Hitting the gym or going for that run can be hard after a long day of work, especially when the choice is between that and your favorite TV shows. Well guess what? You don’t have to choose!
Whether you’re keeping up with the latest episodes of “Games of Thrones” or “The Walking Dead”, try sneaking in these exercises during the commercial breaks.
For those who binge watch entire seasons of your favorite shows, no sweat! Simply drop that remote control (so you don’t fast forward to the next episode) and do 60-120 seconds of the exercises before starting the next episode.
Sports fans? We got you covered. Make it more exciting by doing one of the exercises every time your team scores!
Check out the list below for 10 body-sculpting exercises you can do while watching the tube. At a minimum, it’s a solid way to get your blood pumping while treating yourself to some entertaining TV shows.
TV Toe Touch-Downs
What’s in it for me: Whether you enjoy walking, running or hiking, it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter unstable surfaces on the pavement and the trail. Your feet, ankles and supporting muscle groups need strength and conditioning to help navigate the changing terrain. These toe touch-downs are one of the best functional exercises to assist in stabilizing your ankles and feet to help prevent injury. This move will also give you more power by strengthening your entire body including your glutes and hamstrings.
How to do it: With your feet set hip-width apart, lift your right leg off the ground just slightly behind you and bend from the hip pushing your bottom back as you drop. Touch your right hand to your left foot and hold for just one second. Keep your shoulders retracted, your back alignedand your core activated. Return to the start position, standing tall before repeating. Do three sets of 10 reps, then switch it up and do the other side. Touch Down!
TV Lateral Band Walks
What’s in it for me: This lateral band walk might look and feel pretty strange considering the restricted motion and awkward sideways gait. We are so accustomed to propelling ourselves forward when we walk, this will work a whole new set of muscles. Great for athletes who run, jump, twist and pivot, this exercise is a perfect way to assist hip stability and strengthen the hip abductors. Strap on a resistance band at the next commercial break and get ready to work. Do us a favor though, clear the furniture to your right and left before doing this one, you’ll need the extra room.
How to do it: This is a lunge move from a squat position. Beast mode! Fasten a resistance band about two to three inches above your knees. With your feet set hip-width apart, arrange your body into a squat position. Step your right foot to the side until it is in line with your left. Step together and repeat. After just a few sideways steps, you’ll feel resistance in your glutes, hamstrings and quads. It’s not uncommon to feel the hip flexors open as well. If you’re an apartment dweller with very little room, it’s all good! You can do this exercise in place too.
TV Curtsy Lunge
What’s in it for me: Don’t let the cute name fool you. The curtsy lunge is a variation of the lower-body lunge, and it targets your inner thighs and gluteus medius, a muscle that supports stability and hip leveling. Expect big things by adding the TV curtsy lunge to your exercise routine- and by big we mean a perkier butt and stronger, longer, leaner legs that just might turn heads. If nothing else, your skinny jeans will thank you.
How to do it: Ladies, this lunge is executed exactly like a curtsy. Guys, we promise you won’t have to surrender your man card when you do this micro-workout. With shoulders back and hands on your hips, put your right foot diagonally behind your left. Drop your knee until your front thigh is parallel to the floor and keep your front foot pointed straight ahead. Return to a standing position and repeat with other foot. There you have it- man card in tact! Do three sets of 30 reps.
TV Single Leg Push-Up
What’s in it for me: As a basic strength-building total body exercise, the single leg push-up improves core strength while also working the chest, arms shoulder and triceps. Whew! The good news is, you won’t need bands, dumbbells, or any other equipment to do this micro-workout. Push-ups can be modified to accommodate all fitness levels and this one is cranked up a notch. So, if you’re up for it, squeeze a few sets in during those annoying commercials. Now “Drop and give me 20!”
How to do it: Start from a plank position, making sure your body is in a straight line from head to feet. Keeping your back flat, tuck in your abdominal muscles and lift one leg just a few inches off the ground. Inhale while lowering your body into the push-up position with your chest to the floor, then exhale while pushing to the top of the movement with your leg lifted the whole time. Do three sets of 5 reps on each side to start. Try to bust out as many as possible until your program comes back on.
What’s in it for me: If you’re a die-hard HipFitster, you’ve done your share of lunges by now- in front of the bathroom sink, pushing the baby stroller, feeding the little one in his high chair, walking the dog, and in the airport. Why not bang out a few sets while watching TV? You’ll work your hips, glutes and thighs with these static lunges all in the comfort of your living room. For a little extra challenge, pick up a light pair of dumbbells when you do them.
How to do it: Stand with your right foot about three feet in front of your left foot. In this version of lunges, you’re simply going to drop your knee down to the floor instead of stepping forward and back. With your torso erect, keep your spine straight and tighten your abs as you push through the front heel, then return back to the starting position. It’s important to remember to not lock your knees at the top of the movement.
