Standing and toning is the genius exercise hack you can do next to your desk in 10 minutes
Working Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, can leave little time for rest and relaxation, and exercising is often the last thing on your mind. Anyone else opting to recline on the sofa with a cup of tea and Netflix series in their lunch break? Same.
Add in working from home, with unfit-for-purpose desks and unsupportive chairs, and I’m sure you can agree your back doesn’t feel as good as it used to.
Too much sitting can actually be detrimental for your health. The Mayo Clinic reported that ‘an analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.’ Eek.
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That’s why we’re all about simple and effective workouts and movement we can do to boost our health at home. Introducing standing and toning, the new wellness trend that you need to know about. “Standing and toning is a great way to workout especially for people who sit at work all day at a desk,” says Zoe Lou Purpuri, trainer at Dalton Wong, Twenty-two training. “Standing exercises help with posture. It’s also a great way to workout if you struggle getting up and down from the floor, maybe if you have back or knee problems.”
We’re used to people telling us to get up and have a walk around every half an hour, but in reality, that can hinder our productivity at work, and the standing desks that once became popular just don’t sound appealing at all! Standing and toning is the answer to all our problems, and Zoe adds “standing exercises are usually more sculpting as you’re working against gravity.” We’re sold!
A guide to standing and toning
DEADLIFT: works the legs and lower back
Beginners’ tip: practice the movement without any weight to perfect your form. Good form is key
Zoe’s tip: “Make sure you hinge from the hips, and there is a slight bend in the knees, run the weight close to the front of the legs, chest is up and squeeze the glutes at the top.”
SQUATS: works the quads, glutes and hamstrings
Beginners’ tip: Start with half reps (not going too low) and progress onto full reps
Zoe’s tip: “Keep everything tracking forward, don’t let the knees knock inwards, chest is up, push the hips back, squeeze the glutes at the top of your squat.”
BICEP CURL PRESS: works the biceps and shoulders
Beginners’ tip: start with lighter weights than you may think, these muscles tire easily
Zoe’s tip: “Keep elbows in on the bicep curl, turn the palms then drive straight overhead on the shoulder press and control when you lower, keep the core engaged at all times.”
LUNGE HAMMER CURL: a full body movement combining upper and lower body
Beginners’ tip: when lunging, take a big step forward so your front knee doesn’t go further than your toes, to avoid injury
Zoe’s tip: “When you lunge forward make sure your knees and feet are pointing straight in front of you, both legs at a right angle and the knee is close to the floor. In your hammer curl make sure the palms are facing each other the whole time.”
There are a few ways of incorporating standing and toning into your day. You may decide to do all the exercises in one day at lower quantities, or focus on one of them and repeat it during the course of your day. As with any exercise programme, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, food and water to give you all the energy you need. If you have any specific exercise or dietary concerns or anxieties, make sure to contact your GP.