Calling all Indoor Enthusiasts! 7 Exercises for the Couch
With the rainy season in Washington well underway, it can seem increasingly difficult to make it outside during the cold, wet months for exercise. But the best part about exercise is, you don’t need anything but yourself and your immediate surroundings. Even if you love nestling inside all throughout the winter, it doesn’t mean you can’t get some serious reps in—with serious results to show for it! Here are a few moves you can work into your schedule without leaving the house.
1. Wall Squats – These ones are cool to do while using your laptop, but make sure doing the exercise properly is your first priority.
To do wall squats, find a nice wall space, and with your back planted on the wall and feet on the floor, slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 30 – 45 seconds and repeat 3 times. Be sure to push off the wall with your hands, and not slide up!
2. Couch Lunges – If you don’t want to miss your show, you might want to save this one for the commercial break.
Start by standing a few feet in front of the couch and extending your left leg backwards to rest on the edge. Lower your body until your left knee is almost touching the floor. Careful though; make sure your shin is perpendicular to the floor, and that the leading knee doesn’t end up over your toes. Don’t forget to switch! Perform 2-3 sets of 10 – 12 repetitions.
*Feel like there’s too much lounge and not enough lunge in your routine? Starting with a rest time of 20 seconds between each set of 10 lunges, cut rest by 5 seconds each time until you’re resting for only 5 seconds total, and then bring it back up for a fun pyramid work out.
3. Couch Stands – These are great for perfecting your ability to rise from the couch!
Stand in front of your couch facing the TV, with your arms crossed in front of your chest. Keeping your back straight and core engaged, squat until your butt lightly touches the couch, and then come back up. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 – 12 repetitions.
4. Couch Crunches – These ones are for when you’re on the edge of your seat (literally), so they’re perfect at any time for any show.
Sit on the edge of your couch, and extend your legs forward with your hands and arms helping you balance. Lift your feet off the floor, and then do a crunch! If the crunch is too much, just focus on keeping your legs straight and core engaged. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 – 12 repetitions.
5. Leg Raises – These are for those who hate doing crunches but love their six packs.
While lying on your back, straighten your legs and lift your feet off the floor by about 3 inches. Hold for 30-45 seconds Repeat 2-3 times. Be sure to place your hands under your bottom for additional back support.
Arms and Chest
6. Tricep Dips – Grab your couch and get to work because this exercise is great for any sturdy furniture.
To do a tricep dip, find a secure piece of furniture, and set your palms on the edge while facing outwards. Keep your arms at 90 degrees while you lower your body, keeping your back straight. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 – 12 repetitions.
7. Couch Push-Ups – Make sure your couch isn’t going to move for this one.
Go to the side of your couch while standing a few feet away, and plant your hands on it shoulder width apart. Do a push-up. For tricep work, bring your hands in close to your body when you push up, and for chest work, keep your hands shoulder-width apart. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 – 12 repetitions.
While waiting for your show to begin, riding out commercial breaks, or just to take a quick break from working your abs with those couch crunches, try some combination of these cardio moves to make the most of your TV time.
- Marching in place – Like walking but without going anywhere.
- Jogging in Place – Like marching, but faster and with higher knees.
- Side-to-Side Leap – Put a long thin object on the floor (like a broom), and with your feet together, jump sideways over it, landing with your feet still together.
- Jumping Jacks – Just a standard jumping jack set of 10 will get your heartrate up.
- Step Up – Find a stair or two and one foot at a time, step up, and then step down.
There you have it! Make sure to drink plenty of water and don’t start on an empty stomach or after a huge meal. Proper form is a must to avoid injury as well, so I like to do a little researching before I start a new routine or exercise. (My sources were Buzzfeed, Shape, Thigh Exercises Blog, Oprah, and PopSugar.) Have fun, and remember these exercises to fit in 30 minutes of exercise per day for the Summer Fitness Challenge!