TV Glute Bridges
What’s in it for me: You get to lie down for this one. Don’t kid yourself though, it’s a workout, not an excuse to take a nap. Whether you do glute bridges as a dynamic stretch or part of your core workout, they activate your abdominal muscles, hips and glutes simultaneously. You’ll deploy the major muscle groups in your legs and core in a way they don’t typically move, creating muscle confusion. So, grab your exercise mat if you have a hardwood floor because you’ll be flat on your back to start this micro-workout.
How to do it: Lie on your back with both knees bent and place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Slowly push into your heels as though you’re driving them through the floor. Now lift your hips as high off the floor as possible but be careful not to strain your back. Lower your back, slowly and carefully without going all the way down to the floor. Take care not to abruptly thrust either up or down during your workout. You should be able to complete two or three sets of 25 bridges during a typical commercial break.
TV Lateral Lunge
What’s in it for me: The bad news is… well, you’re probably watching the bad news on TV right now. The good news is, you get to have a little fun with this HipFit micro-workout while you’re watching all that bad news. TV lateral lunges will get your blood pumping in no time at all, while giving the muscles in your low back, abdominals and inner thighs a real workout. Don’t hesitate to step it up by adding some dumbbell weight to increase resistance in the exercise.
How to do it: Stand with your feet side-by-side, shoulder-width apart. Pull your abs in nice and tight and stand with your chest up tall. Slide your right foot out to the side and touch it with your left hand. This will require you to keep your spine rigid while you bend forward to touch your toes. Drive your weight through the right heel, push off and return to the starting position. until and bend into a lunge on that side. Do three sets of 15 reps on each side.
TV Plank Twists
What’s in it for me: TV plank twists, also known as side elbow plank twists are the real deal! Do this challenging variation of a standard plank and give yourself credit where credit’s due- you’re a beast! TV plank twists are a great exercise to strengthen your core, so when you add a twist to the routine, you build balance, work your obliques and tone your shoulders. All this in the time it takes to roll the opening credits of your favorite program. Nicely done!
How to do it: Start in the basic side elbow plank position on your right side, with your feet stacked one on top of the other. Nearly all of your weight rests on your forearm aligned directly beneath your shoulder and laying flat on the floor. Place your left arm behind your head or pointed straight up in the air. Pull your navel in toward your spine and tighten your abs. Rotate your left ribcage toward the floor and bring your left elbow to the floor. Place your left forearm flat on the floor, opposing your right arm. Rest for one or two seconds before returning to the side plank position. Repeat up to ten reps on each side.
TV Jump Squats
What’s in it for me: Let’s hope you don’t have low ceilings because you’re about to get your jump on. TV jump squats are all about the legs. With each repetition, this micro-workout tackles problem areas in your quads, inner thighs, glutes and hamstrings. The essential movements required in the jump squat are similar to a burpee without the pushup. When we say jump, you say “How high?!”
How to do it: Stand tall with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, knees slightly bent and toes pointing forward. Shoot your hips and rear-end backward as you enter the squat position. Explode all the way up as you jump as high as you can, then try to land softly. Your arms are an essential part of a successful jump squat, shifting from back to front as you do each repetition. Work quickly and do three sets of 15 reps in rapid succession.
TV Single Leg Hops
What’s in it for me: Athletes use single leg hops to strengthen their ankles, calvesand quads. If you participate in any sport where rapid acceleration or deceleration is required, channel your inner athlete and get hoppin’. This easy micro-workout is high impact and will help if you struggle with balance and hip stability. You don’t need any gym equipment to complete TV single leg hops so you have no excuse- get your hop on.
How to do it: Pick a spot on the floor where you’ll launch and land one foot at a time. Lift your left foot behind you so you’re standing on your right leg only. Place your hands on your hips as a way to level-set your hips. Keep your shin perpendicular to the ground, side-to-side and front to back. Lift up onto the toes on your standing leg and flex your knee and ankle slightly so you can hop up and down on your standing leg. Do three sets of 15 reps, then switch to your other leg.
TV Arm Circles
What’s in it for me: We can’t explain it, but TV arm circles always make us laugh when we do them here at HipFit. They really are just plain fun. Maybe it’s because they look a little silly, or maybe when we do them we feel like a kid, who knows?! Kidding aside, TV arm circles are a great way to address those flabby bingo wings, the loose skin that hangs under the tricep. This isn’t the most challenging exercise in the HipFit playbook, but it just might be the most fun.
How to do it: Stand erect with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart and arms straight out, shoulder high. For one full minute, move your arms in a circular pattern with your palms facing the floor. Rest for a few seconds then repeat the motion in the opposite direction. Develop shoulder strength and improve your range of motion by widening the circles. The longer you do the arm circles, the more challenging it becomes.
For the first time in your life, you might actually be glad when the commercials come on. Now that you know how to do these lunges, hops, planks and pushups, you’ll never watch TV the same way again. So, mute that boob tube and put down the remote. Make the most of those precious few minutes between programs, during the commercial breaks and get a good workout in.