Movement breaks: The 7 Best Exercises You can do Anywhere
In this complete list of the best movement breaks you’ll learn what movement breaks are, how to do them right, and why they work.
June 8, 2021
4 min

Are you taking enough movement breaks? It’s a simple question. But the answer is a bit more complicated than you might think…

Whether we know it or not, too much sitting is dominating our lives. Jobs that require large amounts of sedentary time are on the rise. In fact, sedentary jobs have increased by 80% since 1950. So chances are you know what I’m talking about.

How can you break out? I get it, you’re too busy, there’s no time, gyms are expensive and you’re not sure where to start.

Luckily there’s a quick and easy way to say “see ya’ later” to sedentary. They’re called movement breaks, and they’re good for your body, mind, health and fitness.

In this ultimate list of all the best movement breaks you can do anytime, anywhere, you’ll learn what active breaks are, how to do them right, and why they work.

Let’s get moving!

What are movement breaks?

Movement breaks are quick moments throughout your day used to move your body and reset your mind with light exercise—typically every 1-2 hours. Some common movement breaks include walking, stretching, or simple exercises that combat the negative impact of prolonged sitting or sedentary activities.

How to add movement breaks to your day

There’s all types of movement breaks available to you. 

Experimenting with what exercises you’re doing and when you’re doing them is essential for staying motivated and building healthy habits. So make sure you try each movement break until you find the right mix of movements that fits your needs.

It’s also important to track your progress and set reminders to take breaks. An activity tracker app is your best friend when it comes to keeping tabs and getting reminders during your day.

This list of movement breaks includes quick and easy beginner exercises that are great for starting your movement break journey without equipment or a lot of space.

The 7 best movement breaks:

1. Push-ups

Push-ups have remained a staple of home workouts because of all their benefits and how simple they are.

They’re also more than just an upper body workout. They engage the lower body too, which makes them the perfect movement break to counteract all that sitting you’re doing.

Try doing some quick push-ups every 1-2 hours during your day to make exercise a realistic and manageable part of your daily routine.

Learn how to do a push-up

2. Squats

Squats are another classic exercise perfect for fast and simple movement breaks. 

While squats are primarily a lower body workout, they also engage the cardiovascular system which can help with brain function and overall well-being.

A few squats as a movement break will help you add exercise to your day and get you moving when you need it most. 

Add them to your movement breaks routine and enjoy all the squat benefits this exercise has to offer!

Learn how to do a squat

3. Crunches

Next up are crunches, the fast and easy core exercise perfect for a quick movement break.

Crunches are a variation of sit-ups that give you a more targeted core and ab workout. Adding a few crunches to your daily routine is enough to give you all the benefits of crunches, like better posture and back injury prevention.

Try crunches for your next movement break and feel that healthy ab burn that builds a stronger core.

Learn how to do crunches

4. Lunges

Taking the lunge plunge is a fantastic way to add more movement to your daily routine. Lunges are a quick exercise that don’t require equipment or a lot of space to do…

Lunges are mainly a lower body exercise that strengthens the glutes, hamstrings and calves. But they also help with mobility and range of motion if you’re wondering how to stay flexible while you strengthen.

Try a few lunges at different movement moments during your day to target lower body flexibility and strength.

Learn how to do lunges

5. The bird dog exercise

The bird dog exercise is another great movement to target your core while engaging your entire body. Bird dogs engage your arms, legs and core in a movement that can increases stability and balance.

A few bird dog reps are a perfect movement break to engage your core and help you strengthen the muscle groups you need to build better posture and avoid common aches caused by sitting. 

Add bird dogs to your movement break menu for a fast and simple movement you can do almost anywhere.

Learn how to do the bird dog exercise

6. Planks

Planks and active planks are fantastic movement break material. They engage your upper and lower body simultaneously for a holistic activity great for the whole body. 

Plus, the active plank variation turns it into a modified push-up great for stretching your lower back and body.

Try planking for a minute or two as an active break, or add some active plank reps into your routine for a stronger core and less tightness in your lower back, hips and legs.

Learn how to do planks and active planks

7. Stretches

Stretching can be active too! You don’t always have to go full tilt with your active breaks. 

A few well-timed stretches during your day will do wonders for your body and help you undo some of the side-effects of sitting.

Stretches like child’s pose or a simple spine twist have a lot of advantages. Stretching as a movement break is perfect for times when harder exercises aren’t quite right, like in the morning or right after a meal.

Learn the 10 best stretches

Movement breaks for better days

Your day needs more movement. Movement breaks are the easiest, fastest and most manageable way to add them to even the busiest schedule.

Hot tip: Use an activity tracker app to get helpful reminders for when its time for your next movement break. Plus, you get to track your progress and hit your goals all at the same time with gamified fitness!

Try these movement breaks today and enjoy all the benefits of sitting less and moving more!

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