5 physical exercises to do while being in a queue

Malaysian queue beside the road

Daily living with poor posture often results in tight muscles. When you have pain or tightness in your muscles, the physical therapist will assist in recommending the right exercises to reduce pain.

Everyday we line up for food, for event registrations or even at the Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Patience is the key especially when you are in line. However, there is nothing virtuous about your healthy routine being compromised while you queue. The next time you’re more than a few minutes on your feet, try to do fun, strength-training exercises that will improve muscle strength and also help you stay healthy.

  • Calf raises

Benefit: Improving ankle stability, strength, and eventually overall balance.

How to do: Stand on a flat surface, with feet pointing straight ahead. To flex your calf muscle, lift your heels off the floor. Pause for a moment, then come down slowly to the floor. That is one rep. Start with two sets of 10 to 15 reps, rest between sets for 30 to 60 seconds. Or just rest whenever you move forward in the queue!

“It’s so tiring to do all these reps with four feet..”

— Locat

  • Single leg balance

Benefit: Enhances your equilibrium, strengthens your glutes and increases your freedom of movement across your hips, which can become tight and limited over long hours.

How to do: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Bring all of your attention to your feet. As you stand tall with soft knees, press your feet firmly into the ground. Distribute your weight through the base of your big toe, your little toe, and the center of your heels. Relax your body while still maintaining your best posture.

Now this one might get you some unwanted attention while you’re in a public queue, but it’s a good one for when you find yourself alone in an empty lift or elevator waiting to arrive at your floor!

  • Knee Cross Crunch

Benefit: It hits your entire core—the upper, lower, and oblique muscles. The move also requires balance and coordination, effectively working your entire body.

How to do: Stand with your shoulders in line with your hips, and extend your right arm up and your left leg to the side, toes pointed. Next, lower your right elbow and raise your left knee, crunching them together on a diagonal line. Return to start.

The suggestions are getting a little more intense the further down the list we go, and it truly is one of those attention-grabbing moves. The next time someone isn’t socially distancing and is standing too close to you in queue, you now have a workout move to truly keep that 1 metre distance.

  • Shoulder blade squeezes

Benefit: It opens up your chest muscles and helps to improve your posture.

How to do: Raise your arms to shoulder height, elbows bent and palms forward. Move your arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat 5 times. 

We find this particularly effective after you’ve had a long day of work and you’re queuing for your dinner (or that sneaky bubble tea). Gives you a good stretch and burns a calorie or two before you eat.

  • Lateral neck stretch

Benefit: Help loosen your neck muscles and reduce tightness.

How to do: Start looking straight ahead. Turn the head to the left slowly. Use the muscles in your neck to press against your left hand for resistance. Keep for 5 seconds, then go back to the starting spot. Then lean your head to the other side slowly. Hang on for five seconds. Go back to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

A simple, everyday move you can do anywhere!

Let us know in the comments if you have other suggestions on squeezing in exercise where you can!

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