Let’s face it, the couch or the love seat in the living room is perhaps the comfiest place to plant your butt after a long, and sometimes stressful day at work. Relaxing, watching your favorite show, and of course enjoying some reduced brain activity are some of the stress reducing benefits of vegging out.
However, your body generally needs the opposite in order to stay at optimal health and the two – three minute chunks of commercial deadspace inserted into your favorite show can serve as the perfect outlet for your body’s needs.
Instead of watching all of the commercials that plague your network TV channels, try these simple all-body exercises that can turn your sedentary TV night into a great calorie burning circuit couch workout!RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
1. The body squat
The first go-to exercise of almost everything that I program for myself, and perhaps the easiest exercise anyone can do almost anywhere. Try to perfect your squat technique during your show’s downtime; back should be straight, and your hips should push back in order to keep your knees from flexing over your toes.
Once your technique is solid, turn those commercials into intervals! Try going for as many reps as possible through all of the commercial break, or try to cram as many into one commercial and transition into another exercise during the following commercial in order to get an intense all-body burn.
2. The push-up
The second best and easiest exercise to perform during the break. Again, get your form then go for time or as many reps as possible. I like to try and compete with myself through-out the length of a show trying to up my push-up count for each commercial break.
Once your push-ups start to get easy, use that couch you were sitting on to elevate your feet putting you at a perfect position to do decline push-ups. Conversely, you can use that same couch to perform an incline push-up just in case you start running out of steam in your arms!
3. The mountain climber
Part plank, part crunch, the mountain climber gets all of your core fatigued. Go slow and use control in order to bring your knee to your elbow while in a push-up plank.
Try to do these for an entire break, and if you feel that you’ve mastered the mountain climber, add a push-up once you bring your knee in to your elbow this transforms your exercise into a spider push-up! These, like the push-ups from earlier, can be modified by using your couch to modify the intensity.
Lay down on the floor with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and drive up with your hips making a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. This workout will use your abs, back, and posterior thigh giving you a good balance of work after doing those squats that you just did a few commercials ago!
The good-old triceps dip, but done off your couch! Sit right on the edge of your couch with your hands placed right at the sides of your hips. Slide off and slowly lower yourself down until you reach your full range of motion in both the shoulders and the elbows.
Do this in short sets, like 10-15 per commercial if you’re not used to doing these yet. Take care not to do these too quickly as well in order to keep your shoulder joint healthy and happy.
6. Stationary inchworms
The classic from 6th grade PE class, now in the comfort of your own den! Hold the push-up plank position and slowly walk your hands back to your feet… hinging at your waist in the process. Walk your hands back out and repeat the process for as many times as you can during your commercials.
If you have the room perform the corresponding motion with your feet bringing your feet to your hands. Augment the difficulty of these by pausing at various angles forcing different muscles to support your body weight.
Get on your hands and knees on the floor, and take turns raising one of your legs straight out while simultaneously doing the same with your arm on the opposite side of your body; alternate sides. This exercise is a great way to develop increased strength and mobility of your spine, perfect for maintaining your low-back health!
Try to hold posture for time, five to ten seconds per hold should do. If you perform these enough, you should also get a great burn in your obliques and abs!
8. Couch dead-lift
To be honest I added this one just for fun, and not everyone can do these. For those who can, it’s time to start practicing for your next apartment or house move. Grab the end of your couch and get into a crouched position; feet flat on the floor, back should be straight, and your arms should be fully extended in front of you in a comfortable position to grab the couch.
This might be a challenge to those of you out there who have not moved your sofa, and be wary of your furniture if you have an extremely heavy couch only try these if you believe that you can lift a side of your couch!
So the next time you chill out in the living room for a lazy night in, try these simple all-body exercises that can turn your slow night of TV watching into a great calorie burner.
Alternate these exercises in between each of your commercial breaks, and if you love doing them look into other great body weight exercises that you could throw into the 2-3 minutes that you usually have to wait through for your favorite show to get back on!