Workouts That Help You Get Fit While You Watch TV

Who knew a Netflix addiction could be so healthy?
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Who knew a Netflix addiction could be so healthy?

Sometimes the best day is one spent at home lounging in pajamas. Let's face it, in the wintertime most weekends feature a heavy dose of "staying in" and not a whole lot of gettin' fit. Luckily, you don't need a pricey gym membership to work on strengthening your muscles and staying limber—you can even fit these in during your Netflix marathon. Here are four easy options for a 30-minute workout right from the comfort of your living room.

Body-Weight Exercises

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For a 30-minute workout, start with one round of 10, increase to 20, then to 30, back down to 20, then back down to 10.

10 body-weight squats: Stand hip-width apart, toes pointed forward. Squat down like you are reaching back to sit in a chair. Your knees should stay put; you want to be able to see your big toes at all times. Using your glutes, press the ground away with your heels and come back to standing. Repeat.

10 leg lifts in a plank: Start in a plank with your hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders over wrists and feet together. Lift your left leg while maintaining a strong plank. Lower your leg back to the ground. Repeat on the right side for one rep.

10 half-down push-ups: In your plank, move your feet to shoulder-width apart. Begin a push up, but only bend your elbows 45 degrees, instead of the usual 90. Push back up to your plank.

10 sumo-style squats: From standing, step into a wide stance, approximately 6 inches farther than hip-width on each side. Turn your toes out 45 degrees. Drop straight down to the ground, keeping your knees over your ankles while still able to see your big toes. Squeeze your glutes as you rise back up to standing.

10 knee-raises in a reverse plank: Extend your legs from a seated position with hands on the ground, fingers pointed toward your toes. Use your core, glutes, and arms to rise up into a reverse plank. Bring your right knee to your chest, keeping a strong plank, then set your leg down and switch sides.

Old-School Weightlifting

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Before we had weight plates and barbells, anything heavy was up for strength-training practice. Take this mentality and get creative at home. The following set works well with two cans from the pantry! Complete four rounds for a 30-minute session.

Flies with soup cans: Standing with strong posture, raise your arms out to the side. Return to rest. Raise arms at 45 degrees. Return to rest. Then raise arms in front of your body. That’s one rep. Complete in sets of 10.

Weighted squats: With your cans at your sides, perform 10 squats. Raise your cans up to your shoulders, elbows bent into a barbell position, and complete 10 more squats.

Forward rows: Bend down at your waist 90 degrees. Keep a straight back but let your arms hang. Keep your core tight to engage it and raise your elbows to 90 degrees. Straighten your arms back up, and use your glutes to return to standing. Complete 10 times.

Half get-ups with weight: Lying on your back, raise one arm up overhead holding your weight (soup can, dictionary, water bottle, etc.). Keeping a straight back and engaged core, sit upright and raise your weight to the ceiling. Lower back down in a controlled motion. Repeat 10 times then switch arms.

HIIT-Style Viewing

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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is today's hottest fitness trend, but it’s nothing new. HIIT workouts combine high-intensity training, which aims to push your muscles to exhaustion quickly, and interval training, which alternates periods of intense- and low-effort exercises. Athletes have been using HIIT-style workouts for years. Why? They're efficient and highly effective at building lean muscle and increasing your metabolism which maximizes muscle-building potential during a shorter period of time. Do the five exercises below for one minute each. Then rest through the end of the commercial break. Begin again when your show resumes.

Squat jumps: Start in a hip-width squat. Squat down and then jump up out of your squat and set your feet approximately 6 inches wider on each side. Land in your wider squat, squat down, and jump up and restart back in your standard squat.

Planking frogs: Start in a plank with your feet shoulder width apart. Shift your weight forward and use your core and glutes to jump your feet up towards your shoulders. Jump back into your plank. Repeat.

Rotating airplane: From your shoulder-width plank, shift your weight to the left side and rotate your right hand up to the ceiling until you are looking upwards and have turned onto the sides of both feet. Return to your plank in a controlled motion. Roll to the right side bringing your left hand up towards the ceiling until you've turned onto the sides of both feet. Repeat.

Squat and balance: Start in a hip-width squat. Squat down, and as you come back up, press into your right leg and lift your left leg to the side, coming to briefly balance on your right side. Drop back down into your squat and repeat on the left side. Make this more challenging by increasing your explosiveness and the height of your off-the-ground leg.

Falling timbers: Lie on your back with feet extended toward the ceiling so that your body forms a 90-degree angle. Keeping your low back on the ground and your core engaged, drop your right leg down to hover above the ground. Use your low core to pull your right leg back up to the top. Repeat on the left side.

At-Home Spin

Home treadmills typically become overpriced drying racks. An indoor bicycle trainer brings home the sweat of your spin class without making a major dent in your floor space or wallet. An “indoor trainer” attaches to your already existing bicycle, as opposed to its significantly more expensive sister—the “stationary bicycle". Put on your favorite dance beats (Flywheel has some great playlists!) and use the chorus as your interval marker. Spin at a moderate pace during the verses; stand up and rock out during the chorus.