3 Exercises 'Desk-Workers' DON'T need to do in the Gym


80% of our new clientele at PPS are:

  • Newbie to novice lifters

  • Work at a desk all day

This means they are exposed to a higher risk of injury when lifting.
Most desk workers present themselves with common postural issues such as:

  • Stiff lower-back & sleepy glutes

  • Rock hard quads & tight hip-flexors

  • Rounded shoulders and a cranky neck

So it makes sense to address these issues from day 1 in the Gym, helping to ensure we get off to the best start possible in our lifting career (or it could make for a short one).

However there are at 3 really common movements a lot of newbies perform in the gym (mainly because they are simply & straight forward), that only work to make the above issues even worse. Increasing their chances of getting injured even further.

These are the:

  • Back Extension

  • Leg Extension

  • Shrug

Let’s touch on why you don’t need to perform these movements and what we recommend doing instead:


The ‘Back-Extension’ is designed to strengthen the lower-back.

As we touched on earlier, you probably already have a pretty stuff back from spending 8-10 hours slouched in a chair all day. What we should be doing, is looking to wake up and strengthen our glutes, so they can take some of the load off our lower-back.

The solution?

Movements such as the Barbell Hip-Thrust. This movement teaches ‘hip extension’ and targets the booty (both for functional and visual purposes).


Tight hip-flexors & quads are the most common complaints from desk-workers & novice lifters in the Gym.

When we sit, our thighs are in a flexed position - this shortens the muscle and in turn can lead to a host of other issues such as ‘anterior pelvic tilt’.

Isolating our quads on the Leg Extension (which is a seated movement) should be a big no-no for now.
This may look cool and seem pretty easy to do but only exasperates the ongoing problem.

Try performing lunges instead. The ‘front-foot elevated’ lunge is a great movement - you are still working your quad muscles, but also training single stability/balance & getting a nasty stretch through your hip-flexors.

Everyone HATES lunges, but they are a must in any training program.


Ever felt like you had really tight traps and a stiff neck?
Me too - and so has anyone else who stares at a screen or their phone all day.

The shrug islolates these exact muscles and won’t help the situation at all.

What we need to do, is strengthen the lower-mid traps, helping to correct our posture and give our upper-traps some support.

The exercise to help with this, is a simply ‘Incline Shrug’ - try these instead of your conventional up-right shrug:

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