Exercises for Gentlemen Giveaway

by Brett & Kate McKay on May 10, 2010 · 212 comments

in Blog

“Study the lives of the men who have left their mark in the history of the world, and, though they may differ in many respects, you will find that they were mostly alike in possessing a certain firmness of muscular texture, and the ability to endure severe strain, physical and mental.” -Exercises for Gentlemen

Something I enjoy doing is browsing through old books about things like etiquette and exercise. I love to get that peek into another time period. The stuff that’s outdated is now humorous, but there is always a surprising amount of wisdom that’s just as true now as it was then.

So I thought the idea behind a new book, Exercises for Gentlemen: 50 Exercises to Do With Your Suit On, was great. Drawn from The School of Health, a forgotten classic of the early 1900s, Exercises for Gentlemen: 50 Exercises to Do With Your Suit On offers up excerpts and illustrations from the original physical fitness course book. Back before going to the gym became mainstream, men looked for ways to keep strong and limber in their everyday lives-things they could do on the go without even taking off their suit. Each chapter of the book focuses on exercises targeting specific parts of the body, like head and trunk, or arms and shoulders, with later chapters discussing personal hygiene and “tonic measures,” such as sponge baths and oil rubs. While still practical and beneficial for the modern man, many of the entries are unintentionally comical. It’s a fun little book that will fit in your pocket. Here are a couple of excerpts:

How to Win a Copy of Exercises for Gentlemen

I’ve got one copy of Exercises for Gentlemen: 50 Exercises to Do With Your Suit On to give away to an AoM reader. If you’d like a chance to win it, leave a comment describing an exercise you can do outside the gym as part of your daily life-when you’re at work, on the go, or traveling. We’ll randomly draw one of the comments to be the winner. The giveaway ends May 16, 2010 at 10:00 pm Central Standard Time.

1 Nate @ Practical Manliness May 10, 2010 at 11:17 pm

At risk of sounding boring, I will simply list the “staple” exercises that I rely on:

- Pushups
- Situps
- Running
- Bicycling (my favorite)
- Pushups

I also try to do the toe-touch-stretch (not sure that’s the technical name ;) )

Thanks for this great giveaway!

2 Owen Pellegrin May 10, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I like to jog from my car to wherever I’m going. I usually don’t bother looking for a space that’s close because it’s easier to find far-away parking places.

3 Rob May 10, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I like to do calf raises. All you need is a step to get a little extra extension. Also dips, if there are two sturdy chairs around.

4 Elliot May 10, 2010 at 11:23 pm

When cleaning your teeth, perform 10-15 good calf raises on each leg. Lift yourself up on the balls of your feet as high as you can go, count to 5 and then lower for 1 rep.

5 Nod May 10, 2010 at 11:26 pm

There is always taking the stairs vs the elevator, but a great office workout is the chair exercises, including Hip Flexion, Wrist Stretch, Leg Extension, Dips, and Chair Squat!

6 Rick May 10, 2010 at 11:38 pm

When I’m on travel, I like to climb the stairs in my hotel.

7 Phillip Shuart May 10, 2010 at 11:49 pm

While at work I sometimes tighten my abdominal muscles for thirty seconds every half hour. Keeps my posture upright and helps fight off fatigue around the time when everyone begins reaching for the sugary snacks/drinks for a few minutes of pep.

8 William Hoffknecht May 10, 2010 at 11:55 pm

So I work as network tech in a very large warehouse, and let me say, I get tired of sitting all night. What I like to do is get up, stretch my legs, and take a power-walk around the warehouse. In calculations the round-trip is like 3/4s of a mile, so I try to do at least a couple per shift. On nights when there are not many people working I can get away with jogging the back-half of the trip where no one will find me. =)

9 Eric May 10, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I like to grab my stapler and do some bicep curls!

10 Ozymandias May 11, 2010 at 12:01 am

Wow, I’m boring. I just do push ups and sit ups. I’ve never even been to a gym. If you really want good exercise go find a toddler to follow around. My nephew never stops moving. I think he’s secretly a robot or something.

11 Marshall Middle May 11, 2010 at 12:02 am

Pull-ups, find a jungle gym or anything you can grab on to.

