You know it happens. You have that one TV show, or maybe even 2, 3 or 4 shows that you just can’t live without! You curl-up on the couch and enter another world of sex, drama, sports, horror, reality, comedy, or even educational learning. All of a sudden, hours have passed and you know you must continue on with your own daily life.
Sometimes you may even be a little perturbed that you let so many hours slip by when you know you have other things to do such as exercise. Yes, nowadays you can record your favorite TV shows and have the convenience of watching them at any time, but they still take time to watch. Why not maximize your hours in the day and accomplish two tasks at the same time? Well now you can!
Here is a basic total body workout that you can do while watching your favorite TV show. It’s times to start burning more calories instead of just curling-up on the couch and snacking while you gaze at the boob tube.
To prevent injury and properly start your workout, first begin with Self-Myofacsial Release (SMR), aka foam rolling, using a foam roller. A foam roller can be purchased at any sporting goods store and even general stores such as Target and Wal-Mart. SMR is a form of self-massage to relax or ‘release’ tight muscles. This form of massage is designed to increase elasticity of connective tissue, therefore relaxing the muscles allowing them to respond more efficiently and effectively during activity. SMR is also a treatment for muscle pain, inflexibility, injury prevention, physical imbalances and relieving stress. For more detailed information on Self-Myofacsial Release, please visit renov8.fitness/products/self-myofascial-release-smr-ebook
Perform each of the following movements to warm-up your muscles and get your body prepared for the workout.
1) Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on the floor in a lunge position with both knees flexed at a 90‐degree angle. Your back foot is relaxed on the floor. Place your hands on your hips, squeeze the buttock (glute) of your back leg and tuck your pelvis underneath you. Keeping your torso tall, slightly push your center of gravity forward without leaning and maintain a flexed glute and tucked pelvis. Hold for 2 seconds and return to the starting position and repeat for a total of 10 reps. Relax and repeat on the other side.
Start facedown with your hands and knees on the floor. Place your hands directly below your shoulders and align your head and neck with your back. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position by looking down at the floor at all times. Draw your abdominal muscles up towards your spine and raise your right arm off the floor and reach ahead. Hold for three deep breaths. Lower your right arm and repeat with your left arm. Raise your right leg off the floor and tighten your trunk/core muscles for balance. Hold for three deep breaths. Lower your right leg and repeat with your left leg. For an added challenge, raise your left arm and right leg simultaneously (pictured below). Repeat with your right arm and left leg. Perform a total of 20 reps alternating between sides.
Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your feet should be hip width apart and approximately 18 inches away from your glutes. Place your arms by your side. Press down with the heels of your feet on the floor and lift your hips and glutes off the floor until they are fully extended; your glutes and hamstrings should be contracted. Draw your abdominal muscles down towards your spine and keep your lower back tight so the spine stays neutral. Slowly lower the body back to the floor and repeat for a total of 10 reps.
4) Jumping Jacks
Just like you did when you were in grade school. Make sure your toes are slightly pointed outward and perform 30 jumping jacks (clapping hands overhead) at a moderate to fast pace.
Now that your body is warmed-up and your heart is beating faster, you’re ready to start the workout!
Complete 1 – 3 rounds of the following exercises taking rest as needed. While performing these exercises, remember to constantly engage and draw‐in your abdominal muscles towards your spine. Breathe continually during each exercise (exhale upon exertion).
Lie face down on the floor with your arms by your sides. Draw your abdominal muscles up towards your spine and activate your glutes while pinching your shoulder blades together. Slowly lift your chest off the floor and hold for 1 – 2 seconds. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position at all times by looking down at the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10 – 20 reps.
2) Single-Leg Balance & Reach
Stand with your feet facing forward and hip-width apart. Your knees should be slightly bent and your abs engaged with your hands resting lightly on your hips. Lift your chest and tuck-in your chin. Draw your abdominal muscles back towards your spine and activate your glutes. Lift one foot approximately 12 inches off the floor and balance on that leg while lifting the other leg directly beside it. Keeping the one leg on the floor, point the lifted leg and toe back at a 45-degree angle while keeping your hips facing forward and hold for 2 seconds. Bring the lifted leg back to your side and return to the starting position. Perform 10 – 20 reps keeping the foot lifted. Switch legs and repeat with the other side.
3) Ball Squat (option 1)
If you have a stability ball, place it against a wall. If you don’t have a stability ball, see option 2 below. Lean against the ball with the top of the ball in the small of your back making contact with your tailbone, low- and mid-back. Your feet should be placed 6 – 12 inches in front of your body and hip-width apart with your toes pointing forward. Pull your shoulders down and back without arching your low back and load your weight into your heels. Lower your body straight down into a squat without letting your low back curl around the ball. Do not move your feet and keep your knees aligned over your second toe. Continue to lower yourself (squat) until challenged or until your thighs are parallel to the floor and hold this position for 2 seconds. Return to the starting position and perform 10 – 20 reps.
