When you just don't have time to get to the gym, sneak a few minutes of calorie-burning moves into your day by throwing on sweats, turning on your favorite TV show, and doing this five-minute workout. Grab a pair of dumbbells and take a quick timeout from the couch.
The arm of your couch, a stable coffee table, or a nearby chair is all you need to target your triceps.
- Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair.
- Move your butt in front of the bench with your legs extended in front of you. Modify by keeping your legs bent and feet placed about hip-width apart on the floor.
- Straighten out your arms and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to always keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
- Now slowly bend at your elbows and lower your upper body down toward the floor until your arms are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench.
- Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position.
- Repeat as many times as you can for one minute.
This leg move is just as effective as the basic lunge but helps save your knees from too much stress. Hold a dumbbell in each hand while you perform this exercise to make it even more effective.
- To begin, stand tall and take a controlled lunge (or large step) backward with your left foot.
- Lower your hips so that your right thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor and your right knee is positioned directly over your ankle. Keep your left knee bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor. Your left heel should be lifted.
- When your left knee is almost touching the floor, hold. Then, slowly push with your left foot to raise your pelvis up a bit, then straighten your knees and return your left leg back to starting position next to your right leg.
- This completes one rep. Complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds before repeating on your right side.
This basic move is effective for strengthening your upper body. You can also do them while placing your feet on your couch to add a challenging element.
- Start in the top position: palms spread out evenly next to your shoulders, with shoulders over the wrists and legs out behind you. Pull your belly button in, and keep your back straight.
- As you lower and exhale, bend your elbows outward to the sides. Hold at the bottom before you raise back up.
- Do as many reps as possible in one minute.
- Watch our video on how to do a push-up to ensure that you are doing it correctly.
Read on for the rest of the workout.
Bent-Over Lateral Raise
After you finish your push-ups, grab your dumbbells again for this upper-body exercise, which tones the shoulders and back.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hip-width-distance apart. Keep a slight bend in your knees. Fold your torso forward so your back is almost parallel with the floor and your hands are under your shoulders. Draw your abs in to protect your lower back.
- As you exhale, lift your arms out to the side so they are in line with your shoulders. Keep a slight bend in your elbows. To get the upper back working, think of sliding your shoulder blades together. As you inhale, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
- Complete as many reps as you can in one minute.
This move helps strengthen your back, open your chest, and lift your butt.
- Start in a seated position with your hands behind your shoulders, fingers rotated out at about 45-90 degrees.
- Keep your heels directly below your knees. Press down into your heels and palms, and lift your torso up. As you hold at top position, make sure you are squeezing your butt muscles and keeping your abs engaged.
- Hold the top position for a breath or two, keeping your torso fully extended. Slowly release back to starting position (see the bridge in action here).
- Repeat the up-down movement for one minute.