- Wall Sit: Engage various muscles with the wall sit exercise, which can be done without pausing your game.
- High Knees: Get your blood flowing with high knees, a surprising exercise that can start burning right away.
- Squats: Work out your lower body with squats, a great exercise to do while gaming.
- Cross Body Stretch: Break the monotony of sitting still and stretch your muscles with the cross-body stretch.
- Knuckle Push Up: Strengthen multiple muscle groups with the knuckle push-up, which is especially beneficial for gamers with wrist pain.
Playing video games might be a great way to take your mind off the world, but it’s not always so great for your body. There are numerous studies that show prolonged sitting can be detrimental to your health. This is why standing desks have become so popular as of late. There is good news for gamers, however, as there are ways to get your blood flowing without having to exit your favorite game. Enter the world of a surprising exercise you can do while gaming.
Okay, it’s true these exercises might not make you look like the Rock, but you can do them without any interruption to your favorite game. It’s even better if you purchase a wearable like an Apple Watch to help track your exercises and calorie burn.
It’s okay to get up from your chair or sofa, find a wall, and sit against it. This exercise helps engage muscles you may not have used for some time. You are likely going to feel the burn right away. The best position is to sit with your quads parallel against the floor with your knees over your ankles. Your feet should also be shoulder-width apart.
Once you are in this position, you can feel the burn in your quads almost immediately. It’s only recommended to try this for no more than a minute at a time, and only a few times during a session. As long as you have a wireless controller, this surprising exercise should be super easy to pull off while gaming.
Apologies for this surprising exercise in advance, but high knees are a great way to get things moving. All you really have to do with this exercise is stand up and run in place. Well, this, and bring your knees as high as you possibly can, hopefully near chest level. All you have to do is alternate each leg every time and you’re exercising.
Ideally, you would try to perform this routine for no more than 20-30 seconds at a time, with a minute rest between each session. You can do it for 3-5 minutes in total and you should feel ready to jump back into your game.
A great full-body workout, squats are an easy and surprising exercise you can do while gaming with nothing but your own body weight. Best of all, you never have to take your eyes off the TV. Make sure to keep your neck straight the whole time so you can see a loading screen with absolute ease. You will start with a squat from a standing position and then bend your knees over your ankles while pushing your butt back. Just make sure you are keeping your spine as straight as you can.
You should also keep your arms extended all the way out in front of you as you go down and up. There is no limit to how many of these you can do or in what period of time. This said, when your knees start to ache, it’s a good sign to rest and try again later.
More of a stretch than a workout, the cross-body shoulder stretch helps your shoulders and upper back feel good. As these two areas are likely to feel some of the pain from sitting too long, this stretch helps you realign everything and power through another gaming session. To get started, position your legs shoulder-width apart and grab one arm just above the elbow.
You can now pull your arm across your body right above the chest while you feel a stretch in your shoulder. It’s definitely important to make sure your elbow is below the height of your shoulder in order to maximize any stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then switch sides. Repeat a few times until you feel like your muscles are ready for another multiplayer round.
Knuckle Push Up
Another great surprising exercise to tackle during a load screen is the knuckle push-up which helps exercise a bunch of different muscle groups. While a normal push-up can put your wrist in an otherwise awkward extension, the knuckle version keeps your wrists straight. As wrist pain can be an issue during lengthy gaming sessions, especially for PC gamers, supporting the wrists is critical.
For this exercise, all you have to do is keep going until you can’t do it anymore. You can start by keeping your knees down while you work on the form and build some initial strength. When you feel ready, lift your knees and keep going until you’re hitting different milestones.
This is definitely a surprising workout most gamers are unlikely to consider. Adding a stationary bicycle to your home does come with an initial investment, but it’s worth it for long-term health. All you have to do is put the bicycle in front of a television, add a gaming console, and commit to riding.
For many different game types, you won’t be impeded by some additional movements in your hands, so stationary bicycling can be a great workout. You don’t even have to pedal all game long, so start with small sessions and build your way up until you hit 30, 60, and 90 minutes.
One great exercise you can do right in front of a television is the lunge. This is a very easy exercise that will help you feel an immediate burn as you use muscles that may be lying dormant. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Next, step forward and bend both knees until each knee is at a 90-degree angle.
Your back knee would ideally be close to the floor while your front knee would stay at this 90-degree angle for a second or two. You then step back and repeat with the other leg stepping forward. Repeat for around a minute or two, rest, and then repeat up to three times.
Apologies for this one in advance but this is a good one to try while you’re waiting for your team to finish in Call of Duty. For a controller figure eight exercise, you start by sitting with your arms stretched out in front of you. While stretching your arms out, you will hold your controller in front of you parallel to your legs.
Now, for the worst part, hold your legs straight out in front of you as well. With the controller in your hand in a traditional grip, begin moving it around in a figure-8 motion. Rest assured this surprising exercise is going to cause some burn right away, so feel free to put your legs down to the floor when you feel fatigued.
It’s probably best to pause your game while trying a seated scissor, but you’ll be done quickly. To get started, lie down on your back with your arms by your side with palms facing down. It’s a good note to remember that your arms should not move during the entirety of this exercise.
Your next step is to lift your legs so your heels are right around six inches off the ground. Now, kick both legs outwards as if they are a pair of scissors and bring them back toward the center so they cross over each other in the air. You can perform this move for any number of repetitions while keeping your abs flexed.
No, the superman exercise isn’t a game, but it is a great full-body exercise. To get into position, squat down on the floor so you’re in a doggy position. Your arms should be straight and your knees should be at a 90-degree angle. When you’re all set, start by lifting the opposite arm and leg out in a full stretch.
Your arm should look like you’re in the superman flying position, hence the name. Now, switch positions with the opposite arm and leg going out in front and back of you. Your abs are fully engaged in this position, which means it’s also a great ab workout along with your core body muscles.
Summary of Surprising Exercises You Can Do While Gaming
|The wall sit exercise is an easy way to engage various muscles that you can do without ever using a pause button.
|Don’t let high knees fool you. This surprising exercise to do while gaming can start burning right away but it feels oh so good.
|Nobody has ever said they love squats but they are a great lower body workout.
|Cross Body Stretch
|The cross-body stretch helps you break out the monotony of sitting still and stretches your muscles at the same time.
|Knuckle Push Up
|A knuckle push-up isn’t fun, but it’s one of the best-known exercises for a reason.
|Stationary bicycling does require an investment but it has a very big payoff.
|Lunges have been popular for a long time as part of fitness routines for all the right reasons.
|Figure eights are going to be more challenging than you think but you can do them with a controller in hand.
|The seated scissor takes no time at all but definitely works your core in the best possible way.
|Unfortunately, superman isn’t a video game, but it is a surprising exercise that is a complete full-body workout.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Tirachard Kumtanom/Shutterstock.com.