You know you should be exercising, but that new Netflix series is just so addictive! If only there was a way of combining the two so that you could get an effective workout in while you binge watch. Lucky for you, there is! In this article, I reveal 15 toning exercises that you can perform right in front of the screen to blast every muscle group while burning hundreds of calories.
What You’ll Need
If you’ve got a TV show, a couch, an area to lie flat on the floor and a water bottle, you’re all set to go (you’ll also need a couple of pieces of cloth for exercise #11). You may also want a towel to wipe up the sweat from all your hard work!
You can complete this workout over the course of a 60-minute episode. When you watch the next episode, set the goal of doing 10 percent more than you did the first round. For example, if you did the plank for 60 seconds, first time, now you are aiming for 66 seconds.
Perform each exercise for one minute, then spend the next three minutes enjoying the show before doing the next exercise.
You may decide to pick and choose from the toning exercises to get a slightly less intense workout. If you do, try to pick an exercise that targets each of the muscle groups in your body.
Exercise #1: Pushups
Position yourself face down on the floor and place your hands a little wider than shoulder width and slightly lower than your shoulders. Keep your feet together and maintain a straight line from your head down to your foot. Tighten your abs and glutes.
Looking directly ahead (do not lower your head) lower yourself by bending your elbows. Go down to the point where your chest just touches the floor. Now contract the chest to push your way back to the start position. Do not allow your elbows to flare out as you go up and down.
Think in terms of doing 5 reps at a time. See how many sets of 5 you can do in a row, aiming for one minute’s worth of continuous pushups (if you need to rest, do so at the top of the movement).
Exercise #2: The Plank
Lie on the floor in the same start position as the pushup. Rather than placing your palms on the floor, however, you should be resting on your forearms. Keeping your body straight (don’t allow your butt to rise), tense your core area and hold for the required period of time.
Keep an eye on the timer countdown at the bottom of your screen. You have to hold the position for a full 60 seconds.
Exercise #3: Body Weight Squats
Stand with your feet at about shoulder distance and slightly pointed outward. Maintain a slight arch in your lower back and look directly ahead. Place your arms out directly in front of you. Slowly lower yourself to a position where your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push up through the heels to come back to your starting position. Do your reps slowly, taking 3-4 seconds and really feeling the muscles in your quads, glutes and hamstrings working.
Exercise #4: Reverse Dips
Place yourself in front of the couch with your legs straight out in front of you and your hands on the couch set behind you. Your thumbs should be about six inches apart. Your upper body and legs should form a straight line. Now bend at the elbows to lower down towards the floor. Push back up with your triceps, focusing on keeping the elbows in as you go up and down.
Exercise #5: Wall Sit
Position yourself with your back against the wall and lower yourself to a position that simulates sitting in a chair. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and slightly pointed outwards. Keep your back completely against the wall and your hands against the wall at your sides. Hold this position for as long as you can, with the goal of 60 seconds.
Exercise #6: Bulgarian Split Squat
Stand in front of the couch and place one foot on the couch seat behind you. With your hands on your hips, lower yourself down into a one-legged squat. Make sure that your squatting knee tracks directly over your foot (don’t allow the knee to get over the foot). Squat down until the rear knee almost touches the floor, then push back up using the power of your front thigh.
Do 30 seconds on each leg with this exercise.
Exercise #7: Judo Pushups
Position yourself face down on the floor and put your hands a little wider than shoulder width and slightly lower than your shoulders. Now arch your back and lift your glutes into the air. With your elbows in at your ears, swoop down so that your torso travels in an arc between your arms. Carry on through until you are in the yoga cobra pose position. Your arms should be straight and your chest pushing upward. Now reverse the position to go back to the start position.
As you are doing this move, imagine that you are swooping under a barbed wire fence.
Exercise #8: Mountain Climbers
Lie on the floor in the same start position as the pushup. Rather than placing your palms on the floor, however, you should be resting on your forearms. Keeping your body straight, bring one foot up as if you were getting into the start position for a sprint.
Alternately pump your legs back and forth, getting as full an extension as possible. You should try to touch your knee to your elbow. Keep your glutes down as you do this exercise.
You’re almost done!
Exercise #9: Deep Squat
Stand with your feet little wider than shoulder width and pointing slightly outwards. With your hands clasped together in front of you, sit down and back down as if sitting in a chair. Make sure your knees do not track over your toes as you go down below a parallel thigh position. Now push through your heels to rise back to a standing position.
Exercise #10: Forearm Static Hold
Lie face down on the floor facing a chair with your arms fully extended. Grab the bottom of a chair leg with each hand.
Keeping your elbows on the ground, use forearm strength to lift the chair off the ground. Keep the rest of your body prone, so that the forearms are doing all of the work. Hold this position for few seconds and then lower for 5 seconds. Continue this pattern for 60 seconds.
Exercise #11: Sliding Fly
Grab a couple pieces of cloth and hold them in your hands as you position yourself face down on the floor. Put your hands a little wider than shoulder width and slightly lower than your shoulders. Now slide your hands apart as far as they will go to the sides. Bring them back together as you squeeze your chest muscles. Hold the contracted position for a second and then move into the next rep.
Exercise #12: Scissors
Position yourself face down on the floor and put your hands a little wider than shoulder width and slightly lower than your shoulders. Keep your feet together and maintain a straight line from your head down to your foot. Tighten your abs and glutes. From this position, extend your legs out to the sides so that your feet are as wide as possible. Make sure your glutes stay down as you do this. Now jump them back to the start position. Continue this in out action for the entire 60 seconds.
Exercise #13: Unilevel Pushup
Position yourself face down on the floor (this is the last exercise you need to be face down for!) and put your hands a little wider than shoulder width and slightly lower than your shoulders. Place one hand on top of an inverted bowl or a ball. Keep your feet together and maintain a straight line from your head down to your foot. Tighten your abs and glutes.
Now perform normal pushups. After 30 seconds swap over the bowl or ball to the other hand.
Exercise #14: Toe Hold Sumo Squat
Taking a wide stance, squat down until your legs are at 90 degrees. Reach down to grab your toes. Exhale as you squeeze upward to straighten out the legs and arms, lifting with the hips and glutes.
One more to go!
Exercise #15: Side Plank
Lie on the floor on your side with your legs straight with one elbow on the floor and the other on your hip. One leg should be stacked on top of the other. Now lift your torso as high as possible, maintaining a straight line from your shoulders to your toes. Feel the contraction as you tighten your core area.
Hold for 30 seconds and then change to the other side for the other 30 seconds.
The Resistance Band Alternative
The body-weight moves we’ve covered here are a great way to get a good workout in front of the screen. When you’re ready to take it to the next level, resistance bands are the next logical step. You can use these bands to give yourself a total body variable resistance workout that will boost your fitness, tone and strength.
By performing these 15 toning exercises over the course of your hour-long Netflix episode, you will be able to work every muscle in your body while burning about 200 calories. That’s pretty good, considering you’re also able to binge watch your favorite Netflix series.