Fitness & Equipment Guides > ​The Office Workout To Burn Fat & Build Muscle

​The Office Workout To Burn Fat & Build Muscle

31st Jan 20

At, we’re always in favour of doing exercise anywhere, anytime. But, sometimes, when your schedule is packed and you don’t really have any free time, that can be extremely difficult. That’s even worse when you’re trying not to stress yourself out because you have no time to think. What about if you had a 10-minute workout you could do from work, even in the office? Well, now you do.

This short workout takes just 10 minutes and works every main muscle group in your body in some way or another, so it has great cardio benefits too. It’s a win-win for when you just can’t find the time to do anything else! It involves general bodyweight exercises as well as some common work items like chairs or desks, so it’s not confined to just an office workout either! You can do it anywhere, so during lunch isn’t out of the question either!

Let’s do it.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.

Decline Push-Ups

The best way to make the most of any short workout is to use compound exercises wherever possible to train all of your muscles to a good level without adding a huge list of exercises. Decline push-ups are exactly what you need to do that. They work everything in your upper body and make push-ups harder than ever.

To do it at work, the best way to perform the decline push-ups is to raise your feet onto a chair. Then, with your upper body still on the ground, push yourself up and back down again to hit your shoulders as well as your chest at the same time. Your shoulders are very hard to train without any equipment, so this is a blessing.


man doing dips on his chair at his desk

Your triceps will be worked from the decline push-ups to an extent, but not nearly enough, with them being the biggest muscle in your arms. To make sure they’re getting worked to their full potential, tricep dips are the way to do it.

Again, just with something as accessible as an office chair, you need to place your hands on the chair and your feet on the floor. Slowly lower your torso downwards from there until you make a right angle with your arms. Then extend your triceps to push you back upwards again. Easy… or not.


Moving to the other side of your body, let’s work the back too. Your lower back is especially important to build up if you spend most of your time seated. Office work takes its toll on your back in no time, and it has really bad effects on everything if you don’t work out. This is a great way to fight it. It’s a really difficult muscle group to train when you don’t have any fitness equipment, so stick with us.

To do it, lay flat on your front, raise your left leg with your right arm as far as you can from the floor, return, and then do the same with the opposite limbs. Keep doing this as much as you can for the duration, and you’ll really see the benefit quickly. It’s worth it in the end, we promise.

Bicep Curls

Biceps are a tricky muscle to train without any gym equipment, especially in an office-based workout; we’ll be the first to admit it. The best way to train them when you’re at work is to use something with a little bit of weight on it, like large water bottles or even books or a bag you take to work. Whatever you can find will help (even weird things like these).

Once you’ve got something with enough weight and that you can have a reasonable grip on, just perform your standard bicep curls to whatever extent you need to for them to feel worked. Sometimes this can just be a case of adding more weight or performing more reps, so make sure you find something that works for you. Anything is better than nothing at the end of the day, and it’s easy to get pumping your biceps!

Knee Tucks

Your abs are the next area to train as we continue working downward. There are a lot of ways to train your abs without any equipment, as they’re used for so many different body movements in general. We’ve gone with seated knee tucks to make the most of your chair here.

To do it, you need to sit upright in your chair with your legs off the floor, simply held in an elevated position. You can choose to do either one leg at a time or both together, depending on how comfortable you feel, but you need to pull your legs into your torso as close as you can before stretching outwards again. You’ll feel the contraction immediately.

Bulgarian Split Squat

woman doing Bulgarian Split Squat outside

Another compound exercise that makes this workout worthwhile is split squats: make sure your form is correct on this one. This exercise works your entire upper leg group and will be one of the more tiring exercises.

With something behind you that you can put weight on, again like a chair or desk, put one foot on it behind you so that you are essentially stood on one leg, and squat as low as you can reasonably go with your foot staying flat on the floor. This will really hit your glutes, quads and hamstrings at the same time for a killer compound move.

Calf Raises

The last strength-based exercise we’ll do for a full-body office workout focuses on the calves and lower legs. Calf raises are one of the few exercises that can work your calves, so it’s often wise to do them one leg at a time to add more weight to the exercise.

It’s a fairly basic movement that essentially just involves you going onto your tiptoes as high as you can, holding for a second or two, and then coming back down before repeating with reasonable frequency. That’s it, but you can hold objects too to add even more weight if this doesn’t feel like enough. Sitting down with weights on your legs or just standing will do the trick.

Sprinting on the Spot

For a proper full-body workout, it’s always a good idea to bring in some cardio exercise that’s reasonably high-intensity. That’s how you can make sure you’re really getting the blood flowing and that you’re going to make the most of your efforts.

Sprinting on the spot is a great example of that, and with the workout being so short, this is basically just a massively high-intensity cardio exercise. As a side note, this is a great time to open the windows in the office to get some cool air moving around. You might get a bit warm here.

Shadow Boxing

Keeping up with the intensity of sprinting can be difficult, but a good next stop is shadowboxing if you have space. Shadowboxing is just throwing punches and dodging punches with thin air. It’s kind of like boxing an imaginary person.

Boxing takes an incredible amount of effort, and when incorporating ducking and weaving, you will get a really good full-body cardio workout even in the office.

The Office Workout

When you put it all together, the office workout can differ in intensity so that you can work out in the best way to suit you without you feeling exhausted after and still being able to carry on with your workday:

Beginner30 Seconds On, 30 Seconds Off, Next Exercise
Intermediate45 Seconds On, 15 Seconds Off, Next Exercise
Advanced60 Seconds On, 0 Seconds Off, Next Exercise

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.