As 10,000 athletes from over 200 countries prepare to compete in the 2016 Olympic games, we’re sitting on our couches watching (maybe with a bit of cake), making resolution to be more like them. Healthier. Fitter. Stronger.
You’ll go to the gym more, buy some weights, maybe even get a fitness or yoga DVD to do at home, or…you could start now.
There are several exercises that can be done in your front room, without props, on the couch. Doing 10-15 repetitions of each exercise and following up with an aerobic element can take as little as 3-4 minutes (so one every commercial break will have you feeling healthier and more toned in no time).
So, had a long day at work? Get the T.V on and do some:
Armchair Stands (Targeting the front of thighs and butt muscles)
1. Sit on the edge of your couch (or armchair), making sure your feet are a shoulder’s width apart.
2. Use your feet to press into the floor, and slowly stand up (tighten your butt muscles as you rise and don’t use your arms!)
3. With your abdominals tight and your back straight, hold the position for a moment and then lower yourself back down.
4. Before you touch the chair, stand back up again.
5. Do this 10-15 times and then follow up with some light cardio by jogging (or walking) up and down the stairs.
Side Crunches (Targeting the oblique muscles)
1. Lie down on the couch on your left side (or the floor if your couch is too soft, or there’s a husband in the way). Put your legs together and bend your knees
2. Place your right hand behind your head, so that your elbow points towards the ceiling, and wrap your left arm around your waist.
3. Lift your shoulder off the couch whilst contracting the oblique muscles in your right side. This should bring your rib cage towards your hips.
4. Hold the position for 3 seconds (go up to 5 seconds once the muscles get stronger) and then slowly lower yourself back down.
5. Repeat 5 times on each side and then follow up with some knee lifts (stand up and bring your elbow to its alternate knee, i.e. right elbow to left knee)
Bridge Kicks (Targeting the bum and thigh muscles)
1. Lie back on your couch (or the floor if your couch is too soft) with your arms by your side.
2. Squeeze your bum muscles and lift your hips so that your body forms a horizontal line.
3. Raise your leg as high as possible and lower it back down again.
4. Do this 10 times and then switch legs.
5. Follow up with just star jumps.
The Bonus Round
This bonus exercise can be done from anywhere and anytime you are in a seated position and you have enough room to stretch your legs out in front of you.
Seated Scissors (targeting the leg and stomach muscles).
1. Shuffle your bum up to the edge of the couch. Sit up straight and keep a strong posture.
2. Extend your legs out in front of you, stretching, lengthening and straightening them.
3. Whilst keeping your legs straight, cross them back and forth in a scissor motion.
4. Do this as many times as you can, whenever you can.
5. To target a few more muscles, do the same with your arms while your legs are going, with weights. No Weights? Grab a few of our cedar blocks in each hand to use.
Do these exercises every single day, adding more repetitions and heavier weights as you get stronger, and you should see some pretty good results within a few weeks. You’ll have more energy, feel healthier and have a renewed and increased confidence. What are you waiting for? Give us 20, stat!