McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Author Selene Yeager demonstrates the finish position of the triceps dip couch exercise to help tone triceps, shoulders and back.
Going to the gym is such drudgery. You have to drag your lazy butt off the couch, you need to make yourself presentable, then you have to haul yourself out the door.
But what if you didn’t have to leave your home? What if you didn’t even have to leave your couch? That you can wear a tattered Three Stooges T-shirt and stained sweat pants is just gravy.
Yes, says Selene Yeager, a certified personal trainer and author, you can get something out of a 15-minute session on your couch.
“People see that ‘15-minute workout’ and are skeptical,” says Yeager, whose “The Women’s Health Big Book of 15-Minute Workouts” (Rodale) came out in October. “To those people I say, honestly, just try it. You can honestly do very effective exercises on your couch.
So here are five easy and beneficial exercises for you couch potatoes.
Roll down with knee squeeze
(For abs and inner thighs)
On a firm sofa, sit up with knees bent, feet flat on the couch cushion, and back straight. Place a throw pillow between your knees. Lean back, grasping back of thighs just below the knees, and tuck chin toward chest. Squeeze into the pillow as you slowly roll down one vertebrae at a time — sort of a reverse sit up — until your arms are straight and your head is almost on the couch behind you. Hold for four to five deep breaths. Then slowly roll back up. Repeat eight to 10 times.
(For butt and thighs)
Lie on your back with heels planted on the armrest, arms down at your sides. Squeeze glutes and lift hips so body forms a straight line. Lift the right leg, extending it as high as comfortably possible. Lower back to start, and repeat with the left leg. Do 20 total reps (10 per side).
(For triceps, shoulders and back)
Scoot to the edge of the sofa. Grasp the sofa with your hands positioned wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping elbows slightly bent, inch your butt off the sofa, keeping your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Straighten your arms and lift your torso upward. Bend elbows, lowering hips toward the floor until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Straighten arms and return to start. Repeat for 10 reps.
(For chest and triceps)
Kneel on the sofa and put your hands on the armrest about shoulder-width apart. Your body should form a straight line from head to knees. Bend elbows and lower chest toward armrest until elbows are in line with shoulders. Pause, then push back to starting position. Repeat eight to 12 times.
(For thighs and core)
Scoot to the edge of the sofa seat and sit straight up. Extend legs straight in front of you, feet as far off the floor as comfortably possible, about hip- to shoulder-width apart. Point your toes and turn your legs out slightly. Keeping your legs straight, cross your left ankle over the right, then your right over the left. Keep switching quickly, 30 to 40 times. Make the move harder by holding your arms out in front of you.