March 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Think “good posture.” Doing standing exercises is a good way to focus on muscle groups while maintaining work in the core of the body. This workout is ideal to use as a fitness break—like at your office desk or in the kitchen while you’re waiting for food to cook. I personally like to do these exercises to wake up while I’m brushing my teeth or waiting for my coffee to brew.

To perform these moves, you’ll need open space and a sturdy chair or the back of a couch. With each exercise, keep the core of your body lengthened, creating a longer distance between the ribcage and hips.

Deep Knee Bends

  1. With feet shoulder-width apart, extend arms forward and squat low, squeezing your butt and keeping your heels on the ground (Imagine you’re sitting in a child’s chair).20130227_bs_7169-2
  2. As you rise back to standing position, swing your arms back as you stand.

20130227_bs_7175-2

 Plié Squats:

  1. Place your hands on the back of a sturdy chair or couch with your feet about two feet apart, toes facing outward.20130227_bs_7182-2
  2. Bend your knees and lower down so your butt is level with your knees, keeping your butt tucked in.20130227_bs_7183-2
  3. Rise halfway and hold the position for 30 seconds.

20130227_bs_7185-2

Back-Angled Leg Lifts:

1.  Place your hands on the back of a sturdy chair or couch and lift one leg backward, keeping your foot flexed (toes not pointed) and your heel pointed to the back of the room.

20130227_bs_7186-2

2.  Lower and lift your leg for 30 seconds and then switch legs.

20130227_bs_7187-2

Tip: Practice pulling and holding the navel to the spine, widening and flattening out your tummy when you’re sitting and standing throughout the day.

Peg Ryan is a Certified Personal Trainer/Group Fitness Trainer with Prairie Life Fitness in Omaha. For more information, visit prairielife.com.

More from Omaha Magazine