10 Body-Sculpting Exercises You Can Do While Watching TV
Last Updated: Feb 23, 2015
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Carving out time to drive to the gym and sweat for an hour is hard, especially when the choice is between that and your favorite TV show. With this workout, you don’t have to choose! The easiest way to sneak in your next bout of exercise is to try out these exercises during the commercial breaks. Who knows, this workout might even begin to replace those salty or sweet treats while lounging on your comfy sofa. At the very least, it’s a great way to get your blood pumping while you distract yourself with some entertaining television.
Toe touch-downs are one of the best exercises to assist in the stabilization of your ankles and feet (which helps prevent injury) and strengthen your entire body. This move prepares your body for unstable surfaces while strengthening your glutes and hamstrings, which will give you more power while running or hiking. HOW TO DO THEM: Start with your feet hip-width apart, lifting your right leg off the ground and slightly behind you. Bend at the hip and touch your right hand to your left foot. Make sure that your shoulders are retracted and your core is activated. You want the same form as a single-leg deadlift, hinging at the hip. Repeat on each side for three sets of 10 reps per side.
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LATERAL BAND WALKS
Use it or lose it says personal trainer and regional manager for Crunch Fitness in San Francisco Tim Rich. “Sitting causes the glute muscles to atrophy. Introducing lateral band walks activates the valuable fibers and stabilizes the hips.” Since we walk in just one plane of motion, lateral band walks assist the muscles we use walking in all planes of motion. HOW TO DO THEM: Start with a resistance band fastened two to three inches above your knees with a tension that is comfortably challenging. Set your feet hip-width apart, drop your body down into a squat position as if you were sitting in a chair and step your right foot to the side in line with your other foot. Step together and repeat. Incorporate three sets of 15 reps going each direction.
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This move will give you legs that turn heads and create a long and lean look. The curtsy lunge is performed just like a curtsy and targets your glutes and quads. All it takes is three sets of 30 reps three times per week -- your skinny jeans will thank you. HOW TO DO THEM: Starting with shoulders back and core engaged, drop your right foot diagonally behind your left foot and alternate sides. Make sure your front foot is pointed straight ahead. Place your hands on your hips and make sure your knee is dropping down far enough so that your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your knees are forming 90-degree angles. Check your form to ensure your front knee doesn’t move past your toe. Return to standing and repeat on the other side.
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What could be better than working your upper body and core at the same time? Tone from head to toe in a variation of the classic push-up by lifting up opposite legs as each rep is performed. “By boosting the intensity of the push-up, you are creating instability and are forcing the core to work harder,” says Peak 20 Workout founder Natasha Linton. HOW TO DO THEM: Begin in a plank position with your body in a straight line from head to feet. Keep your back flat and lift one leg a few inches off the ground. Inhale as you lower your body into the push-up position (chest to the floor) and exhale as you push to the top of the movement, keeping your leg lifted the entire time. Start with three sets of five reps on each side.
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Brett Hoebel, creator of the 20-Minute Body and trainer on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” season 11, says, “Lunge jumps are a form of plyometrics, which are great for revving up your heart rate and metabolism, especially when using large muscles like the quads, hams and glutes. Make sure you land with your front foot flat to ensure less knee stress and more work on the booty. These are a great booty builder!” HOW TO DO THEM: Start with your feet hip-width apart and bring one leg a few feet in front of the other. Bend both knees at a 90-degree angle into a lunge. With your arms by your side, swing both arms up as fast as you can and jump into the air while switching legs and landing on the opposite leg. Do three sets of eight reps in the middle of your strength-training routine.
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Target your glutes with this simple-yet-effective exercise. Do two sets of 25 reps to start feeling confident and defined in your skinny jeans. HOW TO DO THEM: Start on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Push into your heels and lift your hips off the ground as high as you can without straining your back or neck. Slowly lower back down without letting your body touch the floor again. Focus on pushing off of the heels of your feet to isolate your glutes instead of bringing more quads into the movement. You can also lift your toes off the ground to target your shins and prevent shin splints.
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We all have trouble zones that don’t seem to budge. But the same workout repeated day after day stops yielding results. Lateral lunges are a power-lunge exercise that will strengthen your entire lower body, preventing injuries while improving coordination. This exercise also targets the sides of the glutes, which will add definition and long lean muscle. HOW TO DO THEM: Start with your feet together and pointed straight ahead. Step one foot out to the side in alignment with the other foot. Bend into a lunge on that side. Pushing off your heels, return to the starting position. Add these into your weekly routine with three sets of 15 reps. To make the exercise more challenging, try holding an eight-pound dumbbell in each hand.
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When was the last time you felt your core being really challenged? You have to push your body for it to change, and this exercise is one you can do anywhere. Start by planking every commercial break for 45-second intervals until the commercials end. HOW TO DO THEM: Place your body in push-up position, hands shoulder-width apart, and drop down to your elbows one at a time. Start to turn your whole body to the right with your right arm in the air. Return to forearm plank and twist to the left side with your left hand in the air. This move targets the obliques, which will provide the definition your abs have been waiting for.
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Squat jumps performed three times per week in combination with healthy eating and cardio will not only train your body to move with more power, but it will also make your glutes look their best too. HOW TO DO THEM: Start with your feet hip-width apart and squat down no lower than if you were sitting in a chair. Jump up and use your arms to help generate momentum by throwing them into the air when you come off the ground and back down as you land. Make sure you push off your heels when jumping, and don’t let your knees extend past your toes.
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If you have an outfit that’s just taking up space in your closet because it doesn’t fit like it used to, add exercises that raise your heart rate in between strength-training moves. Not only will single-leg hops elevate your heart rate, but they will also increase your ankle stability and add agility to your fitness program. HOW TO DO THEM: Start on one foot and hop forward and backward. Try three sets of 15 reps on each leg to add stability training and strength to our legs.
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WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Are you ready to trade bad habits for a short workout? What are some of your favorite moves to do while watching TV? How else do you fit exercise into your daily routine? Share how you plan on adding these workouts into your day and inspire others to follow.
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