 sets: Come into a forearm plank, pressing firmly back into your heels and out through the crown of the head. Imagine your torso like a plank of wood, completely stable and strong (no pooching stomachs). Keeping the stability in the torso, tuck the pelvis under and bend the knees, bringing them down to right above your mat. Hover for 5 seconds, then straighten your legs.
Will you start incorporating this workout into your fitness routine? Share your thoughts in the comments below!