My gym closed due to the pandemic, so I've been getting creative with workouts at home that are effective and quick (since I'm juggling working from home and taking care of the kids), and most importantly, they have to be fun! While the kids were having their Zoom class meetings one day, I looked at my coffee table and realized I could use it like one of the wooden boxes at my gym.
Here's a 30-minute workout I've been doing, and all five moves utilize my coffee table. This workout involves lots of jumping to get my heart rate up and work my lower body, but there are also some challenging plank exercises as well to strengthen my upper body and core.
I ran this workout by ACE-certified trainer and weight-loss health coach Rachel MacPherson, and she said, "This workout provides both strength and cardio so you're really making the most out of your time." During the working cardio phases, MacPherson said, "Never sacrifice form for speed, but do push yourself in order to really take advantage of the cardio phase of the workout."
The box jumps and elevated lateral plank walks in this workout are pretty advanced, so for the box jumps, MacPherson said to make sure you're landing softly. I actually step down one foot at a time instead of jumping both feet down to reduce the impact on my joints. If box jumps are too hard, do jump squats as listed below, or she said "take it even further down to bodyweight squats if you need to."
For the elevated lateral plank walk, MacPherson said, "This is an advanced move, but it is so worth it." Just be sure to pull the shoulders away from your ears and keep your neck long to avoid shoulder or neck strain. She added, "Stay strong and push through your hands, fully extending your arms from your shoulders and bracing your core."
I can't stress this enough — make sure your coffee table is sturdy! You can also use a box if you have one or a sturdy bench, but if you don't have those, check out the bodyweight modifications in the right column listed below.
30-Minute Coffee Table Workout
Equipment needed: a sturdy coffee table, box, or bench
Directions: After warming up for five to 10 minutes (I did Cat Cow, Down Dog, Up Dog, and jumping jacks), perform each exercise for 40 seconds followed by a 20-second rest. At the end of this round, rest for one minute. Complete six rounds total for a 30-minute workout. Finish with this 10-minute stretching routine.
|Living Room Workout||Bodyweight modifications|
|Side-to-side bench jump over||Plank bunny hop|
|Box step-up||Alternating forward lunge|
|Elevated lateral plank walk||Lateral plank walk or plank with shoulder tap|
|Box jump||Jump squat or air squat|