From couch potato to couch climber

Teresa Casey illustrates a “couch climber” at Anytime Fitness in Medford.Julia Moore

I know. It sounds like the usual gimmick: Get fit while you watch TV.

Below are a few exercises that even the most housebound person can perform with a little effort and dedication. So tune in to your favorite show, and by the time you hear Frank utter, "Holy crap!" or you discover who wins "Cupcake Wars" (ah, better skip that one), you might be well on your way to fitness.

Thank You

Thanks to Teresa Casey for modeling proper form, and to Anytime Fitness in Medford for providing the space and equipment for this month's photo shoot.

Complete the recommended number of repetitions for each move and immediately move on to the next. After you've completed all the exercises, rest for one minute and then repeat the entire circuit one to two more times. If you haven't been off the couch in a while, start slow and work up to the suggested number of repetitions/circuits. Do these at least three times a week.


Couch climbers

1. Start by facing the couch. Place your hands on the seat of the couch, arms extended directly under shoulders. Walk both feet behind you to a plank position (like beginning a pushup). Keep abdominals and torso tight, back straight.

2. In a quick, controlled motion, begin alternating or "running" one knee in toward your chest at a time. Keep shoulders still and directly over hands throughout. Do this as fast as you can for one minute.


Dip and kick

1. Sit on the front edge of the couch, palms spaced just slightly wider than hips.

2. Walk feet out away from your body as you lift hips off the couch. Keep back straight and close to the front of the couch.

3. Lift your right leg off the floor as you bend your knee into your chest. Keep foot flexed back.

4. Bend both elbows to perform a dip (lower your hips), as you pull your right knee in closer to your chest.

5. As you press up from the dip and extend your arms, lift your hips and press out through your right heel, extending right leg out in front of hip.

6. Repeat this 10 times with the right leg, then do 10 more with the left.


TV tucks

1. Sit lightly on the edge of the couch with both hands placed on either side of hips.

2. Keeping back straight and abdominals tight, bring both knees up toward your chest. Lean back as far as you can without resting on the back of the couch.

3. While holding the hinge position with your upper body, lower legs with control and tap toes back on the floor.

4. Repeat this up to 20 times in a row, exhaling each time you lift your legs.


Couch chop-squat

1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, back to the couch cushions. Extend arms at chest height, hands clasped together.

2. In one motion, perform a squat by bending your knees and sitting back into your hips as you chop arms down and across to outside of the left thigh.

3. Pushing through your heels, quickly stand out of the squat as you bring arms back to the start position.

4. Repeat to other side. Alternate sides for one minute.




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