January 22, 2017

Furniture: The hidden gym

Not being able to go the gym is one of the reasons people give for not being fit. But here is a secret, you actually don’t need any gym equipment to effectively work out the whole body! See how to use the simple pieces of furniture and your own body weight to tone your muscles from top to toes.

Here are 9 exercises you can do with the furniture wherever you are:


  1. Step up & down

This simple movement can benefit your calves, quads and hamstrings greatly. Before you start, however, make sure the chair is stable. Step on the chair and pull the other knee up. Go back down and step up with the other leg, pull the other knee up.


  1. Couch Squat Cross Chop

Target your legs, butt, and core with this move that also serves as a great warm-up. Perform a squat by bending your knees and sitting back into your hips as you chop your arms down and across to the outside of your left thigh. Pushing through your heels, quickly stand out of your squat as you bring your arms back to the start position.


  1. Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is a simple exercise you can perform anywhere there is a staircase, whether that staircase is in your home or in public. It’s especially effective if you skip every other step. Run up and down the staircase as many times as you can. Skip steps in-between if you can.


  1. Chair hamstring curl

This one is a clever at home exercise for slim legs and toned hamstrings. Lie on your back on the floor and put your heels on the seat of a rolling chair. Raise your hips a little, bend your knees while raising the hips and pulling the chair closer to you. Extend the legs back, but don’t let the hips touch the floor.


  1. Couch Climbers

Get your heart pumping and your arms and abs firing with this elevated version of a mountain climber. Start facing the couch cushions, and place your hands on the seat of the couch, directly under your shoulders, arms extended. Walk both feet back out to a plank position and brace your abs in tight.


  1. Push Ups

Push ups are a wonderfully effective exercise that work several muscles, including the pectorals, deltoids, and triceps. Lie prone on the ground with hands placed as wide or slightly wider than shoulder width. Keeping the body straight, lower body to the ground by bending arms at the elbows. Raise body up off the ground by extending the arms. All you will need is a flat surface!


  1. Straight Arm Hip Lift

This exercise is great for abs, core, and arms, all at the same time. Sit on the chair, put your hands firmly on the seat of the chair beside your thighs. Keep arms straight and your knees tight together. Tone the abs to lift the hips off the seat together with lifting the feet off the floor. Hold on your arms only for a second, and slowly go back down.


  1. Dip and Kick

Dips are a great upper body-strengthening exercise that you can do with the aid of a chair, couch or a bench. Lift your right leg off the floor and bend your knee into your chest, foot flexed. Bend both elbows to perform a dip and lower your hips, pulling your right knee in closer to your chest. As you press out of the dip and extend your arms, lift your hips and press out through your right heel, extending your right leg out in front of your hip.


  1. Wall Sits

It is a great way to work your glutes and thighs and you can do this exercise anywhere there’s a wall to lean on! Stand with your back flat against a wall. Walk your feet out about 2 feet in front of you, feet spread about 6 inches apart. Slide your back down the wall, bending your knees until they are bent at about a 90 degree angle. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground and it should appear that you are sitting in an invisible chair.