01/03/2017

No gym required. Exercises you can do at the office or home

It's time to stop making excuses for not exercising. You do not have to have a gym membership to workout. You can slip in these full-body toning exercises in your office or at home. No equipment is required. Use your desk for support during lunges. Swap out weights with canned vegetables or your full water bottle. 

Carol Barbee, FNP, WellPath Navigator, and Patrick O’Neill, Exercise Physiologist, at St. Joseph’s/Candler, offer these simple, toning exercises that allow you to progress at your own pace. Start using your own body weight and progress each exercise to keep you fresh and challenged.

Talk to your physician before starting a workout routine if you had any recent procedures, surgeries or injuries. During your workout, if anything feels uncomfortable or painful, stop working out, apply ice and seek medical help.

If you have questions about exercising, please feel free to call our Wellness Center at 912-819-8800. Memberships are available for St. Joseph’s/Candler co-workers and the community, and our staff can help customize a routine to maximize your training efforts to reach your goals.

We recommend doing each exercise 10 times and repeat the set four times. Be sure to add some stretching after your workout, not before.

Narrow Squats
Muscles worked:
 quads, glutes, calves, lower back and core
Starting position: Hips under shoulders; knees under hips; ankles under knees; pelvis in neutral position
Exercise: With the weight in the heels, make sure your back is straight and chest is upright with your arms at a comfortable position at your sides, on your hips or clasped at your chest. You can hold onto something if you need balance support. Send your weight back and down, keeping your back straight and chest upright as you bend your knees. Bend to the lowest position where you can maintain stability without moving your feet. Always return to the full starting position.

Wide leg squats
Muscles worked:
quads, glutes, calves, lower back and core
Starting position: Feet placed outside of the hips and toes pointed straight ahead. Align hips and shoulders and keep your back straight with all the weight on the heels of your feet.
Exercise: Push your butt back and chest forward, while keeping your back straight and bend at your knees. Your arms can be positioned on your hips or held straight out. As you come back up to starting position, squeeze your butt to energize the glutes and quads. 

Plié squats
Muscles worked:
quads, glutes, calves, lower back and core
Starting position: Position your toes and feet at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock. Align your hips and shoulders and keep your back straight. Have your arms straight out to the side.
Exercise: Send your body straight down and straight up like you are sliding your back against a wall. Go as low as you can control, keeping your back straight, and come back up to the starting position. 

Wall Push Ups
Muscles worked:
shoulders and chest
Starting position: Face the wall with your back straight, shoulders relaxed and feet hip distance apart. (For more stability, widen your stance. For more of a challenge, narrow your stance.)
Exercise: Extend arm directly in front of you to ensure you are not too far away. Place your hands straight out from your shoulders with the weight placed in the heel of your hand. Lower your chest to a position of comfort with your elbows going towards the wall and then push yourself back to a straight armed position. Make sure your spine is neutral and your butt is not popped out.

Wall Push Up Variations 
You can work different muscles based on the placement of your arms during the wall push up. Place your arms in a wide stance – outside of your shoulders – to work the chest and upper back. Be sure not to lock your elbows during this push up.

You can work your triceps with a narrow wall push up. Place your arms side-by-side directly in front of you. When you bend your elbows, make sure they touch the side of your ribs to work the triceps. 

Wall Sit
Muscles worked:
All leg muscles
Start position: Shoulders over hips; hips over knees; knees over ankles. Place your back against the wall so your shoulders and hips connect to the wall and your lower back is supported.
Exercise: Walk your feet out until your knees are bent like you are sitting in a straight chair. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor, aligned with your hips and your ankles should be under the knees and your toes facing forward. Hold the position for 15 seconds (the goal is measured in terms of minutes over time, not repetitions) and walk your way back up the wall. Be sure to keep a straight back. You can progress by increasing the hold time each round. 

Wall Sit Variations
You can add weights and do bicep curls, frontal raise, overhead raise and lateral raise while you are holding the sitting pose. You can do this with or without something in your hand. Don’t have weights? Try a couple of vegetables cans from the pantry or use your full water bottle you keep on your desk. In addition to working your leg muscles, adding arm movements works your biceps, shoulders, chest and upper back.

As you progress, you can add movement in your feet during your wall sit. Alternate toe lifts to work your calf muscles. You can really increase difficulty by lifting both toes at the same time. This works out your lower abs in addition to all the other muscles mentioned above. 

  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000