The couch is a place of comfort, peace and sometimes a little, eh hem, extra-curricular activity if you know what I mean…

It’s also said that too much time spent on a couch can lead to obesity, poor posture and overall bad health.

That’s only partially true. It’s more like inactivity that causes the battery of unhealthful side effects. The couch is a mere accessory in the crime so I wouldn’t go blaming it in general.

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In the world of fitness, the couch can actually be utilized as an implement for quick and effective exercises

That’s right. All you need is a little creativity and you can go from a couch potato to a super ninja in no time!

Here are a few exercises to get you started off:

1. Decline Push-ups

Push-ups by themselves are great body weight exercises that work your chest, triceps, shoulders and abs. Change the variables a little, and you can increase the intensity. One particular way is with decline push-ups.

Stand with your back to the couch and bend down toward the ground as you place your hands about shoulder width apart on the floor. Carefully place your feet next to each other on the couch so your body is at an angle.

Maintain a straight line from the back of your head to your heels as you bend your elbows and lower yourself down.

Stop when your chin lightly touches the floor and push back up until your arms are fully locked out. Repeat for a set of reps.

2. Deadlifts

I’m sure you’ve moved a couch before where you grab one end and someone else grabs the other. This exercise is similar except you have no friends to help you.

Depending on how fancy or large your couch is, you can be looking at a significant amount of weight if you try to lift it up. But, if you only lift one side, you stand a good chance of making that action happen. Enter the deadlift

effective couch exercises_4Stand at the end of the couch with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Lower yourself down by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Your thighs should be about 45 degrees to the floor and shins should be vertical at this point.

Reach down and grab the sides or underneath the couch. Keep your back straight and abs tight as you lift the couch and come to a standing position. Squeeze your glutes forcefully at the top and slowly lower it back down. Repeat for a set of reps.

3. Bulgarian Split Squats

Do you want to know what’s fun about Bulgarian split squats?

The final rep of the final set, that’s what. These are just plain brutal. But, they are so effective that I schedule them into my workouts every few months.

Stand with your back to the couch and carefully prop the top of your right foot on the cushion. Place your hands on your hips or out at your sides to balance yourself. Hop your left foot forward until you take the slack out of your right leg.

Bend your left knee to lower yourself down and stop when your thigh is parallel to the floor. Rise back up in a smooth motion and repeat. Finish a set of reps and switch legs.

These not only work the quads, glutes and hamstrings, but they also improve your balance.

4. Floor Wipers

It’s only fitting that we throw some ab exercises into the mix. Let’s start with floor wipers. You will only be using the couch for a prop with this exercise.

Lie on your back on the floor with the couch behind your head. Reach back and grab the underside firmly with your hands. Keep your legs together as you raise them up at an angle to your right side.

Stop when they are perpendicular to the floor and lower them back to the starting point. Do not let your heels touch the floor and raise your legs up at an angle to your left. Lower them back down and continue to alternate back and forth.

5. Knee Pull-ins

Start out sitting on the edge of the couch with your hands gripping the front by your sides and extend your legs out straight with your heels on the floor. Lean backward as you raise your legs off the floor.

Pull your knees into your chest by bending your knees while leaning forward. Squeeze your abs forcefully for a full second, return to the starting position and repeat.

Time to get moving!

Ok, the next time you’re watching your favorite show and want to get some extra fitness into your life, go through these exercises.

Notice you don’t need even a crumb of extra weight to pull these off.

That makes it uber convenient and it also gives you zero excuses not to work out. Until next time, good luck and give me a shout if you are in need of further help.

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