A 10-minute workout for the office

Fitness trainer Nana Al Haleq shows us how to make full use of our little free time to improve our health

By Verinia Khoo | Published: 18 Dec 2017

Video: ELLE Malaysia

We admit it; we're guilty of typing away on our computers, slouching at our desks for hours at a time. It's bad, we know. Sweating it all out at the gym won't make up for the unhealthy amount of hours spent at our desks and on coffee alone isn't a great way to keep energised.

But how can we maintain a healthy lifestyle, good posture and still keep to our deadlines? What if 10 minutes at our desks is all the free time we have? Fitness trainer Nana Al Haleq suggests we do more stretches. "You should perform them every one to two hours," she said. She also recommends yoga as it will improve posture and loosen up tight muscles.

Nana also showed us how to put those 10 precious minutes to good use. Ideally, three minutes for warm ups and cool down is enough, says Nana. Make sure to stretch your arms and legs thoroughly. With six easy types of exercise, you'll be able to re-energise your body and work up a sweat without even leaving your desk.

Exercise #1 – Desk push ups to mountain climb, 50 seconds rep, 10 seconds rest
1. Place both palms on the desk slightly wider than shoulder width then lean forward, making sure your chest touches the edge of the desk.
2. Engage your core, straighten your back and legs.
3. Bring one leg towards your chest, return it then lower your body to the desk for a push up.
4. Repeat with the other leg before putting both feet on the ground like at starting position.

Exercise #2 – Desk triceps dips to opposite toe touch, 50 seconds rep, 10 seconds rest
1. With your back facing your desk, place your palms at the edge shoulder width apart.
2. Bend your elbows, lowering your body into a sitting position.
3. Straighten your arms, bringing your body back up to starting position.
4. Raise your left leg and touch your knee with your right elbow.
5. Repeat the movement for the opposite leg and arm.

Exercise #3 – Assisted reverse lunge, 50 seconds rep, 10 seconds rest
1. Place both palms at the edge of the desk.
2. Do a reverse lunge with one leg, keeping your butt parallel to your knee.
3. Make sure all the weight is placed on the heel of the opposite leg.
4. Repeat movement with the opposite leg.

Exercise #4 – Overhead seated squats with calve squeeze, 50 seconds rep, 10 seconds rest
1. Sit on your chair, place your feet slightly wider than your hips with your feet angled at 90 degrees.
2. Raise both arms up, embrace your core and keep your back straight.
3. Stand up and do squeeze in your butt cheeks.
4. Sit back down still with both arms raised and lift your heels to a tiptoe position.
5. Squeeze both calves and bring your heels back down.

#Exercise 5 – Seated leg extension, 50 seconds rep, 10 seconds rest
1. While seated, lift one leg up and squeeze your quads for a second before bringing your leg back down.
2. Repeat movement for the other leg.

#Exercise 6 – Torso rotation with punch, 50 seconds rep, 10 seconds rest
1. Seated, bring both arms in front of you, keep both elbows bent to 90 degrees with your hands in fists.
2. Brace your core and rotate your body to the right.
3. Throw a punch using the left arm while keeping your core engaged.
4. Do the same with the right arm.

Related: How I do it: Nana Al Haleq
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