12 Zach May 11, 2010 at 12:16 am

walk up stairs on your toes

13 Camreon May 11, 2010 at 12:18 am

I like to jog between places if possible and take the stairs whenever feasible. Calf raises are also a great little exercise for your free time.

14 Dawsy May 11, 2010 at 12:21 am

I work from home, so I tend to perform a few baby-curls to keep my arms in shape…yep it’s done using a real, 12kg baby!

15 Dan Burt May 11, 2010 at 12:22 am

Nothing gets the heart pumping faster than a half-dozen quick trips up and down the stairs in the three-story building where I work. To increase difficulty and resistance, I carry a couple of computers under each arm and a receptionist on my back.

16 Tony Vila May 11, 2010 at 12:23 am

This may sound terribly unmanly, but when I go from place to place I skip. it burns more calories than walking, is not as sweaty as running, and gets you there faster.

17 Carney May 11, 2010 at 12:27 am

When skipping the elevator and climbing the stairs take time to lift one foot to the third step while standing still and stretch the opposite ham strings by leaning forward. Switch legs and repeat.

18 Anthony May 11, 2010 at 12:28 am

I’m a martial artist, so I like to practice “reverse breathing”. It’s great because you can do it any time of the day, no matter what you’re wearing, and it helps you build a strong core while having the added benefit of teaching you how to properly deflect blows to the abdomen.

In it’s most basic form, reverse breathing merely requires you to contract the abdominal muscles when inhaling, and expanding them when exhaling (this is in opposition to “natural breathing”, where one’s abdomen expands during inhalation and contracts during exhalation). Sounds easy, but do it for a while and you’ll see how difficult and unnatural it is!

19 Justin Johnson May 11, 2010 at 12:31 am

I don’t do as much as I should, but even when sitting at my desk, on a couch, or at a table eating, I’m always moving my legs. It’s not a lot, but it’s extra motion and extra calories spent. And I walk as much as possible, park in the back of the parking lot wherever I go, stuff like that. And burpees. Burpees are crazy awesome.

20 Logan May 11, 2010 at 12:31 am

Pushups, situps, jumping jacks, and maybe some burpees if I feel like tormenting myself.

21 Travis May 11, 2010 at 12:36 am

There are exactly four exercises you’ll ever need. Push-ups for shoulder and arm strength, jumping rope and cycling for cardiovascular exercise, and carrying something large and cumbersome above your head for balance and core strength. On that last one, trade large object for larger object and hop around a bit for advanced users.

22 Dean May 11, 2010 at 12:37 am

Instead of e-mailing or calling someone in the building next door, I’ll skateboard over and speak with the person face-to-face.

23 Colin May 11, 2010 at 12:38 am

I’m a programmer, so keeping my wrists and fingers limber is important. I do lots of little hand stretches and clenches throughout the day to keep my hands in good shape. Kneading dough is also a good, practical exercise for the fingers and wrists.

24 Jack May 11, 2010 at 12:47 am

Shadow boxing is a wonderful way to keep active between classes, even though it can make you look a little odd.

25 John May 11, 2010 at 12:47 am

In addition to actually taking the stairs, try taking the stairs two at a time instead of using every step. Or, if you’re constantly at your desk, just tighten your stomach and lift and hold your feet just a few inches off the ground for a minute or so every hour.

26 J.C. May 11, 2010 at 12:47 am

Take the stairs, everywhere you can.

27 Reverend Cowboy May 11, 2010 at 12:47 am

I love walking– even out of shape, it only takes a couple of weeks of vigorous walking to if not lose weight, at least stop the jiggly parts of you from being quite so…. jiggly.

28 Nick May 11, 2010 at 12:50 am

I’ve always liked the classic flex. When you get a chance, just flex your muscles and hold an isometric contraction for a few seconds. Not only does it help to tone up muscles and put a little bounce in your step, but it helps development control over specific muscles. One of the things I learned in physical therapy is the importance of developing muscle control. Who knows, you may even learn to do the Pectoral bounce.

29 Ian May 11, 2010 at 12:51 am


walk to work

bike to work

take the stairs

30 John Eriksen May 11, 2010 at 1:01 am

Being prior-enlisted (USAF) I’ve always relied upon the old “push-up/sit-up” standard. However, in a lot of situations laying on the floor isn’t possible or appropriate. With that being the case I’ve learned to do a few variations of the standing push-up, where one places their hands on an object, such as a desk, and steps out so that one’s body is at a 45 degree angle. I’m still working out how to do sit-ups without actually getting down on the floor… simply flexing my abdominal muscles seems to do very little.

