Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Couch Potato Workout

So, some of my friends have been requesting a workout that they can do at home with the kids running around, without equipment, and with a small area of space. I've been thinking of this for a while, and then I saw that Jillian Michaels was starting with it, so I know it's not an original idea, but I still think it's worth sharing...

The Couch Potato Workout!!

Basically you will be doing a "circuit" of exercises during the commercials of your favorite tv shows. Now, if you don't watch tv... how the heck are you not in shape?!?! If I was motivated enough to get away from technology, I would be a freaking buff bunny!! lmao

So you can rotate the exercises in any order you want, just make sure that do one exercise throughout the entire commercial break. Do as many as you can, taking a break if necessary. You can keep track of the length of time and the number of repetitions you get done, if you'd like. Your choices are:

Push ups: If you are a beginner, feel free to do them on your knees, but otherwise, maintain a straight line through your head, shoulders, hips, knees (and if you are doing normal push-ups, your toes). Hands even with your shoulders and thumbs pointing towards your body.

Couch Dips: Sit on the edge of the coach cushion, place palms on the couch frame just outside your hips, being sure that your elbows are pointed back, not out to the sides. Now skoot your butt forward off the couch and drop it down towards the floor. You want to keep your feet out away from the couch so that when you press down your knees stay behind your toes. You can make this more difficult by moving your feet further away or even lifting one foot off the ground.

Lateral Raises: Use anything you have for weights (start with soup cans, work out to water bottles, then even milk jugs!) With your arms straight, sit or stand with back straight and head forward, lift your arms out to the side up until they are shoulder height (AKA... parallel to the floor).

Forward Raises: Same as Lateral Raises, only you are lifting your arms straight out in front of you.

Chest Press: Use anything for weights, including your child!! You are going to lay flat on the floor and with arms straight out, elbows bent, press whatever you are lifting up towards the ceiling.

Plie Squats: With toes pointing out to the sides and feet apart slightly wider than your shoulder width, squat down. Be sure to keep your shoulders back and head up. You can even use the kids or a backpack for added resistance. If you want to make it more difficult, you can do it with one heel up and alternate OR you can lift your heels each time you come up from the squat.

Lunges: Stand one foot forward and one foot back. Make sure that toes are pointed forward and press your body down (NOT FORWARD!!). Your back knee does not have to touch the floor, but be sure to keep the head, shoulders, hips, and back knee in line when pressing down. You can do each side 10 times and keep switching. Also, feel free to use your child or backpack again!!

Crunches: Basic abdominal crunch is when your back is flat on the floor, knees bent with feet flat on the floor, with hands behind head for support (do NOT pull head up with your hands). Now lift your shoulders towards the ceiling.

Reverse Crunch: Back flat on floor, hands down by your side, keeping knees bent at 90 degrees, lift feet off the floor. Remember that slow and controlled, don't just speed through it.

Heel Touches: Get into reverse crunch position, keep feet flat on floor, lift your shoulders off the floor and bend to the side trying to touch your heels with your finger tips.

Bridging: Get into reverse crunch position and lift hips off the floor, squeezing your butt and hamstrings (the back of your thigh) at the top. To add more of a challenge you can have your kids sit on your hips... lol! Also, you can bring your hips up, hold, then do a marching motion with your feet. If this gets too easy, you can even lift one leg and bridge single leg.

Well, I think that's a good start! Let me know what you think. One more thing... If you want to make any of this even more difficult, add a pulse! With the raises, presses, bridging, and crunches perform the motion 10-15 times, then bring it up, hold it and then a very little motion (pulse) pretty fast. Be sure to throw your arms or body around. This is all a controlled motion, just very small. You can do the same with the squats and lunges, but perform the pulse when you drop it down.

Hope that this helps you in your quest to get that beach body... lol! OK - or at least just get you off the couch! Good luck!

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