I can honestly say I have not set foot in a gym throughout my journey.

Besides the walks during Farmer’s Market Season all my workouts have been indoors and 99% have been in my home (the remaining 1% at my grandparents’ house when visiting).

Create a home furniture gym

I am slowly building my fitness equipment collection.  As I don’t have a bench or other fitness furniture I’ve had to find ways to use what I have in my house to do my workouts.

The recliner and flat end of my sectional are the two main pieces of household furniture that I utilise in my exercises.

So what exercises can you do on a recliner?

Pretty much anything that you’d normally do on an inclined bench, depending upon how wide yours is and how tall you are.  You can often find me doing incline dumbbell bench presses and flyes on my recliner.

Other exercises you could try include the tricep extensions and hammer curls.

Play around with your recliner to see what you can do.

The flat end of my sectional has seen much abuse from me working out on it!

Exercises you can do on the couch or other raised, flat surfaces include:

Arnold Press Bench Press
Calf Raises Tricep Dips
Seated Rows with a Resistance Band Dumbbell Pullovers
Concentration Curls Decline Pushups
Flyes Lateral Raises
Bulgarian Split Squats Tricep Extensions
Skullcrushers Incline Pushups
Triceps Press Tricep Extensions
Bent Over Rear Delt Raise Dumbbell Curls

Arnold Press

The Arnold Press is one of my favorites. For whatever reason this exercise just makes me feel super strong.

You start with your palms facing inwards and have the dumbbells at chest level. As you press upwards your wrist rotates and your palms end up facing outwards when fully extended.

This is reversed when you bring the dumbbells back to chest level.

home furniture gym_2

Working your triceps

Tricep exercises can be difficult if this muscle group isn’t as strong as the rest of the upper arm muscles.

You will generally lift lighter when working this group.  When you’re weak in this area (like myself) you may come to prefer the dips to any other tricep exercise.

Tricep dips

To do the tricep dips you must first position your hands shoulder-width apart on your couch.

1. Slide your butt off the front with your legs extended out in front of you. (You can bend your legs to modify.)

2. Straighten your arms, keeping a slight bend in your elbows.  Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the couch.

3. Once you reach the bottom of the movement (without actually sitting on the floor), press down into the couch to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position.

Exercises on a stool or sturdy chair

(I emphasize sturdy because you don’t want your chosen furniture to collapse, especially when jumping on it.)

-Step Ups
-Reverse Lunges from a Deficit
-Box Jumps
-Box Shuffles

With a sturdy (dining room) table or pair of chairs with a bar (i.e. broomstick) lying across you can do exercises such as incline push-ups or inverted rows.

Whatever exercises you do on your furniture is all about trial and error to see what works and feels comfortable for you.

Listen to your body and stay safe!

Connect with Expert Cassandra Schmigotzki.

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