This Exam Period, Try Deskercise

Alexandros Tsathas teaches you to shred for Stuvac.

I see it every semester. STUVAC comes around and the popping of packets of Pizza Shapes can be heard resonating loudly through deserted sports grounds and gymnasiums everywhere. Exams and exercise shouldn’t be exclusive of each other. In fact, one complements the other. “A healthy mind in a healthy body” is the mantra I’ve always ascribed to.

As exams test your knowledge, deskercises are sure to test your strength and cardiovascular fitness. They have the added benefit of being able to be performed in the comfort and convenience of your own study space.

This exam season, keep your scaling strictly academic!

Treadwheel Running

Treadwheel running

  1. Begin with finger in full extension.
  2. Lower finger to mouse wheel.
  3. Retract finger until wheel disappears under housing.
  4. Assume initial position and repeat.

Muscles used: the main typing and writing muscles.

Top tip: regularly alternate fingers to avoid muscle imbalance.

Swivel chair twist

Swivel chair twist

  1. Grasp edge of desk and lift both feet into the air (whilst remaining seated!).
  2. Whilst holding the desk, rotate hips in either direction away from the desk.
  3. Once the point of maximum rotation is reached, pull the body back to neutral.
  4. Repeat in the other direction.

Muscles used: mainly the internal intercostals and supraspinatus.

Top tip: as a progression, grasp the desk with only one hand.

Moldovan reverse squat

Moldovan reverse squat

  1. Start with an adjustable chair at its lowest possible height.
  2. Stand up, simultaneously pulling the height-adjustment lever, so that the chair rises with you.
  3. Once you have stood up and the chair has reached its maximum height, sit down on the chair (keeping the adjustment lever pulled tight), so that it returns to the start position.
  4. Muscle groups used: most leg muscles.

Top tip: the sitting component of this exercise is a great opportunity to catch your breath.

Assisted ab crunch – who needs a spotter when you’ve got a chair?!

Assisted ab crunch

  1. Lean into backrest.
  2. Pull and hold the recline-adjustment lever.
  3. Gently lower the torso backwards, until maximum recline is reached.
  4. Return to neutral (if you can!).

Muscle groups used: the core, mainly.

Top tip: the resistance of the chair’s recline mechanism should assist you in returning you to neutral.

Safety point! Prior to beginning the assisted ab crunch, check that leaning on the backrest at maximum recline does not cause the chair to capsize.