When it comes to strengthening your abs, there’s no need for specialized equipment or complicated exercises. You don’t even need much space. Push your chair away from your desk and complete a set of seated knee-ups to strengthen your core. When you're finished, take a moment to stretch out your abs to prevent soreness by rotating your torso as much as possible without feeling discomfort to the right. Hold for up to 30 seconds, then repeat on your left side.
Perform a light warm-up, consisting of five to 10 minutes of general physical activity. Walk briskly up and down the stairs or jog in place to raise your core body temperature and increase blood flow to your abdominal area and legs.
Sit on a firm, stable chair with your knees together and your feet on the floor in front of you. Your rear end should be near the front edge of the seat. Place a folded towel under your buttocks for comfort, if necessary.
Grasp the arms of the chair or the side edges of the seat. Lengthen your back, align your head over your spine and press your shoulders down and slightly back. Maintain a relatively straight spine throughout the exercise.
Tighten your abdominals and hinge your torso slightly backward, raising your feet from the floor. Move your knees inward toward your chest and raise your torso slightly. Hold the contraction for two seconds.
Extend your legs, lowering your feet almost to the floor, then immediately draw the knees up again. Repeat the exercise, completing up to 20 knee lifts if you can do so with proper form.
- The BackSmart Fitness Plan; Adam Weiss
- YouTube: How to Do Quick and Easy Abs Exercises at Your Desk
- Men's Fitness: Reverse Chair Crunch
- For variety, draw your knees up and to the right of your chest, then up and to the left of your chest.
- Control your movements and avoid jerking your legs or torso.
- Don't rely on your arms or legs to power the movement; let your abs do the work.
- Breathe evenly throughout the exercise.
- For added intensity, wear ankle weights or hold a medicine ball between your ankles.
- If you’re working in an office chair, lock the wheels to prevent the chair from rolling.
- Allowing your lower back to arch or rounding your shoulders forward can result in injury.
Judy Fisk has been writing professionally since 2011, specializing in fitness, recreation, culture and the arts. A certified fitness instructor with decades of dance training, she has taught older adults, teens and kids. She has written educational and fundraising material for several non-profit organizations and her work has appeared in numerous major online publications. Fisk holds a Bachelor of Arts in public and international affairs from Princeton University.