Five ways to master the Apple Watch's Stand Ring (and have fun doing it)

When I first started wearing my Apple Watch back in 2015, the Stand Ring and I were at war. I tend to work both sitting and standing throughout the day, but kept missing that key Stand hour. With the Exercise and Move rings, you can still achieve those goals even toward the end of the day. Miss a few too many hours with the Stand Ring, however, and your day's goals are borked.

So I came up with a plan. An evil plan. You see, the Stand Ring is really based on a minute of movement rather than strict standing versus sitting — it wants to see you get up and walk around, or step away from the standing desk and do something more energetic.

If I wanted to get my Stand hours, I was going to have to turn that one minute of "standing" into something a bit more fun and useful. Enter: The Stand Ring games!

Here's how you play: When the Stand Ring buzzes, you get up and do a one-minute exercise or adventure of some sort. If you work with people and know you won't be able to do something routinely at ten to the hour, find another time during that hour. It's the movement that matters — not that you do it when the notification buzzes you.

I've been playing Stand Ring games for over two years now, and it remains my favorite way to stay active throughout the day and get those hours. Here are five of my favorite activities, but you can also substitute with any quick exercises you prefer.

1. Burpees

I put the hardest one first — in part because it's what I do most often, but it's also an exercise that gets your heart rate up quickly and keeps you energized. The video below is a quick example of a burpee — and a semi-terrible one for form, as I was on burpee #30 of the morning when my camera finally decided recording — though I'm sure you can find lots of better, in-depth examples by exercise experts on YouTube and elsewhere on the web.

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2. Arm claps

If you're not so much into the jumping onto the floor and doing a pushup thing — or you work in an office where this isn't really possible — arm claps are a nice easy way to get your blood flowing and your shoulders and arms moving. You can even do these sitting down, though I recommend standing if you want to get a better stretch in your back and shoulders.

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3. Air and jump squats

Air squats or jump squats are some other good, quick "get your body moving" exercises: They help work out any kinks in your legs and back from sitting, and, as with burpees, get your heart rate up.

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4. Take a tea, coffee, or water break

When I worked in an office, I used to have a timer app on my Mac that would yell at me every hour to go refill my tea or water glass. I've since stopped using it, but the Watch's Stand Ring is a great substitute — if I've been stationary at my desk for too long, maybe I do need a tasty beverage to get myself moving again. (If you work at an office, this is also a great excuse to take the long way to the office kitchen to get some steps in, or to chat with co-workers to break up the day.)

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5. Dance party!

If you hate exercising but love music, a one-minute dance party can be exactly the thing you need to get yourself moving again. The rules for this one are simple: Put on a song you love and don't stop moving for a minute. If you want to make it extra fun (and get in some Exercise and Move ring action while you do it), dance for the whole song! Just, y'know, avoid putting on something like 2112 unless you want to be dancing for half the hour.

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Your favorite ways to beat the Stand Ring?

Let me know in the comments, iMore — I'm curious!

Updated September 2017: These Stand Ring games never get old, so I'm bringing them back with the launch of Series 3.

Serenity Caldwell

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.