As runners our upper body often gets overlooked in favour of leg strength. Your arms and shoulders deserve some TLC too, as they're one of the key elements that propel you forwards when running. Improve your run power without even picking up a set of weights with some subtle shoulder blade desk squeezes.
How to: Squeeze your shoulder blades together as if you're holding a 50p piece in the middle. Hold this squeeze for 10 seconds and release. Repeat this for 10 reps, with 60 seconds rest before doing two more sets. Do this for a few weeks and your running fitness is guaranteed to benefit.
Strong calves are essential for good running form and working on this key muscle can also help you avoid a number of common injuries, including hip niggles and Achilles tendonitis. Sneak in a calf raise while you’re making coffee or washing your hands and your running form will benefit tenfold.
How to: Stand tall and raise your heels a few inches from the floor so that you’re on your toes. Hold this position for three seconds, squeezing your calves at the top before lowering your heels back down to the floor. When you do find a quiet moment, do 10 reps of calf raises and aim for five sets throughout the day.
This exercise is ideal for runners, as it works your quads, glutes and calves in just one move. Find a quiet space in the office with a wall such as the corridor or a meeting room and work your booty on the sly.
How to: Slide down the wall into a squat, with your legs at a 90-degree angle. Hold this for 15 seconds before standing back up again. Repeat this for at least three reps, or more if you have time. To ensure your squatting technique is correct, watch this step by step guide
Straight leg raises
Incorporate this easy exercise into your working day and work your legs and core without even moving from your seat. Just be careful not to drop-kick the person sat opposite you.
How to: Alternate raising each leg to a straight position in front of you, holding for 15 seconds before lowering to the floor. Repeat this at least three times on each leg and you’ll have chiselled, super-charged legs before you know it.
Go for a runch!
Naturally we’re keen to fly the flag for a midday run, because even a 20 minute jog comes with a wealth of benefits. This one doesn’t need any explanation, just grab your trainers, get changed and go!
Read the 10 ways to make your lunch runs easier for extra fitness inspiration.
Another great way to stay fit and healthy when you’re at work is simply to stand up more. Read the benefits here, and don't be shy to put in a request with your boss for a stand up desk.