The Lazy Guide to Working Out at Your Desk or on the Subway

Instructors from Pop Physique, the Brazil Butt Lift workout and more explain how to tone in front of the TV

Get your workout in during your morning commute.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Leandro Carvalho, the creator of the Brazil Butt Lift workout

The trainer has worked with Alessandra Ambrosio and other Angels.

On the beach: Lie on your right side, propped up on your right forearm and hip. Place your left hand in front of you for support, making sure it's in line with your torso. Lift both legs up to hover slightly off the floor and squeeze your inner thigh and butt muscles tightly. Slowly lift and lower your top leg up and down, creating as wide gap between your legs as possible while squeezing your left butt cheek. Repeat 20 times and switch sides.

On the subway: When you're on the train, sit on the edge of the seat with your hands close to your body and almost under your butt. Push away from the bench, lifting your butt a quarter inch off the seat with straight elbows and hold for 20 counts. Be sure to keep your back straight, shoulders down and away from your ears. Challenge yourself to increase the hold in increments.

At work:Stand on one foot and lean your upper body towards a copy machine. Flex your other foot, keeping the knee straight and lift behind your body for 20 reps. Switch legs and repeat.

Alessandra Ambrosio/Instagram

Lauren Kleban, founder of LEKfit

After teaching choreography in Los Angeles, the instructor created a dance inspired fitness method.

Watching TV: Lift and tone your bum by doing parallel arabesque leg lifts. Using whatever is available for balance, extend your leg straight back, point your toes and lift your leg just enough to fire up your glutes. Do three sets of 10 reps on each leg. Continue firing up your glutes after your parallel lifts by doing attitude lifts. Rotating from your hips, turn your working leg out, point your toes straight down, bend at the knee, lift your leg and squeeze your glutes.

Cooking dinner: Tone the backs of your arms by standing with your legs slightly apart, bending both arms and flipping your palms up. Elbows should be at your waist and slightly behind. Keeping your shoulders down and your core tight, rotate your arms in toward your waist, slightly lift and squeeze your triceps, return arms to bent positions and continue on for 10 reps.

Courtesy LEKfit

Rebecca Weible, founder of Yo Yoga!

The yogi is recognized by the Yoga Alliance as an experienced instructor.

Subway surfing: The subway is one of the best places to work on balance and it's a sneaky way to do a little core work on your next commute. Stand near a pole but do your best not to use it once the subway is in motion (I recommend holding on while the subway starts moving and again when it nears the stop). Plant both feet firmly on the floor and stand straight and tall through your spine. Your legs can be straight, but try not to lock out the knees. Make sure they're soft and can bend and straighten easily with the undulation of the subway car, like surfing. Keep the core engaged to help you balance, feel your navel pulling in towards your spine and keep your chest open and shoulders relaxed. It can be helpful to let your hand hover near the subway pole in case of any sudden movements. From there you can try finding a baby tree pose, bringing the sole of your foot onto your opposite calf. Switch legs with each stop. If doing a tree pose on the subway is the weirdest thing anyone sees, it's a boring day in New York.

At your desk: Sit up tall in your desk chair with your legs pressed together and both feet planted on the floor. Scoot forward in your chair if needed so that the full soles of each foot can rest on the floor. Bring your arms down by your sides holding onto the edges of your seat. Pull your navel in, keep your lower back straight and use your core to lift both feet at the same time an inch off the floor as you inhale. As you exhale, lower both feet back down at the same time. Try three sets of 10 with a break in between sets to start.

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Jennifer Williams, founder and CEO of Pop Physique

After studying ballet and dancing professionally, she created a barre-based class.

Standing in line: Stand tall. Roll your shoulders down and pull your abs in deeply with an exhale. Repeat, imagining your abs are pulling in deeper and deeper towards your back.

At the sink: Stand at the sink or bathroom counter with bare feet or in socks. Lightly rest your hands on the counter for balance and zip your legs together in parallel, feet knees and thighs touching. Then, lift your heels (relevé) and gently lower them back down. Repeat about four times slowly. Continue, lifting and lowering your heels quickly, until your calves and inner thighs fire up (you can do 30 second intervals, pause, and repeat as desired). Focus on constantly squeezing the inner thighs and cheeks together as you do this.

Sherman/Three Lions/Getty Images

Jeni DelPozo of Speir Pilates

The California native teaches reformer classes.

Brushing teeth: Keep your heels together and toes apart, with only two inches of space between the feet. Then do 20 reps all the way up and down, keeping the heels glued together the entire time to keep the inner thighs engaged.

At the sink: Face one direction with the inside hand holding onto the sink. Bend the knees and reach the outside leg to the back diagonal. Lift and lower the outside leg, tapping the toe down to the floor each time. Make sure to keep the inside leg slightly bent as to not lock into the leg. Hold the outside leg halfway up, then pulse up.

In the kitchen: Hold onto the sink for balance with one hand. Bend the knees to a challenging angle, keeping the heels glued together the entire time to keep the inner thighs engaged. Do 20 reps, with little pulses down and up. Then do 20 reps and press the thighs back. Make sure not to bring the knees too far in, focus on the thighs pressing back in order to engage the glutes and backs of the legs.

Courtesy Speir

Fitting in a workout can feel almost impossible, especially in New York…but what if you could secretly workout on the subway or in your office chair, without a colleague looking your way in horror?

Scroll through to see fitness instructors explain how to workout while waiting for the train, watching TV and standing in line.

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