Office Fitness: How to Work Out Your Arms

Submitted by SharpHealth Team on Tuesday 12th October 2010
In this article
  • How to Work Out your Arms at the Office
  • How to Choose the Right Dumbells

You’re in your office (i.e., cube avec window) and you’re bored. It’s 3:00 p.m., you’ve met your deadline, and you just remembered your company is now monitoring your use of Microsoft Outlook. Ah, what to do? Cheer up, little man, good news lies just under your desk. No, its not nap time. It’s time to become a better man. That’s right, it’s time to exercise. "Oh no, SharpMan!" you cry? Relax. Follow these steps, and we’ll get you through your workday and ready for that hot (soon to be less than rare) date this weekend:


Invest. No, not in (but good idea!) — in dumbells. While the former might help pay for dinner, the latter will better insure a second date. Buy three sets of dumbells (two per set), in 10 lb. increments. Why dumbells, you ask? Because they fit under your desk better than a Bowmaster. Why three sets, you ask? Because you are going to get stronger if you practice what you are about to read.

When shopping for high-end dumbells, look for solid steel handles and heads. Check out Hampton Fitness Products’ Chrome Beauty-Grip Dumbells ($37 for a set of 2, 10 lbs. weights, available through 50 lbs. at $1.85/lbs.) at your local fitness outfitter or at The Dumbell Man ( ; (800) 432-6266). For something less expensive, look for any cast-iron weight with a smooth grasping surface. carries Hexhead Dumbells ($4.50/ each for 10 lbs., $7.50/ each for 20 lbs., etc., Item No. EXX1246) for a price that can’t be beat ( ).


Lift. That’s right, if you can see dust collecting, you’re not following our advice. Do one (that’s right Adam Ant, just one) exercise each day, and you just might feel a difference. Start with curls on day one. You’ll like curls because you don’t have get off your @#$%. (We thought so.) Remain seated and place your elbow against your inner thigh. Brace yourself by placing your opposing fist against the inside of your lifting arm to maintain position, and begin lifting. No surprises here, you’ll be doing three sets of 10 repetitions per arm. Alternate right and lift biceps until your three sets are complete, thus ensuring down time for each arm in between sets.

SharpMan Tip:

In weightlifting, the turtle beats the hare. Lift slowly and smoothly to maximize on each exercise.


Lift again. For day two, work the back of those word processing tools you call "arms". As before, remain seated, and with a single dumbell equal to twice your curling weight (see Day One), lift over your head with both hands. Then, slowly lower and raise the weight from behind your head. Again, three sets of 10 repetitions for each arm.

SharpMan Tip:

Be sure to check that your office chair is secure and strong enough to support both the extra weight and the range of movement of your exercise before embarking on your "me time". After all, you just can’t bank on those workers’ compensation claims like you used to.


Lift some more. For day three, get out of your chair and try some lateral lifts. Remember those shoulders? That’s right, they’re actually supposed to be broader than your waste. Lateral lifts will help get you there. Begin standing with your legs apart and slightly bent, your arms cocked inward (think Incredible Hulk), and holding one dumbell in each hand. Raise the weights equally, while maintaining the "flexed" position of your arms so that they remain parallel to your shoulders throughout your movement. Do three sets of 10 repetitions, pausing for one to two minutes between each set.

SharpMan Tip:

Be careful when lowering your weights after each repetition. Many a would-be SharpMen will bring the weights together at this point, the combined effect resulting in unnecessary noise (and unwanted attention from co-workers) and injury to your SharpGarb. In the downward motion, keep the weights at least one inch apart to ensure proper control during the exercise.

After three weeks, look in the mirror and inspect your work. You won’t be disappointed. But stop gloating! My god, man, look at that gut!

Final SharpMan Tip:

If, like many SharpMen, your "office" is actually a cubicle, save your exercise time for when you’re working late or otherwise alone in your area, and keep your dumbells in the largest/ lowest drawer of the cube desk.

This article last updated on Tuesday 12th October 2010
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