31 Lionel Traylor May 11, 2010 at 1:03 am

My main 6 are:

1.Push Ups w/ Legs lifted

2.Crunches w/ Legs lifted


4.Dumbells squats

5.Dumbell Curls/Hammer Curls

6. Toe Raises

32 mark m. May 11, 2010 at 1:09 am

mountain climbers

33 Eric May 11, 2010 at 1:18 am

This isn’t so much as an exercise, but a little workout I do on off days from the gym:

a block away from my house there are these two little parks with swing sets for the apartment complexes, about 1/8-1/4 of a mile apart.

Start out with 10 pull ups on one set
Sprint over to the next one
Do 9 pull-ups,
Sprint back
Do 8 pull ups
And so on.

I haven’t gone all the way yet, but it’s something I’m working up to.

34 Valerie May 11, 2010 at 1:23 am

Ballet positions. The best thing a person – man or woman – can do to improve flexibility and stamina (and this helps in bed, Gents…) is ballet. Properly done, just running through the positions a few times improves flexibility and strength in your hips, legs, and back.

35 Torrey May 11, 2010 at 1:24 am

I suggest planks as a great exercise. Not only does it strengthen the core, gentlemen can do it without wrinkling a stylish suit.

36 Lisa May 11, 2010 at 1:44 am

I raise myself up on my tippie toes and lower myself slowly down (the po’ girl’s ballet exercise?) This can be done while brushing teeth, waiting for the printer, or whenever.

What a great book! I want to get it for my BF in my ongoing quest to have him dress in a suit at all times.

37 Rob May 11, 2010 at 2:06 am

Just avoid the escelator and lift :-)

38 Tim May 11, 2010 at 2:10 am

While sitting at a desk, I raise my feet off the floor for a few seconds at a time. Surprisingly good core work out. Also ultra-slow pushups in the morning.

39 Paul May 11, 2010 at 2:25 am

For suit-ensconced exercises, I like the raise-the-foot-arches, the desktop push-up, and taking the stairs

40 Ryan Kwan May 11, 2010 at 3:40 am

Outside of the gym I use a sandbag. There’s a small preparation that you need to do first and it’s to make two sandbags each with 20 lbs of sand. When I don’t have time to work out at the gym, I use the sandbags where ever I am and I can do a quick workout. You make handles for these bags and they act like a dumbbell and you can do normal lifting with them as well as whatever exercises you can think up. It’ll be enough to sustain whatever level of fitness I am. To make the workout harder I add more sets and or reps. Others if they choose can put more lbs of sand in if they think 20 lbs is too light. It’s all up to the individual. You can use whatever you want as a free weight, as long as it’s stable item.

41 Chris May 11, 2010 at 3:45 am

My pick is for transit to and from work, for which I ride a motorbike. The forward-leaning position of my bike, which is a Kawasaki Ninja, tends to put a lot of strain on the wrists; however, you can alleviate the strain by instead using your core muscles to take your weight, and bending your elbows. This is double manly-points, because not only are you exercising those foundational-fitness muscles, you doing it in a way that also increases your natural suspension, and therefore control, on the bike.

42 Russ May 11, 2010 at 3:46 am

When you get to stairs, go up multiple (2+) at a time.

43 Chris May 11, 2010 at 3:47 am

pull ups any grip just get your head to you hands
push ups
handstand push ups
air squats
anything that works you core; sit ups, planks, boats

44 Michael May 11, 2010 at 4:02 am

I work with metal so I end up pushing and pulling stuff and moving compressed gas cylinders around by hand.

45 Conor Reid May 11, 2010 at 4:09 am

Standing on one foot while you brush your teeth. Be sure to alternate. It will help with trunk stability, but will not tone.

46 Joe May 11, 2010 at 4:12 am

I’ve lost 20 pounds in the past 30 days without using a gym or any equipment besides two dumbells with four 7.5 lbs & 4 2.5 lbs weights.

