Desk Worker Gymnastics – Get Better Posture, Balance and Strength with This Simple Exercise

Note: This fantastic tutorial post and video was shared by our friends over at Gold Medal Bodies.  They have a unique approach to fitness that we love, and we think you’ll see the benefits from this type of training in your own busy life.  Enjoy & don’t miss our interview with them later this week!

Quick! Name your favorite no-equipment exercise.

Everybody knows about the classic bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats. We love those for building strong and powerful muscles, but they leave a little to be desired when it comes to some of the less tangible attributes of “applied athleticism,” which we define as the ability to perform like an athlete in daily life.

If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, we’ve got an excellent exercise to share with you.

In the video below, we’re going to teach you one of our favorite basic movements for building the kind of prowess and control you usually only see in professional athletes.

But first, we want to tell you about some of the side benefits. Most people are used to thinking of exercises in terms of which muscle groups they work (squats for the legs, push-ups for the chest and shoulders, etc.), so we’ll start there.

When you see the movement, you’ll immediately see that we’re directly working the hip flexor muscles, which you use in lifting your legs. These are weakened by too much sitting. Weak hip flexors are a common cause of lower back pain, so this should already be attractive to anyone who does desk work. We’ll also be building core stability and leg strength by focusing on a couple of specific details in performing the movement.

With practice, you’ll find this exercise improving posture as well as the strength, balance, and body control that contribute to overall athleticism.

A Deceptively Simple Exercise for Balance, Strength, and Control 

Sales are a class of basic gymnastic movements in which the body remains straight while pivoting on a single leg. They get their name from the old-time weight measurement balance scales where one side goes down as the other rises. The image is easier to show than to explain, so check out this video for a bit of explanation and tutorial:

Here are the key points to keep in mind when performing the Front Scale Leg Lift:

  1. Lock both knees. This makes all the difference in the challenge level of this exercise.
  2. Raise the leg fairly quickly, but only as high as you can comfortably go. This is not a stretch, so don’t go too high. Knee-height is just fine as a starting point.
  3. Lower your leg slowly and with control.
  4. Tighten your abs by “lifting” the navel (not sucking it in) and rotating the pelvis slightly forward.
  5. Roll your shoulders back for proper spinal alignment. Also keep your head neutral and chin tucked.
  6. Gaze at a stable point in front of you to help maintain balance.
  7. Breathe.

Above all else, make it pretty. The control you develop by performing this movement deliberately and beautifully is the real secret sauce here. Anyone can lift a leg up, but doing so with poise and control is a much taller order.

By making your body rigid and selectively moving just one limb while maintaining balance, you’ll be building a foundation in body control that you can apply to whatever you do: just about any sport, but also walking, running, or picking objects up off the ground. When you think about how much time you actually spend on one leg every day, you can probably find all kinds of ways this exercise could be beneficial.

And best of all, you can do this any time, anywhere, with no equipment.

Give it a shot and let us know how it goes. As a matter of fact, why not just get up right now and try?

Then leave a comment and let us know how you plan to enjoy more balance and control. We love to see how people apply our techniques to their lives.

Note from Dustin: This is just the tip of the iceberg…go check out all of the incredible resources available over at Gold Medal Bodies!

Gold Medal Bodies is offering 20% OFF F1 to Fit Marriage readers through September 23rd, 2011. Pick yours up before it’s to late!


  1. Hey guys, thanks for giving us the opportunity to share this with Fit Marriage readers. As fit and married guys ourselves, we’re big fans of your message.

  2. GMB are awesome. Excellent quality material, easy to get started with, and easy to follow and progress. My wife loves how buff I am becoming, and it’s all thanks to GMB!

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