Couch Exercise Ideas

Nadia Santiago
woman in workout clothes on sofa

Get in shape without leaving the house with these couch exercise ideas. Your full body workout can be done while watching the news or your favorite television show. Complete three to five rounds of each exercise for 45 to 60 seconds or for 15 to 20 total repetitions.

Plank to Pushup

Plank to pushups directly target the back of your upper arm, not-so-fondly known as the "bat wings." They also engage your pecs, the muscles of your chest, and isometrically work your abdominals.

  1. Begin in a plank position, with your forearms on your couch.
  2. Lift your right arm and place your hand directly underneath your right shoulder.
  3. Press up to pushup position, ending with your hands on the couch underneath your shoulders.
  4. Return to the starting position.

For best results, alternate sides.

Assisted Situps

Assisted situps work your abdominals and your quadriceps.

Woman Exercising In Living Room
  1. Start sitting on the floor in front of your couch with your feet hooked underneath the bottom edge and your hips within 12 inches of your heels.
  2. Lie back, bringing your hands behind your head, elbows wide.
  3. Press the tops of your feet into the bottom of the couch and draw in your tummy to sit up.
  4. Use the couch as leverage to lower yourself once again to your back.
  5. Repeat.

Step Up Hip Extension Combo

Step ups engage your glutes and quads while creating a greater range of motion in your hips.

  1. Stand very close to your couch, close enough to place your fingertips on the wall behind it for support.
  2. Step your right foot up to the firm edge of your couch.
  3. Dig your heel down, lifting up onto the couch. Make sure to straighten your leg standing completely.
  4. As your body rises up, extend your left leg out behind you. Your left leg should be straight, hips square to the wall in front of you.
  5. Bend your right knee, lowering your left foot to the floor.
  6. Step your right foot down beside the left.

Repeat on the same side for the designated amount of time or reps, then switch sides. If extending your leg behind you during your step up is too difficult, skip the extension and complete the step up alone.

One Arm Concentration Curl

Target your biceps with concentration curls. Complete them like you would a bicep curl, but with your elbow on the inside of your inner thigh. If you don't have a dumbbell, use a water bottle.

Squats

A fantastic way to improve your squat form and fully engage your glutes is to sit down completely or touch your backside to the sofa during each repetition. Sitting completely also helps to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your knees.

Make this move more challenging by performing it on one leg.

One Arm Bent Over Row

Round out your couch workout with the one arm bent over row. It specifically targets your rhomboids and your lats.

  1. Begin with your body sideways, right knee and right hand on your couch, left foot on the floor beside it. Your left hand should hold your dumbbell.
  2. Keeping your back flat and squeezing your shoulder blades together, draw your elbow back and up, lifting the dumbbell toward the side of your ribcage.
  3. Lower your dumbbell back to the starting position.

Once you've completed a set on one side, switch to the other.

Mountain Climbers

The mountain climber gets your heart-rate up while engaging your shoulders and working your core.

  1. Begin in a high plank position with your hands on the couch.
  2. Contracting your abdominals, draw your knee quickly and tightly in toward your chest.
  3. Alternate legs as quickly as you can until you've completed the total amount of repetitions or time.

Burpees

The couch burpee is also known as the burpee modification. It is a full body exercise to improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

  1. Stand facing your couch.
  2. Place your hands on the firm edge.
  3. Hop your feet back into a plank position with your knees slightly bent.
  4. Hop your feet forward again.
  5. Jump up, reaching your hands toward the ceiling.
  6. As your feet land, place your hands on the firm edge of the couch to begin again.

A simple modification for this exercise is to walk your feet back and forth instead of hopping. To increase the challenge, add a pushup or perform your burpees in front of the couch instead of on it.

Get Your Couch Workout On

The couch exercises are meant to focus on creating strength in your muscles and getting your heart-rate up. Put together this list of exercises to create a full body workout routine that will help you get in shape from the comfort of your couch.

Couch Exercise Ideas