———Requiring no weights
Figure-4 squat – Stand next to a chair to balance. Stand on one foot with the other leg folded across your knee to make a ’4′ shape. Squat & feel your hip flexor cry.
Planks & pushups. Planks really help the core. I went from 15 secs to 90 secs in 3 weeks.
Reverse crunches
Leg push outs – Lie on your back with legs elevated. Push one leg out straight & return.
Cobras & Supermen – Lie on your stomach with hands stretched out in front. Lift your arms, legs, & head (don’t bend elbows or knees) like you’re flying.

———-Weights optional
Squats & single leg lunges
Toe-touch squat – Squat but touch the left toe with the right hand. Stand and point the right arm straight up as you twist at the waist.
–Try a Plie’ Squat. Point the toes out at 45 degrees then squat with weights in front. WOW!

———-Weights required
Overhead lifts or Military press
Romanian dead lift – Toe touches with weight

Neck rolls
Shoulder rolls
Arm circles

47 Murad May 11, 2010 at 4:14 am

imagining you are wearing cowboy boots with spurs on them and with each step they go cling cling cling. helps with reminding i am a manly men in this not-so-masculine times, for the psyche and brain alike…

48 Lucky Amar May 11, 2010 at 5:26 am

A 5 mins jogging on the spot, right next to the working space, every couple of hours… :)

49 Alan May 11, 2010 at 5:53 am

Almost like an extra workout, but putting speakings, chairs, stairs, and big boxes away after church service. Helps them and keeps me in a little shape too!

50 Kenny Sutherland May 11, 2010 at 6:11 am

I will walk around my building the long way every-time I need to go somewhere, and I’ll park farther away so I have a decent walk to the front door of my office.

51 ThomsonsPier May 11, 2010 at 6:11 am

A couple of things I like to do are standing on one leg while brushing my teeth, and the simple act of dropping my upper body (keeping the head up) while walking around. Keeping the legs bent is surprisingly hard work.

52 Gary M. Smith May 11, 2010 at 6:31 am

I work in a prison and I find the angle or inclined push-up to be a great exercise. You simply doing a pushup, but at an angle. This allows for more reps and is easier on the body. I can use it anywhere I am on duty – a wall, desk, table, chair, sink, washing machine or dryer or counter. It even works on inmate bunks and tables. You simply lean forward against or on the object you wish to use (and which is immobile) at about a 45 degree angle and perform regular push-ups. Those who are beginners or have back problems can use a 30 degree angle. This works outside of work too. Any immovable object will suffice from park tables and benches to walls at home or a big tree.
Other exercises which work well are squats (which work well for when I have to run upstairs to emergencies) and unassisted calf raises.

53 Jeremy Sheffel May 11, 2010 at 6:45 am

In my opinion you can’t beat the pull up, grab a bar or anything that resembles one and go at it; do all you can, it won’t take very long.

54 Iain Dwyer May 11, 2010 at 6:47 am

I do major strength exercises before ‘the suit’ goes on, so it’s mostly rehab and prehab stuff I do during the day.
My favourite is The Vacuum. It strengthens the intercostals and transversus abdominis, which helps prevent hernias. Basically you exhale all the air in your lungs, squeezing your abs to do so, then expand your ribcage without inhaling. The vacuum effect will pull your stomach up. It’s easy to do throughout the day. I even do it in the car if I’m in slow traffic.

55 Josh kupchella May 11, 2010 at 6:56 am

I like to do the seated squat. All I do is hold a squat position about an inch above my chair.
Hold for a while and then repeat a few minutes later. It’s something to distract you and you can continue to read or do whatever as you stand there.

56 Colin B. May 11, 2010 at 7:04 am

I’m a teacher, so I don’t get many chances to get out of my suit, take off my tie, and exercise. I carry a heavy briefcase and bag with me, filled with my textbooks, papers, and lessons. In odd free moments when I have time standing around, I do curls with the bags and case (I figure each weighs about 15-20 lb., the same as some of the weights I use for exercise at home – and I don’t have to take off my suit!)

57 Barry May 11, 2010 at 7:07 am

I live in a 3-story house, so I do a lot of Stairmaster work, often carrying extra weights (laundry, child, etc.) as I work the stairs. At work, I take power walks around the building several times each day.

58 Eitan May 11, 2010 at 7:26 am

Grasp tightly to two heavy tomes from your library of great novels. Walk across your corner office whils standing on your toes. Repeat while flat-footed. Repeat a third time while extending your arms and holding the books out to your sides. Repeat all three until you feel the need to remove your suit. Stop the exercise at this point.

