New year, new you — right? If getting more fit or doing more exercise is at the top of your New Year’s resolution list, brace yourself. With these couch workout ideas, you can kiss your gym membership goodbye, and say, “Nice to see you again,” to that old pair of jeans.
Follow along to discover sofa-approved exercises that will help you tone up while catching up on your fave shows. Then, use our workout template to select a couch workout routine that fits you.
Exercises to Do On the Couch
Failing to plan is like planning to fail. However, at Rent-A-Center, we want you to succeed — whether you’re trying to own a new sectional sofa or attempting to lose the spare tire. Below, you’ll find a variety of workouts to do on the couch that target different muscle groups.
Couch Core Exercises
According to Business Insider, doing core movements can help reduce back pain, improve posture, and support stability. Here are a few ab exercises you can do while sitting on the couch.
- Seated scissor kicks:
Remember the scissor kicks in P.E. class? Well, they’re back — but instead of doing them on the cold, hard basketball court, you can do them on the warm comfort of your tufted Speyer Sofa and Loveseat.
Kick-off your scissor kicks by sitting on the edge of the couch with a straight back. Bring your legs up and out in front of you (at a 90° angle from your torso) and cross them back and forth, doing as many “scissor” motions as you want. Keep your abs flexed and your legs straight the whole time, that way you’ll really feel the burn! Youtuber, Brittany Schremp, has a great demo video of this move.
- Pillow twists:
Need another excuse to buy stylish accent pillows? We got your back (and your core)! Pillow twists are the lazy person’s Russian twists — they work out your abs and your obliques.
Start out sitting on the edge of the couch with your legs out at a 90° angle. (Lean back a bit so it feels like you’re see-sawing on your bum.) Grab your fave accent cushion and hold it in front of you. Then, rotate your torso from left to right, bringing the pillow to the couch cushions on your sides. Check out a more in-depth demo of this move on livemint.
- Oblique bends:
Another easy move to work out your abs while sitting on the couch is the oblique side bend. To perform it, sit on the edge of the sofa with your feet on the ground and your back straight. Put your hands behind your head and crunch to your sides, bringing your elbows to your hips with each “bend.” Not only does this exercise work your obliques, but it also gives you a good back stretch! See how it’s done in this demo video with Rachel Nolz.
Couch Arm Exercises
Whether you want to lose some arm fat or you’re dreaming of toned biceps — doing arm exercises while sitting on the couch is a good way to start. Not only does strength training help you feel good in tank tops, but it also helps preserve and build bone density, according to Prevention. Use the exercises below to target your triceps, shoulders, and more — without equipment!
- Tricep dips:
This is a simple but good arm exercise you can do without missing a scene of your favorite show. If you want to feel the burn in the “bat wings,” start out from a seated position, gripping the edge of the couch with your hands on either side of you. Then, walk yourself out so your backside is slightly off the couch and your knees are above your ankles. Drop your hips to the ground by bending your elbows back slightly. Return to your original position, using those arm muscles to stretch your arms up! That’s it — you did a couch tricep dip. If you’re not sure whether you’re doing them right, refer to this GIF from WorkoutLabs.
- Front and high jabs:
Want to be a boxer, without taking any punches? Well, you’re in luck — with these air punches you can break a sweat, without breaking a nail. Start out sitting with your feet on the floor and your back upright. Bring your fists in front of your face, and picture the most despicable TV villain you can think of, then PUNCH!
Jab in front of you once with each arm, and then do the same thing upwards — like you’re mad at the ceiling fan! Four punches (two front and two up) equal one rep. Get warmed up for front and high jabs with this demo video from 5 Minute Fitness.
Couch Leg Exercises
- Hip thrusts:
Hip bridges or thrusts target the glutes and quads while also activating your core muscles. In other words, they’re a well-rounded movement for a well-rounded backside.
To perform them, sit on the ground with your back to the couch and your knees bent out in front of you directly above your ankles. Get your mid-back in line with the edge of the sofa, and drive your bum off the ground by pushing through your heels—activating your glutes and keeping your core engaged. Bring yourself back to a seated position with controlled speed. That’s it! You did one hip thrust. Now do a few more to complete one set. If you feel the burn in your hamstrings rather than your glutes or if the exercise feels awkward, check out this tutorial video from F&F Clothing for extra tips.
- Single-leg lunges:
Even though this isn’t technically a seated leg exercise, it’s still a workout you can do on the couch. Plus, single-leg lunges or Bulgarian split squats help improve balance and range of motion according to Dark Iron Fitness.
Start out standing a few feet from the couch and bring one leg up, propping your foot on the sofa cushion. With your front foot firmly planted on the ground, bend your knee to lower yourself until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Don’t let your knee go past your toes. Push through your heel to return to extend your front leg back to the starting position, completing one rep. Remember to switch legs after every set and to practice good form as demonstrated in this video by Turbo Fit.
Building Your Couch Workout Routine
Now that you know which exercises to do on the couch, learn how to mix them together to turn your movie night into a workout session. Select a routine based on your fitness level and work your way to more advanced programs as you build strength and endurance. Do two rounds of each routine to start, and repeat them more times as you improve.
Couch Workout Routines
|Seated scissor kicks||10 reps||15 reps||20 reps|
|Pillow twists||10 reps||15 reps||20 reps|
|Oblique beds||10 reps||15 reps||20 reps|
|Tricep dips||10 reps||15 reps||20 reps|
|Front and high jabs||20 reps||30 reps||40 reps|
|Hip thrusters||10 reps||20 reps||30 reps|
|Single-leg squat||10 reps each side||15 reps each side||20 reps each side|
Remember to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Pace yourself and listen to your body. If you feel pain, difficulty, or lightheadedness — consult with your healthcare provider.
Why Work Out At Home?
Working out is just one of many ways to help reduce stress and get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Doing it at home means you can save the money you’d spend on a gym membership and put it to good use — like buying a new reclining sofa and loveseat for the family. (The Tulen reclining sofa and loveseat set is a great option!)
Get your couch and your work out too with Rent-A-Center’s no-credit leases that make it easy for you and your wallet to stay fit. Visit us at your local store or online to find seasonal deals, arrange free same-day delivery, and learn about flexible payment options.