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7 Ways To Work Out In Your Lunch Break

3 MIN READ • 2nd October 2022

Short on time? If you want to keep your exercise routine quick yet effective, follow these power hour sessions to feel great, all before the end of play...

  • Chair or desk dips
    “This is a great way to use your workplace as a mini gym,” says James Haskell, health and fitness ambassador for The Healthcounter (thehealthcounter.com).
    “Use either the edge or front of your chair to perform a dip. Firstly, make sure your chair is rigid and strong enough to undertake the exercise. Then, have your back facing the edge of your desk, with your arms bent and put your legs out in front of you with your weight going through your hands. Dip down and then push up; you should be feeling it in your triceps. Do three lots of 10 reps with a break of 30 seconds inbetween.”

  • 15-minute full-body strength
    “When you’re short on time it’s vital to use big bang exercises,” Greg Brookes, health and fitness professional (gbpersonaltraining.com) tells us. “Big bang exercises use as many muscles as possible to maximise calorie burn after your workout. The following workout only uses three exercises and one pair of dumbbells: following a warm up start with 10 thrusters; squat and then press both dumbbells overhead. Then, with a straight, flat back, bend forward at the waist, hold this position and row both dumbbells to the hips keeping the elbows in – repeat eight times. Next, holding both dumbbells at waist height, lunge forwards and rotate both dumbbells over your front knee. Finally, step through with your rear leg and repeat.”

  • Stay focused
    ‘It’s important you have the right mindset,” says fitness expert Daniel Shaw (@DS_Sport_Psych). “You should always set a time slot within your lunch break and stick to it.
    Secondly, try using a training partner, such as a colleague who is also into keeping fit and healthy. Get motivated! Make sure you set realistic aims every day to help you reach your desired goal and track your progress by writing it all down in a log. Finally, use reminders, take your training to work, as this will help you to stick to your workout.”

  • Seat squat
    “Using your office equipment is a great way to workout in your lunch break, and it’s free,” says health and fitness expert James Haskell (thehealthcounter.com). “Squat down in front of your chair without supporting yourself. Then, slowly lower down so your bottom just touches the seat of the chair then come up again, keeping your weight through your heels and your head up. Do three sets of 20 reps, with a break of 30 seconds between.”

  • Get strong, not bulky
    “My advice is set time aside one lunch hour a week to hit the gym for strength sets,” says personal trainer Rob Jones (stridefit.com/strideblog). “If using free weights for the first time get advice on form from an exercise professional. Quality time getting it right at the start will pay off later. Start by warming up, then hit the weights or resistance machines, aiming to perform 4-5 sets for a maximum of three reps (the third and last lift you should only just be able to do). Although you need to wait 2-3 minutes after each for your muscles to be ready again, make it lunchtime-efficient by moving from one exercise to another using a different muscle group, for example, squats to shoulder press. If you run out of time, split the workout over a couple of lunch hours.”

  • 7-minute multidirectional core workout
    “Your core muscles are at the centre of all movement,” explains Greg Brookes (gbpersonaltraining.com). “A strong core means: a safer back, better movement skills and a sexy looking midsection. Here is a great workout that attacks the core from all angles and only takes seven minutes. Make sure you perform each exercise one after the other for seven minutes with no rest. Start by holding the top part of the push up and then alternate slowly tapping your opposite shoulder. Keep your core tight and back flat and repeat 10 times. Then, in a side plank position bend your top leg and bring your knee to your chest for 10 reps. Finish by lying on your back with your legs and arms pointing upwards, lower your opposite arm and leg to the floor, and keep your lower back in contact with the floor at all times for 16 reps.”

  • Feel the flow
    “If flow workouts aren’t already part of your life then it’s time to invite them in,” personal trainer Rob Jones tell us (stridefit.com/strideblog. “These simple bodyweight-only workouts are truly awesome, not just at toning and conditioning key muscle groups, but also mobilising joints and stretching, making them a perfect workout session if time is of the essence, or if you have minutes to spare, and are a great warm-up before a tough workout session.
    Grab a mat and sit yourself near a timer or clock. For the first minute, alternate between two moves – the cobra and downward dog poses – holding each for two to three seconds. Then in minute two add another move to the sequence: cobra, downward dog, and some prone hip rotations left and right, continuing to alternate. In minute three add a single mountain climber to the sequence, one climber left and one right. Then, for minutes four and five, add a hip abduction on the left and right, switching between all the moves until the end.”

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