59 Noah May 11, 2010 at 8:12 am

An exercise that I sometimes do when I’m not at the gym is a side plank. I must confess, Wii Fit Plus taught me how to do it.

60 Robert Noles May 11, 2010 at 8:12 am

When I worked in a cube farm I’d get up several times a day and do deep knee bends (essentially a bodyweight squat) and incline pushups against the edge of my desk. I’d intersperse these with stepping downstairs for a few minutes and walking around our building once. These kept the heart pumping and prevented nodding off in the late afternoon.

61 Sean May 11, 2010 at 8:16 am

Here is an easy one: take the stairs

try skipping one step as well

you don’t have to run them, just stay on your tones!

62 Jeff May 11, 2010 at 8:21 am

I keep a small freeweight under my desk to get in a few curls now and then throughout the day.

63 Peter May 11, 2010 at 8:22 am

I often will do calf raises while at work, waiting, and I also will clench my butt and thigh muscles while sitting at my desk. I also have a strength ball to keep my hands in shape.

64 Jason Kent May 11, 2010 at 8:29 am

A lot of good exercises have already been mentioned, but another one worth mentioning is jumping with a jump rope. This wouldn’t be a good exercise with a suit, but it’s a good one for when you don’t have access to a gym.

65 James May 11, 2010 at 8:37 am

For exercise, I run. I also do some sports at times (basketball, soccer, lawn tennis, table tennis).

66 John May 11, 2010 at 8:41 am

I do an isometric exercise my grandfather taught me. Grasp your hands together in front of your chest, and firmly press them together. Hold this for 10 secs and then relax. Repeat 4 times. It works your arms and chest.

67 Mike May 11, 2010 at 8:42 am

I do about 60 turkish get ups with (30 with each arm) in the morning. I do this currently with my 16 kg kettlebell.

It’s basically you lay on your back, lift the weight up in the air with 1 arm, then you sit up with the weight over your head, go to one knee, then to your feet , then stand. Maybe i’m describing them wrong, but here’s a youtube clip

It really helps with that “dad” strength.

68 Jason May 11, 2010 at 8:45 am

Dips can be done in an office, a hotel room, a park or anyplace you can find a ledge of some sort.
In my office or hotel room, I’ll back a chair against a wall or the bed, grab it behind me, extend my feet out and perform the dip. I like to do them during commercials in the hotel room.

69 Josh F. May 11, 2010 at 8:51 am

If I’m at a hotel or something, and there’s no option for using a weight room, I can always do pistol squats, which are really the only option for working out one’s legs without any weights.

They’re basically bodyweight squats, done with one leg. They’re…pretty hard, but they work your legs well.

70 Dwayde May 11, 2010 at 8:52 am

Hi,small kettlebell,push ups,isometrics,mostly when no one is looking,not give away my secrets!

71 Ray Crego May 11, 2010 at 9:06 am

At home my routine lately has been:
clean & press
pull throughs
beyond range pushups
kettlebell twists
(no lounges because of knee issues)

then I do around 250 situps
and 100 pushups or so. ( i used to to more pushups when i was only doing pushups ans situps)

at work I do stretches, calf raises, and i take a lot of random walks down the hall when i get sick of sitting for too long.

72 Jason May 11, 2010 at 9:07 am

Pushups of course! As well as taking the stairs and parking your car on the far end of the parking lot.

73 Kevin May 11, 2010 at 9:10 am

When sitting at a desk I move my legs like riding a bike.

74 David Smith May 11, 2010 at 9:12 am

I used to work at a machine shop several years agos. We would take orders for materials to build hydraulic cylinders. Most of the pipe we sold were on average 3 to 4 feet long and we would cut them off of 24 foot pieces of chrome rod and pipe. When they are long we used the 10ton overhead crane to move the pieces around the shop, but as they go cut and were shoety it was easier to just carry them to the saw to get cut. So I would carry these pieces around the shop stopping for a quick curl or press befor returning it to its spot of the shell. After several mothrs it got easier and easier to carry these heavy rods and pipe.

75 Marcus May 11, 2010 at 9:23 am

It takes a little bit of space, and isn’t easy, but wherever you are, nothing beats a set of burpees.

