Sitting all day at your desk makes your body stiff and inflexible. And if you do not hold the right seating posture, it could also lead to aches and pains in the neck, shoulders, and back. Here’s a quick circuit consisting of 6 simple exercises you can do at home or at your gym to give your body a good flex.
1. Dead Bug
This exercise focuses on the core muscles and the floor support helps you stay in proper alignment.
Lie on your back with your arms at shoulder level raised toward the ceiling. Bring your legs up into tabletop position (knees bent 90 degrees and stacked over your hips).
Slowly extend your right leg out straight, while simultaneously dropping your left arm overhead. Keep both a few inches from the ground. Bring your arm and leg back to the starting position.
Repeat on the other side, extending your left leg and your right arm. That’s one rep. Continue alternating for 20 reps total.
Here you’re working the full body, especially the core muscles. It’s important to not round your back and have good pelvic alignment.
Get on all fours with your toes on the ground shoulder-width apart. Place your forearms flat on the floor in front of you with your elbows directly below your shoulders.
Keep your core tight so your body is in a straight line from head to toe. Squeeze your thighs and butt.
Keep your neck and spine in a comfortable, neutral position. Hold for 30 seconds.
3. Single-Leg Bridges
This exercise helps engage the glutes plus the core and hamstrings. Keep your movements slow and controlled.
Lie flat on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor about a foot or so away from your butt. Rest your arms at your sides on the floor.
Lift your right leg in the air toward the ceiling, keeping your foot flexed. Push through your left foot to lift your glutes, hips, and back off the ground.
Slowly lower back down, keeping your right leg in the air. Repeat for 12 reps, then switch legs.
4. Kettlebell Deadlifts
The major muscles that get engaged during this exercise are glutes, hamstrings, core, lats, and traps. Strengthening these posterior muscles helps to reverse the poor posture.
Stand with a kettlebell on the floor between your legs. Keeping your back flat the entire time, hinge at your hips to push your butt back and bend slightly at the knees to pick up the kettlebell.
Straighten your legs as you pull the kettlebell up to hip level, locking your hips out at the top.
Slowly lower the kettlebell back down to tap the floor, reversing the hip-hinge movement you used to pick up the kettlebell, then immediately repeat. Perform 15 reps.
5. Bent-Over Row
This exercise works on your back and shoulder muscles including the rhomboids, traps, lats, and rear deltoids.
Hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and hinge slightly at your hips so that your torso is leaning forward.
Keeping your body in this position, row the dumbbell up to chest level, keeping your elbow toward your side.
In a controlled motion, lower the dumbbell back down to the starting position. Repeat for 15 reps, then switch arms.
6. Goblet Squats
This exercise targets your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core muscles. It’s great to loosen up tight hips and increase the range of hip motion.
Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Holding a kettlebell with both hands at your chest (you can also use a dumbbell).
Bend at your knees and hips to lower your butt toward the ground, as if you’re sitting in a chair.
Go as low as you can, then push through heels to stand back up. Make sure your knees don’t go past your ankles. Repeat for 15 reps.