Weights schmeits. You don’t need equipment to tone up with these moves (and better yet, no one even needs to see you sweat!). You can re-energize your workday (or a trip to the supermarket!) with the simple, hassle-free exercises below.
For Your Arms
1. Grocery Bicep Curls
If only you could get to the gym as often as you find yourself at the supermarket! Happily, it’s possible to shop your way to fitness. Reebok master trainer Petra Kolber suggests this simple strategy to strengthen biceps: As you load your groceries into the car (or as you unload, or after you’ve schlepped the bags into your kitchen), do 10 to 15 biceps curls with one half-full bag in each hand.
2. Chair Push-Ups
David Kirsch, owner of the Madison Square Club in New York City and author of Sound Mind, Sound Body (Rodale), says you can tone your upper arms (known unaffectionately as bat wings) without leaving your desk: Grab the armrests of your chair, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, and push yourself up, straightening your arms to do minilifts (your butt raises off the seat). Do three sets of 15 to 20 reps two or three times a day, and you’ll soon notice a difference.
3. Dictionary Lifts
To strengthen your shoulders (and give them that nice “cap” that goes so well with sleeveless tops), try this while sitting at your desk: Grasp a heavy dictionary or laptop in front of you with straight arms (don’t lock your elbows); then lift it from the desk to shoulder height, hold for a few seconds, and lower. “Do this for 12 to 15 reps per set, and do two or three sets, three to four times a week,” suggests Tracy York, Los Angeles-based trainer and costar of the video Breakthru Pilates Plus. “If you sit up straight, so your back is unsupported by the chair, you’ll also engage your abdominal muscles.”