Standing straight, drop to a squat then kick your legs out behind you into a plank, and do a push-up, then pull your legs back under you into a squat and launch straight into the air. repeat.

76 Michael May 11, 2010 at 9:27 am

I really like single-leg squats.

They’re way too intense to do without some support (for most of us anyway), so I do them on a stairwell holding or or both rails. Another way is to put a chair up against the bathroom wall and hold onto a rod.

77 Turling May 11, 2010 at 9:30 am

Pushups, situps, air squats.

Also, try and weed a section of yard as quickly as you can. That gets tiring. Or, better yet, race your son to see who can complete it fastest.

78 Joe May 11, 2010 at 9:33 am

I am partial to Hindu Squats. They are easy to do, require no equipment, and they work several muscle groups key to quick athletic movement. They are one of the key exercises of Hindu wrestlers, vouching for their importance in preping for combative activity. After all, you never know when you’ll have to dodge an errant motorist, fight a Wolfman (*hint* Wolfmen have nards), or defend your ladies honor from a cad in a bar.

79 Idkore May 11, 2010 at 9:35 am

We have huge exercise balls where I work. If there isn’t one in your office, get one! There’s nothing more satisfying than playing a reflexive-muscle-friendly game of catch with your boss and “accidentally” beaning him. Nothing helps workplace fitness and friendships more than balls in your face.

80 JSullivan May 11, 2010 at 9:41 am

I’ve replaced my computer chair at home with an exercise ball — helps me work the abs while frittering away time on Facebook!

81 Scott Pratt May 11, 2010 at 9:41 am

My outside-the-gym fitness activity is a simple one, but it works. When you take the stairs (as we all do, right?), get your knees up as you step. Bring them up to 90 degrees and move quickly. Short and sweet, and it injects some energy into the day.

82 Jarrod May 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

I like to do dips with my office chairs at various times throughout the work day. Great way to work the arms, chest and abdominals during the day. Sometimes I will even start the day off when the Perfect Push-up.

83 Stephen Smith May 11, 2010 at 9:43 am

Strengthen your grip! Either on a stress-ball, or a stapler or equally-sized office tool, just practice squeezing it, then relaxing your hand and repeat. Its not enough to get you sweaty or tired, but after a while it’ll sure make an impression when you shake your boss’s hand.

84 MaCayn May 11, 2010 at 9:48 am

I take the stairs.

85 Mitchell May 11, 2010 at 9:54 am

flex and hold your abs for 10 seconds then release. 10 reps of that, BOOYAH!

86 Michael May 11, 2010 at 9:57 am

I do leg extensions whenever my legs get restless. Still sitting in my chair I straighten up, then stick my legs directly in front of me and hold them there as long as I can.

87 John Wright May 11, 2010 at 10:00 am

My routine is based around the concept of not using gym equipment. I do Chi Kung exercises that my family had on an old Tai Chi video. These are not exercises for building muscle, but they do increase definition, tone, and flexibility. I also threw in a few exercises that worked muscle groups that the Chi Kung misses.

I start by stretching neck muscles by bending the neck in all directions.

I hold my arms at full extension at my sides parallel to the floor with my palms facing down and rotate at the shoulder – several times forward and then several times back. I then repeat this with my palms facing away from my torso. This works every muscle of the pectoral girdle.

Then, I extend my arms in front of me parallel to the floor with my palms facing each other. I contract my shoulder muscles repeatedly in an isometric contraction. After repeating this several times, I turn my palms toward my torso and repeat the same motion.

After I finish with my shoulders, I do several bends in all directions from my waist. I touch my toes and then use my lower back muscles to pull myself vertical again. I bend over backwards as far as I can with my upper abdominals supporting my upper body and then use those same muscles to bring myself upright. I then bend side to side and at diagonals.

Then, I raise one thigh parallel to the floor and assume the crane stance. I bend the opposite knee slightly. I then reverse positions with my legs. After this, follows the cat’s stance. I raise my leg until my toe just barely touches the floor and relax all muscles below the knee. Typically, I bend my other knee slightly at the same time. I repeat with the other leg.

I finish with the heel’s stance. I place the heel of one foot on the floor as far as I can from the rest of the body. I rock my foot back to stretch out the gastroc. I then straighten the palms of my hands and place one over the other. I stretch past the toe of the foot rocked back on its heel.

