Working your quads, hamstrings, and core sounds like a big commitment. But AIM U’s fitness instructor Shannon Bahrke has curated five exercises you can do every day from your desk. All you need is a set of 5- to 10-pound hand weights. Afraid your coworkers are going to look at your funny? Come on, you’re stronger than that.
Squat to overhead press
In a standing position, bring your weights up to your shoulders, with your palms facing in. Sit back in a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Be careful to keep your knees over your ankles and your weight in your heels; you should be able to see your toes at all times. Press back up to standing while extending your arms directly overhead, palms still facing in. Repeat 15 times.
Deadlift to upright row
Stand up straight with your arms down, hand-weights on your quads, palms facing your quads. Make sure you have a microbend in your knees. Lower down, keeping your abs and glutes tight, and your spine straight. Lower down until your weights reach ankle-height, and then slowly raise back up, squeezing your glutes and core. Once you’re back to a standing position, lift your elbows and bring the weights to your chest in an upright row, keeping your back straight, your core tight, and your elbows just above shoulder height. Lower your weights back to starting position, and repeat 15 times.
Curtsey lunge to outside leg lift
From a standing position, press your palms together in front of your chest. With your right leg as your standing leg, lunge back with your left leg, place your left foot at a 45-degree angle behind your right, and squat down in a curtsey. Your left knee should be in line with your right. Keep your back straight and your core strong. Raise up and kick your left leg out to a 45-degree angle in front of your right leg, with your toes pointed up. Repeat 15 to 20 times, then switch legs.
This is the quintessential core burner. Get on the floor on your hands and knees. Extend your legs behind you, feet hip-width distance apart, with your quads and glutes firing. With your hands directly under your shoulders, lift your hips so your spine is in a straight line. Hold for one minute.
Side lunge to balancing on one leg
Start with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Stand on your right leg, lunge laterally and slightly forward with your left leg, with your left heel landing roughly in line with your right toe. Reach down and touch the ground on either side of your left foot. Your weight should be in your left heel, and your left knee should be over your left ankle (you should be able to always see the lunging foot’s toes). Your right leg is straight. Now you’re going to make an explosive move back up, launching off your left foot to get your weight back onto your right standing leg. Keep your left leg off the ground, with your knee at a 90-degree angle and your left thigh parallel to the floor. Balance. Then repeat the lunge and balance 15 times. Switch sides.
Shannon Bahrke is a two-time Olympic freestyle medalist and World Cup Champion. Enroll in her online Ultimate Ski Fitness course with AIM U .