The Exercises You Can Do While in Front of Your TV

Can’t seem to peel yourself off the couch, and away from the television? This is, for a good number of people, the most difficult part of getting in shape or working out — simply getting out of the house, and into the gym or fitness center.

If you’re one of these people — and all of us are, at some point — fear not. You don’t have to hit the streets for a run, or even go hit the squat rack to get in a workout. Of course, you won’t be getting the intensity you want, but you can still burn some calories and tone your muscles all while you hang out in front of the TV.

If you have some space, you can easily put together a full-body workout, including cardio, all right around your entertainment center. These exercises can be very helpful for those who work from home, can’t leave the kids by themselves, just can’t afford a gym membership, or lack numerous pieces of equipment. These seven exercises are also relatively simple and can be done with no spotter or training.

Here are seven exercises that you can do in front of your TV.

1. Planks

man performing a plank

You can do planks anywhere. | iStock.com

If you haven’t heard, planks are apparently the new sit-up. They’ll allow you to target your core — meaning your chest and abdominal muscles, helping you tone those muscles so they’ll shine through once you’re able to burn off that initial layer of belly fat. They’re easy to do, too. All you need is a little bit of space and, if you want, a yoga mat. But really, you can plop down in front of the couch and plank all day if you want.

2. Body squats

man performing squats on a track

As long as you do enough reps, these will tone your lower body. | iStock.com

Body squats don’t even require you to drop to the ground, and are actually one of the best exercises you can do. Squats are really the key cornerstone exercise, but you don’t need a barbell or dumbbells to do them. You can use gravity and your own body weight. These will target your lower body, and if you want, you can pick up some objects nearby to make them a little more challenging.

3. Lunges

Man doing lunges

Lunges are great for your glutes. | iStock.com

Sticking with your lower body and legs, lunges are another excellent exercise for giving your lower body a workout. Like body squats, you can use a pair of dumbbells or other weighty objects to make them a bit more challenging. But all you really need is enough space to take a knee. A lot of people really hate lunges, but doing them while you’re enjoying a good show or movie can make a set easier to get through.

4. Pull-ups

mixed-grip pull-ups

Pull-ups can be performed in a variety of settings. | Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

This is one of two exercises on this list that will require a little investment up front, and that would be in a pull-up bar. They can be purchased from a variety of places and usually aren’t too expensive. Once you have one, throw it up in a door frame within eye-shot of the TV, and start busting out sets. If you need a primer, check out our guide on how to master the perfect pull-up. Or, if you need a challenge, try some variations.

5. Push-ups

push ups

Push-ups challenge your chest without requiring weights. | Thinkstock

What can be said about push-ups? They’re one of the easiest, most basic exercises you can do. And they are excellent for giving your upper body a workout. Push-ups target your shoulders, arms, chest, abs, and even your back, and there are a variety of variations to increase or decrease the difficulty factor, too. If you want to build some muscle without hitting the gym, push-ups are integral.

6. Jump rope

jump rope

Jumping rope will get your heart rate soaring — and from the comfort of your living room. | iStock.com

You don’t need a treadmill or elliptical to get the cardio in. You just need a jump rope. Jumping rope is one of the most underrated exercises out there. It’ll give you a hell of a workout, get your heart rate up, and burn through a good number of calories. You’ll never get bored, either — there are all kinds of different ways to put the jump rope to use.

7. Wall sits

runner leaning against a wall

Wall sits are perfect for commercial breaks. | iStock.com

You may remember these from gym class, and now you can do them from the comfort of your own home. Wall sits are basically squats, but with some assistance from a wall. If you feel you need to supplement your body squats, or have a hard time with them, start with wall sits. You should feel the burn relatively quickly — but having Rambo on in the background should help distract you.