These exercises seem like very little, but after using them, I feel like I’ve had a full workout. The only groups that don’t really feel this are the upper arms, the pecs, and the lower abdominals. For upper arms, I lift textbooks (I’m a science grad student) is a pincer grip. For pecs, I lie on my back in bed (though this could be done on any hard flat surface), extend my arms at right angles to my torso, and bring my hands together while maintaining full extension of the arms. For lower abs, I stand with my back against the wall, and raise my legs at full extension parrallel to the floor hold and then slowly lower back to the floor.

Any of these exercises can be repeated with weight added the extremities (I use books usually) to increase the routine.

For aerobic exercise, I walk briskly (I can’t run because of congenital leg deformity) or stair climb. I hope someone can find this useful.

88 Man on fire May 11, 2010 at 10:01 am

The 12oz curl.
Grab a can or bottle of your favorite frosty cold beverage. Pop the top and alternating arms lift the frosty cold beverage to your lips several times until empty. Tones & strengthens the biceps!

89 Blake May 11, 2010 at 10:04 am

I have four exercises you can do in a suit which will work out your entire body.

1. Hindu squats
2. Hindu push ups
3. Back bridge
4. Handstand push ups

90 Paul May 11, 2010 at 10:06 am

I like to do some squats and incline pushups against my desk in my office to get blood flowing.

91 Christian May 11, 2010 at 10:08 am

If I find myself sitting too long at my desk and getting restless I like to take a few minutes to get up and do a high level martial arts form. It’s just enough to focus the mind, stretch the muscles, and reawaken the body.

92 Jay May 11, 2010 at 10:09 am

I try to do a max set of push ups as fast as possible every hour….and none of these nancy-boy pushups neither….chest to ground – full extension….and yes, its awkward when someone walks in on me…

93 Nathan May 11, 2010 at 10:12 am

I often run from one building on campus to the other, not because I have places to be but just because it is more fun than a leisurely stroll. Also, as a woodworking student I integrate a large amount of handwork into my projects as a natural form of exercise.

94 Joe May 11, 2010 at 10:13 am

Push up are an amazing exercise that have stood the test of time…

95 Shawn May 11, 2010 at 10:13 am

Feet on the bed, hands on the floor pushups: Hands wide, hands normal, hands close (diamond with your pointer finger and thumb)

96 O-bag May 11, 2010 at 10:13 am

This is somewhat NSFW, and is geared towards developing a function, as opposed to form: Kegels, they can be done anywhere, meetings, at your desk, in your car, or just waiting in a queue.

SImply tense and release your pc muscles(the muscles that allow you stop a pee stream mid-flow) a few hundred times a set. Soon you will find yourself lasting much longer during *certain* activities.

97 Drew May 11, 2010 at 10:18 am

I park in the garage farthest from my building and get a good 10-minute walk each way. Also, I never use the elevators in my building, and I almost never use the phone – if I have to talk to a coworker, I get up and walk to their desk.

It’s not much, but it helps.

98 Ross Moore May 11, 2010 at 10:25 am

I like to perform deep forward fighting stances (from martial arts training). It’s similar to a lunge, but more static.
With feet shoulder-width or a little wider, I put my right leg forward so that my thigh is as parallel to the floor as possible (without knee pain or the knee extending past the toes), and my left leg back as far as it will go with the heel touching the ground. And I stay there for awhile. Then I reverse with the left leg in front.
Working in IT, I sit a lot, so this is a quiet, unobtrusive way to both stretch the legs and get the blood flowing from working the thighs.

99 Phil Barber May 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

Bringing a fitness elastic with you when you’re traveling opens up a whole bunch of possible exercises. Rows, bicep curls, even stretching it over your back to add some resistance to push-ups: a lot of options with just one piece of equipment.

100 FreedbyJC May 11, 2010 at 10:36 am

Early in my Corrections career, I was taught by an “old Screw” to take a leaning (hamstring) stretch at least once every hour so as to not get too tired while standing our post. Lean into a wall, arms extended, and hold it for 30 seconds and then deepen the stretch by unlocking the elbow and bending it to at least 45 degress for another 30 seconds. It really works well and I’ve used it 1,000s of times in the last 30 years.

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