“Sometimes you have to be strategic about slipping in a workout. Like doing it at work. Getting up from your desk to do a bit of strength training in the staff room or at your desk is a brilliant antidote to office posture slump or a remedy for the day you just know your boss is going to ask you to stay late and you’ll miss your barre class,” says barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln. “With this one compound move—Narrow Push-Ups with Core Blast Knee Lift—you’re not going to get sweaty, but you will get your heart-rate up and start to build muscle.”
Why you’re doing it: Narrow push-ups target the triceps, chest, and postural muscles that run up and down the spine. We’re revving the heart rate as we shape the upper body and train our spine long. The knee lift creates more work for the core, activating the transverse abdominals, training our core strong and creating support for our low back.
Here’s how to do it!
Establishing the Movement:
We love using the back of a chair (or any stable surface) like a ballet barre to tone the body. Use your cubicle wall, a table in the conference room, or a sturdy stairwell railing or surface where your boss cannot see you. (Unless you think she or he will be really impressed.)
Set-up: Place palms shoulder distance apart on the sturdy waist-high surface of your choice, and step back to the balls of the feet. Firm the heel of the hands down, relax the shoulders, and pull the core in.
1. Bend the elbows and draw half way down to the counter and you pull your core in and “scoop” in the low belly to draw the right knee up and forward.
2. Lengthen the arms and place foot back to starting point.
3. Repeat and lower down lifting the left knee up and forward.
Reps: 10 on each side/20 reps total
Essential Cues: Firm the elbows into your side body to activate the triceps. Allow the action of lifting the knee to come from the core. Breathe big and keep the shoulders soft.
Modifications: For neck, shoulder, or wrist discomfort step closer to the counter or work higher/smaller.
Got 10 minutes? Check out Lincoln’s workout you can do at your desk.
For more information and online classes, visit www.barre3.com.