This Is Why The Toilet is Perfect For Your Next Micro-Workout

It doesn’t matter how busy your day is, you always make time to visit the toilet. It’s as certain as death and taxes. If you’re like most Americans, you’ll spend up to 30 minutes today taking care of business, according to a recent MAP Testing study. Why not make the most of your toilet time? Put down your phone and try something new.

Take advantage of those precious few minutes of solitude and turn your porcelain sanctuary into a micro-workout center. Hipfit has two stretches and a strength exercise to keep things interesting. Give us just five minutes and we’ll show you how to move more than just your bowels. It’s OK, nobody’s watching. Don’t just sit there—stretch!

Arm Stretch On The Can

What’s in it for me: As arm stretches go, this seated overhead tricep stretch is an old standard. You won’t see it demonstrated on YouTube, quite like this. It’s best known as a great stretch to warm things up before exercise, but it’s also a perfect way to relieve the day’s stress and anxiety while you’re seated on the can.  With a subtle modification, you can stretch your lats too. Whether you’re targeting your triceps or your latissimus dorsi, be careful not to strain your neck.

How to do it: Lift one of your arms over your head, positioning the bicep several inches away from your ear and hang your forearm behind you. Grasp your elevated elbow with the other hand. Gently pull your elbow back and toward your head, until you feel the stretch. Hold this for 30 seconds. Repeat with your opposite arm. Modify this action to stretch your lats by carefully leaning your torso to one side then the other during the stretch.  

Toilet Finger Flickers

What’s in it for me: For starters, it’s fun to say- out loud. You just did, didn’t you? The next time your significant other asks, “What are you doing in there?” Say this, “Just finger flicking honey. I’ll be out in a minute.” While they’re outside the door giggling, you’re inside, building hand strength. After all, there are more than 35 muscles in the hand and forearm. This exercise is perfect for people who rely on grip strength on the job, and anyone with mild arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

How to do it: This one moves fast. You’ll complete two sets in just one minute. Outstretch your arms and make a tight fist with each hand. Cross your thumb across the front of all four fingers of each hand. This adds resistance. Flick your fingers out and in like you’re hands are wet and you don’t have a towel to dry them. Complete 30 repetitions in 30 seconds. Shake it out, and do it again. Add difficulty by speeding up or gripping more tightly with each repetition.

Itchy Feet On The Can

What’s in it for me: Bigger, more satisfying movements! Don’t blush, we’re talking about back stretches, nothing more. You’ll engage large muscle groups in your back and both shoulders with this seated toe tap. The spine is a complex mass of muscle, ligament, tendon and bone. It carries weight, contributes to balance and keeps you upright. You’ll recognize the major mechanics of this stretch, because it mimics shoe tying from a chair position. This stretch prepares your muscles for vigorous activity at work and at home.

How to do it:  Start with your back straight, sitting tall on the throne. Place both feet flat on the floor. If you use the Squatty Potty, now would be a good time to tuck it away for another day. This exercise should not be done from a squatting position. Bend your knees. Tighten your abdominal muscles and lean forward to reach both toes. A nominal arch in the spine is permitted. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Return to a seated position, then do two more repetitions, touching only one toe at a time.

If you live an average life expectancy, you’re going to spend nearly two years of your life on the toilet. It’s your choice how to spend all that time riding the porcelain. Whether you’re doing finger flickers, touching your toes or stretching your arms, you’ll be turning an otherwise banal waste of time into a true exercise opportunity by stretching while you’re on the toilet.    

Team Hipfit

We're the team that brings you micro-workouts, stretches and physical therapy inspired exercises for everyday life situations. Improve your Posture. Prevent Repetitive Strain Injury. Live Pain-Free. Have fun doing so!

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