You can do a Wall Squat (option 2) if you do not have a stability ball. Just place your back directly on the wall behind you. Your feet should be placed 6 – 12 inches in front of your body and hip-width apart with your toes pointing forward. Pull your shoulders down and back without arching your low back and load your weight into your heels. Lower your body straight down the wall into a squat. Position your body so that your knees are parallel to the floor with your back, neck and head flat against the wall. Hold for as long as you can up to 1 minute. Do not move your feet and keep your knees aligned over your second toe. Return to the starting position.
Place your toes and hands on the floor making sure your back and arms are straight. For a kneeling pushup, place your hands and knees on the floor. Keep your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Draw-in your abdominal muscles up towards your spine and squeeze your glutes. Keep your shoulders back away from your ears (i.e. do not shrug your shoulders). Your back should be in one diagonal line with your head and neck (i.e. your hips and torso straight). Inhale as you evenly lower yourself to the floor keeping your head and neck straight. In this motion, do not hang your head or keep your hips in the air; let them drop first. Stop as your elbows reach approximately a 90-degree bend and your chest touches the floor in-between your hands. Exhale and evenly push yourself away from the floor keeping the body in a straight line. Do not bend your back or let your hips come up first/last. Perform 10 – 20 reps.
5) Bridge Marching
Lie on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your feet hip width apart. Make sure your back is flat on the floor with your toes pointing forward. Your hands should be down by your sides. Draw-in your abdominal muscles back towards your spine, squeeze your glutes, and lift your hips into a bridge position. While maintaining a completely flat back, slowly lift one leg off the ground bringing your knee towards your chest until the knee is directly above the hip and perpendicular to the floor. Your shin will be parallel to the floor. Concentrate on lifting and engaging the opposite glute during the lift. Keep your hips in the air and lower the leg back to the starting position and lift the other leg. Keep your neck relaxed and on the floor. In essence you are elevating your hips as high as you can and slowly lifting each leg off the floor one at a time as if to march in place. Perform 20 – 30 reps alternating between legs.
6) Bent-Over Row
Bend over at the waist until the torso is parallel to floor or at 45-degree angle. Draw-in your abdominal muscles up towards your spine with your knees slightly bent. Hold dumbbells (or soup cans) straight down without locking the elbows. Your back should be slightly above parallel to the floor with your head and neck in a neutral position. While maintaining a straight or slightly arched back, pull the dumbbells straight up, bending your arms at the elbows. Your elbows should go up higher than your back, allowing the dumbbells to be rowed all the way up to your body. Make sure you squeeze your back at the top. Lower the dumbbells and relax your shoulders. Repeat for 10 – 20 reps. (Neutral [hammer] grip on left, regular grip on left).
7) Single-Leg Squat
For intermediate/advanced exercisers only. Stand with your feet straight and hip-width apart. Your knees should be slightly bent and your abs engaged with your hands resting lightly on your hips. Lift one foot a few inches off the floor. Squat on the opposite leg and do not allow your knees to go over your toes or fall inward. Stand back up and perform 10 reps keeping your foot lifted the entire time. Switch legs and repeat with the other side.
8) Shoulder Scaption
This exercise can be performed using dumbbells (soup cans) or a resistance band. Beginners should be seated, intermediates should stand on both feet, and advanced can stand on one leg. Once in the proper position, draw-in your abdominal muscles back towards your spine (squeeze your glutes if standing). Keeping your arms straight with your palms facing inward, raise your arms so your hands come to shoulder height, pause for 1 second, then lower them back down. Note – If you use a resistance band for this exercise instead of dumbbells, place the resistance band under one foot, or both feet, instead of holding the dumbbells in each hand.
Get down on your hands and knees. Lower both of your forearms to the floor and lift-up your knees so you are on your feet. Your elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders. Curl your toes under and draw-in your abdominal muscles up towards your spine. Squeeze your glutes and tilt your pelvis underneath you. Keep your body straight with your head and neck in a neutral position and hold for as long as possible up to 1 minute. Avoid raising your hips into the air. If this is too difficult for you, you can keep your knees on the floor while still maintaining a flat back position.
Guess what? You’re all done! Now that wasn’t that bad…or was it? Continue this basic workout routine at least two days a week while watching your favorite TV shows. You can progress yourself in each exercise by increasing the weight, reps and/or sets. You’re already in the room engaging your mind, so why not also engage your abs, back, arms, legs… you get the point!