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5 Workout Moves You Can Do While Watching TV

By Staci Amend
October 22, 2014

With the advent of DVR (no commercials!) and subscription services (binge watching!), it’s easier than ever to fit “on demand” television into even the busiest weekly schedule. Combine your must-see TV with a simple strength training workout, though, and the pleasure’s anything but guilty. So put down the snacks, stick to your weight loss program and try these five muscle-toning moves.

1. Supported chair
Start by finding a wall with a good view of your television. Stand with your back against the wall and your feet shoulder-width apart, and squat down until your knees are at a 60-degree angle. Holding this position strengthens your core, quadriceps and glutes; this helps to prevent pain in your low back, knees, and hips. This is a great move to try during commercial breaks, as you should start by holding about 30 seconds and eventually work your way up to a full minute. Repeat five times.

2. Side elbow plank
Start by lying on your side on the carpet or an exercise mat, with your legs straight and legs stacked comfortably on top of one another. Engage your core and oblique (side) abdominal muscles as you raise your hips and torso, supporting yourself on your right forearm. Your right elbow should be bent, and positioned directly under your shoulder. Only your elbow and your bottom foot should be contact with the exercise mat. Hold this position for 15–30 seconds per side, with five repetitions each.

3. Couch tricep dips
If you have a coffee table in front of your couch, move it out a bit. Sit on the very edge of your couch, with your hands placed on either side of your hips, fingers facing forward. Your legs should be bent, and your feet placed firmly on the ground, hip-width apart. Scoot your bottom off the edge of the couch, slowly bend your elbows, and dip your upper body towards the ground until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Straighten your arms and return to the starting position. Do two sets of 5–10 dips.

4. Reverse lunges
Move a dining room chair in front of your television. Make sure you have about six feet of clear space behind you. Stand behind the chair and place your hands on the sides of the backrest at about hip level. Using the chair for balance only (do not pull back), take a large step backward with one leg—about long enough for your front knee to be at a 90-degree angle. Hold for five seconds, then return to standing. Repeat your reverse lunges 10–15 times on each side.

5. Standing leg raises
Stand within view of your television, with your hips facing forward and your feet a bit narrower than hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips. Lift your right knee so that your thigh is parallel with the ground, and your shin is perpendicular to the ground. Engage your core muscles, flex your foot, and push your right leg straight out in front of you. Hold for five seconds, then slowly return your raised foot to the ground, keeping your leg straight. Repeat 5–10 times on each side.

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