Best Moves For Desk Workers: Plyometric Exercises

Combat the negative effects of sitting all day with plyometric exercises that help improve mobility, metabolism and activate your muscles. Boost your strength, flexibility, and overall fitness level to stay active and healthy.

By URLife Team
27 May 2023

Whether you work in an office or from the comfort of your home, the reality is that most white-collar jobs require prolonged periods of sitting in front of a computer, often leading to poor posture and back pain. While it can be challenging to change this sedentary routine due to work commitments, finding exercises you can do during your day can make a significant change. While they may not result in significant muscle gains or major calorie burn, these exercises can help maintain a varied heart rate throughout the day and stretch key muscles like the hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves, and triceps to prevent injuries.

While these exercises are great for moving your body around, it’s important to be realistic and understand that they’re not going to be making you lose weight. They are primarily intended to relieve stress and soreness rather than provide a massive calorie-burning workout. However, combining these exercises with a balanced nutrition plan and a regular exercise routine can help desk workers achieve their weight loss or fitness goals effectively, even within the limitations of their job. So, let's explore some effective exercises for desk workers :


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Plyometric Exercises

Plyometrics, also known as "jump training," are dynamic movements that involve explosive contractions of muscles. These exercises focus on developing power, speed, and agility, making them a popular choice among individuals with desk jobs or people with sedentary lifestyle. Incorporating plyometric exercises into your daily routines can counteract the impact of prolonged sitting and help you maintain your physical vitality. By integrating these exercises into your routine, you can improve strength, mobility, and overall fitness while addressing the challenges of a sedentary lifestyle.


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Benefits of Plyometric Exercises For Desk workers

  • Countering Sedentary Lifestyle: Desk workers often spend prolonged periods sitting, which can lead to muscle imbalances, weakened posture, and reduced overall fitness. Plyometric exercises provide a dynamic and explosive form of movement that counteracts the sedentary nature of desk work. By engaging in plyometrics, desk workers can break free from the confines of their chairs and activate multiple muscle groups, promoting a more balanced and active lifestyle.
  • Enhancing Strength and Power: Plyometric exercises are known for their ability to improve muscular strength and power. The explosive movements involved in plyometrics activate fast-twitch muscle fibres, which are crucial for generating forceful contractions. Desk workers can benefit from plyometric exercises by developing greater strength in their lower body, core, and upper body, ultimately enhancing their overall physical capabilities.
  • Boosting Cardiovascular Fitness: Sitting for extended periods can negatively impact cardiovascular health. Plyometric exercises, with their high-intensity nature, elevate heart rate and challenge the cardiovascular system. By incorporating plyometrics into their routines, desk workers can improve cardiovascular fitness, enhance endurance, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Improving Mobility and Flexibility: Desk workers often experience stiffness and reduced range of motion due to prolonged sitting. Plyometric exercises involve dynamic movements that promote flexibility and joint mobility. Regularly performing plyometrics can help desk workers increase their overall range of motion, improve joint flexibility, and prevent muscle imbalances, enhancing overall mobility and reducing the risk of injuries.
  • Increasing Energy and Focus: Engaging in plyometric exercises stimulates the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones that can boost energy levels and enhance mental clarity. Desk workers often experience fatigue and reduced focus due to extended periods of sitting. By incorporating plyometrics into their routines, they can experience an energising effect, improve cognitive function, and increase productivity throughout the workday.
  • Time Efficiency: Plyometric exercises are efficient, as they engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. For desk workers who may have limited time for exercise, plyometrics offers a time-saving solution. With just a few minutes of plyometric training, desk workers can achieve a full-body workout, maximising their exercise benefits in a shorter timeframe.

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Plyometric Exercises to Try

  • Pop Squat: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat position, then explosively jump straight up, swinging your arms overhead. Land softly back into the squat position and repeat.
  • Split Squat Jump: Begin in a lunge position with one foot forward and the other foot extended behind you. Lower your body into a lunge, then explosively jump upward, switching the position of your legs mid-air. Land softly back into a lunge position and repeat, alternating the forward leg with each jump.
  • Reverse Lunge to Knee Up Jump: Start by stepping backward into a reverse lunge with your right leg. Push off your right foot and bring your knee up towards your chest, jumping off your left foot. Land softly back into the reverse lunge and repeat on the other side.
  • Tuck Jump: Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and jump explosively, bringing both knees up towards your chest while in the air. Extend your legs before landing and immediately repeat the movement.
  • Jump Squat with Heel Tap: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat position, then explosively jump straight up. While in the air, reach down and tap your heels with your hands. Land softly back into the squat position and repeat.
  • Skater Hop: Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Take a lateral hop to the right, landing on your right foot and sweeping your left foot diagonally behind your right leg. Immediately hop to the left, switching legs mid-air and landing on your left foot. Continue alternating sides in a skating motion.
  • Burpee: Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your hands to the ground and kick your legs back, landing in a high plank position. Perform a push-up, then jump your feet forward towards your hands. From the squat position, explosively jump straight up, reaching your arms overhead. Repeat the sequence.
  • Box Jump: Find a sturdy box or platform at a height suitable for your fitness level. Stand facing the box, then explosively jump onto the box, landing softly with both feet. Step back down and repeat.

Related story: 3 Stretches For People Who Have Desk Job


Things to Remember While Performing Plyometric Exercises

When performing plyometric exercises, it's crucial to keep certain factors in mind to ensure safety, effectiveness, and optimal results. Here are some key things to consider:

  • Technique and Form: Focus on maintaining proper technique and form throughout each plyometric exercise. This includes maintaining good posture, landing softly, and engaging the correct muscles. Poor form can lead to injuries or reduced effectiveness of the exercise. If you're new to plyometrics, consider working with a qualified trainer to learn the correct technique.
  • Start with Progression: If you're new to plyometrics, start with exercises that match your fitness level and gradually progress to more advanced movements. This allows your body to adapt to the demands of plyometrics and reduces the risk of injury. Build a strong foundation before attempting more challenging exercises.
  • Suitable Surface: Perform plyometric exercises on a surface that provides good shock absorption. Avoid hard surfaces like concrete, as they can put excessive stress on your joints. Opt for gym mats or cushioned floors to minimise the impact on your body.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any pain or discomfort during plyometric exercises. If you experience sharp pain or excessive joint discomfort, stop the exercise and consult a healthcare professional. It's normal to feel fatigued and muscle soreness, but sharp or persistent pain is a sign of potential injury.
  • Allow for Recovery: Plyometric exercises put significant stress on your muscles and joints. Allow ample time for rest and recovery between plyometric sessions to prevent overuse injuries. Incorporate rest days into your workout schedule and prioritise adequate sleep and nutrition to support your body's recovery process.
  • Customise Intensity and Volume: Adjust the intensity and volume of plyometric exercises based on your fitness level and goals. Gradually increase the intensity by adding height, resistance, or complexity to the exercises. However, avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits too quickly, as it can lead to injuries.
  • Balance with Strength Training: Plyometric exercises are excellent for power and explosiveness, but they should be complemented with strength training exercises to achieve a well-rounded fitness routine. Incorporate exercises that target all major muscle groups to build strength and stability, supporting your plyometric performance.


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