Here’s proof that you can tone your muscles anytime, anywhere – even while you’re watching a movie or your favourite TV series. All you need is a couch.
Sit on the very edge of your couch, then shift back a little so that you can lean back and rest your elbows on the couch seat. Brace your abdominal muscles, then raise and lower your legs slowly. Try to do 10 repetitions, but stop if you feel your lower back starting to hurt. This exercise works your abs and hip flexors.
Prevent the dreaded ‘bingo wings’ by tightening up your triceps. Place your hands on the edge of the couch with your legs stretched straight out in front. Bend and straighten your elbows. Try to do 12 to 15 repetitions.
Get down on all fours with your back towards the couch. Lift your feet up onto the couch one at a time, walking your hands out so that your body is like a plank. With hands facing forward, bend and straighten your elbows. If this is too hard, you can bend your knees and walk your arms backwards towards the couch, but keep your knees off the floor. Aim for 12 to 15 repetitions.
Put down the potato chips and try a different kind of crunch. Lie down with your back against the couch seat, bend your knees, suck your belly-button in and slide your hands slowly towards your knees, then back again. Stay in control all the way. Try to do 12 to 15 repetitions.
Lie face-up on the floor with your feet resting on the couch, arms on the floor slightly out to the side. Raise and lower your hips, squeezing your butt muscles as you come up. Do 12 to 15 repetitions or until you can’t do any more.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, heels about 20cm from the couch. Pretend to sit down, until your butt just touches the cushion, then push through your heels to stand up again. Repeat until you feel the burn. Don’t spend all winter on the couch and get out for some fresh air exercise on fine days.