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Life hacks: legally fit

The clocks go forward this weekend, and spring is a great time to shed those winter pounds. But it can be hard for aspiring lawyers to stay in shape when your nose is practically welded to a textbook. Try as you might, studying in libraries and taking tea with fellow students doesn’t burn calories.

So, without further ado, here are five exercises tailor-made for the fast-paced life of a student lawyer. They’ll give you all of the workout, with none of the gym.

1. Classroom-based stretching 

So, you’re studying for many hours a day, but that’s not a reason to neglect your poor, cramped up muscles. Use the space under your desk to stretch your legs out and point and flex your feet, feeling the pull on the calves and across the top of your foot. Once you’ve done three sets of 15 repetitions, stand up and drop something on the floor. Pick it up by bending slowly, from the waist, and trying to get both hands as far to the floor as possible. Exhale as you go down, inhale on your way up; this exercise is a great tension-buster.

2. Text book biceps curls 

We all know that legal text books are among the heaviest materials known to humankind – right up there with solid rock. So there’s every reason when you need to pick one up, to give your body the full benefit of the encounter. Simply hold your textbook firmly and curl it up to your chest, exhaling as you raise it.  Voila – instant bicep curls you can do whether you’re in the library or in a cab on your way home.

3. Broom cupboard push-ups 

These upper body exercises are a very simple way to break up your day. They’re exactly the same as ‘normal’, horizontal push-ups, but you do them vertically against a wall – preferably where no-one can see you. Benefits include getting your body out of the hunched position gained from hours of sitting at a desk, and much better pecks.

4. Wig lacrosse (trainee barristers only) 

It’s a quiet day in pupillage, and there are more than two of you contemplating the pub. Instead, go for cardio. Grab a wig with one hand, and a wig stand with another. The aim is to throw the wig and catch it with the wig stand – no hand grabbing allowed. Think of it as Lacrosse, but with a much flappier ball. Watch out for low chandeliers, and make sure no one can see you.

5. Use the stairs 

You’re on a training contract, based on the eighth floor and there’s a meeting on the 14th. Make the decision to leave a little earlier and use the stairs. Go as slowly or as fast as is safe, but a little exercise adds up and if you do this regularly, your glutes will thank you. Make sure you have enough time before your meeting starts to cool down and stop breathing heavily – or colleagues might assume you’re being over stimulated by the brief.

Dream of being able to do these exercises in a law firm for real? Find out how we can help you on your journey with our law degree.