It isn’t easy finding time to exercise, given our busy schedules. Given the need to exercise, we need to look at alternatives that are both cost-effective and don’t take up large chunks of the day. Typically, people exercise first thing in the morning before work or as a late afternoon activity. Consider how much time you could save if you exercise from the comfort of your work desk. Whether you work from home or in an office, you can get an upper and lower body workout all without leaving your workstation.
Before attempting the exercises below, please ensure you've spoken to your Healthcare professional about engaging in an exercise program.
This will be a slight variation on the typical squat. Firstly, set your board to zero incline, so the top surface is flat. Stand on the board with your legs shoulder-width apart with your feet facing forward. With a straight back, bend your hips and knees while keeping your heels firmly on the board. Hold this position for 3 seconds before standing up straight again.
Your progression will involve using the board's incline. This will challenge your ankles to maintain their position while on an incline. Bend your hips and knees as you did in the first variation of this exercise, and remember to keep your ankles firmly placed on the inclined board. This exercise will also force you to focus on maintaining balance and activating your core muscles.
Take care to do this exercise only if you have pain-free ankle movement, as it puts your ankles in a stretched position.
This will be a variation of a standard lunge with a progression. A lunge onto an elevated surface is a progression and can give you enhanced results.
For the ascending lunge, face the board one stride length away from it. Take a step onto the board as you would with a regular lunge. When your forward leg is flat on the board, lower your body and bend your other knee, taking care to balance your body weight through the leg resting on the board.
For the descending lunge, you'll do the same movement, but your starting position will be on the board, and you will step off the board onto the floor. Your standing leg will remain on the board while your forward/moving leg rests flat on the floor. Lower your body while maintaining a straight back.
To progress this exercise, put the board on an incline. This will further activate the muscles stabilizing your hip, knees, and ankles while working on your balance.
3. Calf raises
This exercise is easy to do. To begin, stand on the board with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift both heels off the floor until you’re balancing on your toes. Maintain this position for 3 seconds, then lower your body until your feet are flat on the board.
You can progress this exercise in two ways. The first will be to hang your heels off the board’s edge. Doing this will take your ankles through a greater range of motion, and your exercise will be more effective. The second way to progress this exercise will be to raise the incline of the board. Both these progressions increase your range of motion and make the surface uneven, forcing you to concentrate on your balance more.
If you struggle with Push-ups, you can set the board to an incline to assist you. To begin, kneel facing the board and place both hands on it. For visualization purposes, this is a variation on a lady's push-up where your knees never leave the ground. With hands firmly placed on the board, lower your body by bending your elbows until they're at 90 degrees. Return to your starting position by straightening your elbows.
You can also perform a standard push-up on the board. Start in the same position as you would for a lady's push-up and balance your legs on your toes. Lower your body in the same way by bending your elbows. Once your elbows are at 90 degrees, straighten up your elbows. Push-ups like this take the stress off your arms and pinpoint the chest muscles.
Another variation of the push-up would be to do push-ups on a decline. For this variation, start the exercise with your hands on the ground and your feet balancing on the board. With a straight back, lower your body by bending your elbows to 90 degrees. This variation targets your pectoral muscles and the front of your shoulders.
Related to the above is the standard plank. Place your hands on the slant board and perform a plank by keeping your body straight and supporting your weight on your hands and toes.
6. Tricep dips
For this exercise, you’ll sit with your back to the board. Reach behind you so that both hands have a grip on the board. With a slight bend in both knees, push your body up off the ground by extending your elbows and hold this position for 3 seconds. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows until your buttocks are on the floor again.
7. Side lunges
Step out to the side with one leg and lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the ground, then push back up to the starting position.
8. Glute bridges
Lie on your back with your feet on the slant board and lift your hips off the ground to work the glutes and lower back.
You can do many effective strengthening exercises with the board, but you can also do effective cardiovascular exercises by using the board as a stepping board. Stepping onto and off the board at a brisk pace for 5 to 10 minutes is an excellent alternative to going for a walk or a jog. It’s also great if you can only exercise indoors and you’re limited by space.
Simple but extremely effective are stretching exercises on a slant board, especially if you sit for a long time.
Simply raise the adjustable top to a comfortable level and stand for 3 – 5 minutes. Sounds simple until you try it.
For a deeper stretch, lean forward and touch your toes. Or put one foot on the floor with your other foot on the slant board and lean forward.
These simple exercises are vital to keep your calf muscles and Achilles heel flexible and healthy.
Getting creative with your exercises on the slant board is a great way to fit 30 minutes of effective exercise into your day without long commutes to the gym and bulky equipment. Another great benefit is that your exercises will all be body weight exercises ensuring you get toned while you build muscle. This is an investment that is great value for your time and your money.
Even better, the SpaceSave Ergo Adjustable Footrest and Exercise Slant Board priced for example doubles up as a footrest. Just keeping your feet elevated and your thighs lifted slightly off your chair, will greatly enhance your circulation, ensure you sit straight and alleviate back and knee pain.