13 Sneaky Exercises For Those Trapped In Office cubicles

13 Sneaky Exercises For Those Trapped In Office Cubicles

Do me a favor and close your eyes.

Let’s go back in time.

Let’s go back to when you were still young and innocent.

Do you remember what you thought it would be like to work as an adult?

Can you remember what you thought your first office job would be like?

Did years of TV watching paint a certain image of what a working office environment would look like?

Did you picture a gloriously clean place with guys wearing suit and ties while ladies wore beautiful professional dresses?

Could you imagine getting off and elevator and walking down the hallway to your corner office?

As you make your way down the hallway, you’re greeted with smiles, enthusiasm and an addicting sense of pride.

Once you enter your office, your eyes instantly focuses inside your room’s gigantic window. In the distance your eyes see a spectacular view of the city.

That view is worthy of a post card!

Your eyes then go back to your room and you see a perfectly uncluttered desk with your personalized engraved nameplate.

When you sit down in your luxurious chair, you stare up at the walls and see all the pictures of your family, friends and accomplishments decorated upon the walls of your office.

Is that how you envisioned life would be while working in the office?

Too bad we live in the real world!

If you are like most working adults, you do not start off in such luxurious accommodations.

In an effort to save money most companies go the classic cubicle route.

Ah yes, the cubicle.

The dreaded place where champions at home morph into worker prairie dogs. They poke their heads above their cubicles only when they want to be seen and socialize.

Prairie Dog peeking it's head out from a whole
Anyone going to lunch?

When stuck in this type of environment how does one survive?

Better yet, how does one break the cycle of being like the other prairie dogs?

This article will teach you how to sneak in some simple exercises while being stuck in that dreaded cubicle area.

Office Chair Exercises

The office chair is your best buddy when stuck at work. You probably spend more time with that chair than your own family at home.

(Let that sink in for a minute………kind of depressing right?)

Well, if you’re going to be in that chair for most of the day, let’s bring some positivity into your life!

Here are my favorite exercises to do when your butt is glued to an office seat.

Leg Extensions

Seat in an upright position. Using your right quadriceps muscles, extend your right leg up.

Take a 2 second pause and slowly lower your right leg down.

Repeat 8-12 more times before switching to your left leg.

Knee Marches

While seated in an upright position, raise your left knee as vertically high as you comfortable can. Pause for 2 seconds and slowly lower.

Once leg is down, repeat using your right knee. This movement mimics a marching movement.

Your knees will not travel very fair, but you will feel this exercise in your front thigh/quadriceps area as well as in your glutes.

Try to do 8 -12 marches per side.

Sit to Stands

A very underrated movement. Raise yourself out of your seat using only your leg strength and not your hands.

Chair Crunches

Raise both legs and feet slightly in the air. Slowly crunch down while slightly raising your legs vertically.

Seated Calf Raises

You don’t need to add weights when beginning to reap the benefits of this exercise. Just aim for lots reps (25-50 per side).

As you improve, you can add weighted objects to the top of your legs for added resistance.

Thumpers

This will help with ankle mobility & strength by utilizing dorsiflexion and plantar flexion.

Slightly raise your feet off the ground and rapidly try to bend at the ankle to get your toes to tap the ground.

Quickly return to the starting position and switch foot. This is a very fast movement that will help stretch your ankle area.

Ankle Circles

Rotate both your ankles in clockwise and counterclockwise circles.

Seated Shoulder Press

Take any object that you can find that weights between 1 – 10 lbs. It can even be a smart phone.

What you will do is set a timer for 2 minutes and do as many reps as possible with that one shoulder. Once the 2 mins is up, switch sides and repeat.

Over time add more time or pick a heavier object.

Chair Twist

If you have an office chair that swivels, use the chair to help you work your obliques.

Just slight twist from side to side while squeezing your core muscles.

Standing Up Activity

Bodyweight Stiff Leg Deadlift

Stand straight up. Try to touch your toes by bending at your hips, with only a slight bend in your knees.

You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles.

Standing Leg Curls

Place both hands on a chair, wall or desk for support. Squeeze your hamstring muscle and try to get your left heel to touch your left glute.

Once you are as high as you can get, squeeze and hold for 2 seconds before lowering your foot back to the ground. Repeat 8 – 12 reps.

Repeat on right leg.

Office Cubicle Movement

45/5 Rule

Set a timer for 45 minutes. No matter what, once those 45 minutes are up, you need to get up and move around your office for at least 5 minutes.

Too often we get caught up in our work and will push ourselves for hours. Setting a timer forces you to acknowledge that you need a break.

Instead of just surfing the Internet, you’ll be moving around your office. Whether that’s walking to the bathroom, visiting co-workers, getting some water….

IT DOESN’T MATTER. MOVE YOUR BUTT for at least 5 minutes.

Once done, set your timer and start again.

Farmer Walks

Traditional farmer walks involve lifting something very heavy for distance or time. Most likely you don’t have a trap bar or dumbbells at the office so you’ll have to improvise.

Pick something heavy near your desk or office area (books, bag, purse, backpack, laptop,etc).

Place the object in one hand and walk a certain distance with it.

Now switch hands and repeat. This imbalance will help work your core and sneak in some cardio if you repeat this several times a day.

The longer the distance you travel, the better the workout.

Cubicle Circuit

Here’s a simple routine using some of the exercises mentioned above.

Knee Marches: 12 reps per side
Sit to Stands: 12 reps
Bodyweight Stiff Leg Deadlift: 12 reps
Seated Shoulder Press: As many reps in 2 minutes per side
Chair Crunches: 12 reps
Farmer’s Walk: On the way to/from bathroom, break room, co-worker’s desk, etc.

Repeat during your next break.


The key with these exercises is to sneak them in during your workday.

It’s better to do something than nothing at all.

Take advantage of your environment and you’ll soon discover that you’ll no longer have the same body as those other cubicle prairie dogs sitting next to you!