Some days, you simply can’t make it to the gym. Others, you can’t even make it off the couch. With this full-body couch workout, you won’t need to move a muscle — well, kind of.
If you can’t seem to part ways with the welcoming cushions of your couch, try this quick four-move workout crafted by Cameron Yuen, CSCS, physical therapist at Bespoke Treatments in New York City. Before you know it, you can go right back to lounging.
1. Mountain Climbers
- Begin facing the couch in a high plank position with your hands on the couch seat. Keep your shoulders stacked directly over your wrists, elbows extended.
- Keep your body in one straight line from heels to hips to head with your legs straight behind you.
- Keeping your back flat, bring your right knee to your chest. Pause for a moment and bring your leg back to meet the other.
- Bring your left knee to your chest, pausing for a moment. Bring your left leg back.
- Alternate between legs quickly while maintaining good form.
- Perform this move for 20 repetitions on each leg, 4 rounds total. Then, rest for one minute before moving to the next exercise.
For this move you’ll want to say light on your feet as you alternate bringing your knees to the chest, Yuen says. If it feels too challenging, alternate your legs at a slower pace.
2. Yoga Push-up
- Begin in a high plank position, stacking your shoulders over your hands, body in a straight line.
- Bend your elbows to lower into a push-up position, keeping your elbows at about a 45-degree angle out from your ribs.
- Push your hips toward the ceiling as you straighten your arms, pressing up from your shoulders.
- Once your arms are straight, lower back down to the couch into push-up position, with your body in a straight line, back flat.
- Complete 15 reps for 4 rounds total. Rest one minute before continuing on.
“This exercise isn’t the type of push-up you actually do in yoga, but it has come to be known as a yoga push-up in the fitness community,” Yuen says. Stack two couch cushions on top of each other to make this exercise a little easier.
3. Single-Leg Hip Thrust
- Start sitting on the ground with your back against the couch.
- Keep your feet flat on the ground, directly below your knees. Align the bottom of your shoulder blades with the edge of the couch seat.
- Pull one knee to your chest, holding either the front of your knee or the back of your leg.
- Push through the floor with your rooted leg and raise your hips toward the ceiling, squeezing your glutes.
- Lower your hips back down to the ground, keeping your back flat.
- Perform this move for 15 repetitions before you switch legs. Complete 4 sets total and rest for one minute.
4. Lateral Step-Down
- Begin standing on the couch facing sideways, with your left foot on the couch and your right foot hanging off the front. Keep your hips level without sinking into either side.
- Sit your hips back and bend your left knee, keeping your right leg straight. Keep your back flat and chest up.
- Tap the ground with your right foot, then push your hips forward and use your left leg to return to standing.
- Repeat for 10 repetitions, then switch legs. Do this move for 4 rounds.
As you lower down, control your left knee; it should always point straight ahead rather than move side to side, Yuen says.
Cool Down: Couch Stretch
- Stand facing away from the couch and place your left knee onto the couch seat, pushing it all the way to the back of the couch.
- Prop the left foot up on the top of the couch, with your left shin flush with the back cushion.
- Keep your right leg rooted into the ground and bend at the knee, forming a 90-degree angle.
- Squeeze your glutes and keep your ribcage down.
- Extend your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your left leg.
- Hold here for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch legs.