• Nick Kilvert

7 exercises you can do from the couch


Andrew Lavender, a senior lecturer at Federation University Australia's School of Health and Life Sciences, says there are a lot of exercises you can do from the couch. Most don't even require props.


"They're great for people who haven't exercised for a long time or are low level strength and fitness," he says.


These exercises might not totally transform your health or physical appearance, but they're a good start.


Dr Lavender says each week you can build up how many of each exercise you do and for how long.


"You should start with as many reps as feels comfortable," he says.


"As a general rule, start with eight to 12 and build on that by adding resistance [heavier bottles] or doing multiple sets, which means do 10 reps and have one minute rest then do another 10 [reps]."


Tricep dips


Tricep dips work the tricep muscles at the back of the upper arms. You can also activate your core for some ab work.

How to do it


1.Sit forward just far enough so your butt is on the edge of the couch.

2.Place your palms shoulder width apart behind your hips onto the couch, fingertips facing down, keeping your elbows bent.

3.Lower yourself off the edge, move down and up again by bending your elbows.


Incline push-ups


Push-ups against your couch are easier than traditional push-ups. They predominantly work your chest (pectoral) muscles.

How to do it


1.Facing your couch, place your hands shoulder width apart or slightly wider, and legs straight out behind you.

2.Have your arms straight, and bend your elbows to lower you chest until it almost touches the couch. Then push back up to straighten your arms again.


Squats


These squats are basically getting up and down from the couch. They work your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps.

How to do it


1.Stand with feel shoulder width apart just in front of the couch/seat.

2.Keeping your back as straight as possible, and arms stretched straight out in front of you, lower yourself down as if you are going to sit.

3.Rise back up before your butt touches the couch.

4.For a "mini ab crunch", sit deep into the couch and rock forward to sit up.


Bicep curls


This exercise works the biceps.


You'll need some "weights" for this one. One-litre bottles are ideal, but you can start smaller with cans of food.

How to do it


1.Sit on the edge of the couch so there is room for your arms to hang down straight. Your hands will be in front of the couch to start, with your palms facing up.

2.Start by holding the "weights" down next to the sides of your legs, with arms fully extended, a slight bend in the elbow and palms facing up.

3.Bend your elbows and curl your arms up to your shoulders, make sure you curl all the way to the top. Lower back down.


Arm raises


Arm raises (aka lateral raises) work the deltoids, the muscles around your shoulders. You'll need your "weights" for these again.

How to do it


1.Sit with your back straight and slowly lift the weights out to the side until your arms are parallel with the floor, elbows slightly bent.

2.Lower back down again.


Side leg raises


Lying down? Sounds easy, but Dr Lavender says these muscles are not used much because we don't usually do this movement. It works the hip abductor muscles, on the outside of the hip.

How to do it


1.Lay on your side, propping yourself up on your elbow.

2.Straighten your top leg and raise it toward the ceiling and back down again.

3.Make sure to do both sides!


Seated scissors


Seated scissors are good for your hip flexors, abs and thighs. These look ridiculous but are worth it!


How to do it


1.Move to the front of the couch and try to sit as straight as possible.

2.Slide your hands under the front of your butt, or even behind your head.

3.Keeping your legs straight, hover them above the floor and cross them back and forth. Swap which leg is on top with each cross.

4.The higher you lift your legs off the floor, the harder it will be.



Article from ABC Life

 

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