Abdominal Exercises to Do at Your Desk


A demanding job that requires long hours at the office can interfere with your fitness routine, and with no exercise, your abs are likely to lose strength and tone. You can make some of the gym time up at your desk, though. During periodic breaks from work, simple abdominal exercises that do not require a lot of space, such as crunches and tummy twists, can be performed right in your office chair. No equipment or change of clothes are needed.

Hallow Stomach

  • A Pilates-based move, the hallow stomach exercise targets your deep-seated transversus abdominis, a respiratory muscle that helps with stability and organ protection. Sit tall in your desk chair with both feet flat on the floor. Take a deep breath in through your nose for a count of three to five. As you slowly exhale your breath, also through your nose, draw your belly button in toward your lower back. Hold the contraction for two counts and then release. Complete two sets of 10 repetitions.

Reverse Crunch

  • Your rectus abdominis is a long flat muscle that extends from your ribs to your hips. Flexing your spinal column and bending your body forward are some of the primary functions of your rectus abdominis. Reverse crunches can help to strengthen the lower half of the muscle. Sit toward the front or middle of the chair; stack your shoulders over your hips and avoid leaning against the backrest. Place your hands on the seat next to your thighs for stability. Engage your abs and extend your legs straight out in front of you at hip height. Flex your feet. Pull your knees into the right side of your chest. Hold for one count and extend your legs straight again. Pull your knees in again, this time to your left side. Continue to alternate sides until you have completed a total of 20 repetitions.


  • V-sits target your entire abdominal muscle group and can be done at your desk while you work. Sit on the front edge of your desk chair with both feet flat on the floor. Place your hands approximately 6 inches behind your glutes for stability, fingers facing forward. Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your spine and straighten your back. Lean your torso back so that it is lightly touching the backrest. Raise both knees toward your chest. Simultaneously, lift your torso toward your knees. Hold for two counts and release. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

Seated Tummy Twist

  • Your side oblique muscles protect your lower back while also allowing your torso to bend sideways. Strengthen your obliques with a simple twisting exercise. Position your glutes on the front edge of your chair; engage your abdominals and straighten your back. Cross your arms over your chest. Rotate your torso toward the right, as far as it will naturally go without enduring any strain in your lower back. Keep your abs pulled in throughout the twist. Slowly return to facing forward and repeat the twist on the left side. Alternate between left and right sides for a total of 20 repetitions. Complete three sets.

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