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Sedentary exercises

Guest after5

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Guest after5



Xena's last message about doing calf stretching while sitting at a desk gave me an idea for this thread.

I am guessing that many of us on this board have office jobs where we sit for an extended period of time. I am curious. Do you do any exercises when you are at your desk that help you in your ballet class? If this has been discussed before, sorry for repeating. I did a seach on "sedentary exercise" but found nothing in the archive. :(


For example, I do leg lifts. It keeps the muscle above my knee strong which is important to me since I had some knee injuries. Basically, I just sit at my desk, and extend my leg in front of me and flex my foot. I hold the lift for about 10 secs and then lower. I do 10 reps, 3 times, at the beginning and the end of my day. It is a mutation of what my therapist showed me to do on the floor.


If you have any exercises you do, I would like to try them and add them to my routine.

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Guest Starling

I am constantly pointing and flexing my feet. When I'm just padding around my flat I tend to do the odd releve or attitude! In fact, one of my friend's yesterday blew up at me with a "just stop doing ballet!!!". It was hilarious! :(


Anyway, that's what I do!



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you can delete this if this is too random, but on the ariplane they had a list of exercises to do when on long flights, and the most creative one was to draw the alpahbet with your ankle in the air. you could also try drawing the alphabet with your toes (keeping your leg still) , which would be slightly different. i dont know that these strengthen you, but they'll keep your legs from falling asleep or getting to stiff when sitting at work all day. :(

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Isometrics, or working muscles against muscles, often works for people who have to do most work seated. You can work on your abs this way, by pulling them upward and inward, and nobody will know what you're doing. You can even do other work while you're doing it. Straightening the legs under your desk while attempting to hold them in is a form of isometric exercise.

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Guest after5

Thanks all for your replies. I see I have a few things to add to my routine. :(


Major Mel,

While I was reading your reply about working the abdominal muscles, I realized I was so slouched that my nose was almost touchning the computer monitor. This exercise will require a visual reminder, which I promptly taped on top of the monitor.



Now all I need is to play some ballet class music ...

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Guest grace

great exercises, SABgurlie! :)


i recall a website which offers an illustrated exercise program for the chair-bound worker. i'll see if i can find it...


well - i can't. but here are some others...













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Sometimes (especially when I'm driving) I work my abdominals like Major Johnson described... to make it more fun (and allow a bit of rest) you can relax when you are at stoplights or stop signs...or when you're tired or just plain lazy you can do the opposite...just work your abs when you brake. I also like to do arm exercises when sitting for long periods...at least when no one is looking ;) One I particularly like I learned in an Alexander Technique class a few years ago. You stretch your arms to the sides but a bit in front of the shoulders while looking straight ahead (you should see your hands peripherally)... then turn your head to look over one arm and "wiggle" the fingers of that hand as you extend the arm as long as possible...turn the head and do the same for the other side then look straight again as you continue to feel a lengthening through the chest and arms....make sure your abs are engaged, your ribs aren't sticking out (I seem to do that!), and your back isn't arched (in short, maintain good alignment)...then slowly rotate your palms to face upward and slowly lower your arms to your sides bending the elbows. This exercise takes only a few seconds (though I took a while to explain...wanted to be detailed ;) )...but I like the widening feeling it gives when my shoulders and back are tired. Another similar one that I do in ballet sometimes (or body alignment) is this....extend your arms to the sides with palms facing up and flex your hands so your fingers point toward the ground... (In this, I feel the stretch mostly in my fingers.) then rotate your elbows up as you release the flexed hands and bring your arms into a correct second position. I like this one because it makes 2nd seem very natural and easy. Hope these are helpful and I'd love to hear what other sedentary exercises you do!

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Guest Nicole Foss

I'm in the military, and have to wear combat boots to work everyday. While I sit at my desk, I point and flex my feet against the hard soles, and it works great to build up foot and ankle strength (would work with any hard soled shoe for the foot strength, but you'd need some type of high top to get the ankle workout). I also do a lot of stretching at work, putting my toe on the underside of my desk with my leg straight and pushing forward to stretch my calf, etc. I've also got a semi flexible square plastic recycle bin... which (when it's a slow day and not many people are around) I use like a thighmaster. When I need to raise my adjustable chair, instead of standing up normally and pulling the lever, I stay seated and use just my thigh muscles to lift myself. There are all kinds of other things, you can do, just look around your office or (in my case) cubicle and see what you can use for equipment. Water bottles make great light hand weights.

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Guest after5



Wow, now this is what I call creativity!!!

I am eyeing the paper bin in the corner as a candidate for the thigh-master ...




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Just a note of caution about pointing feet in shoes to build foot strength: I did that two winters ago, and broke the shoes. :P


The soles became unattached at the ball of the foot - the glue and stitching just gave up. So if you try to build foot strength by pointing your feet in shoes, make sure the shoes are very sturdy!



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