The Fast (But Tough) Workout You Can Do During Commercial Breaks

Last Update: June 29, 2021

Getting ready for the big game? Like any good celebratory gathering, it’ll probably involve lots of food—like, four million pizzas worth.

We happen to believe that beer and wings taste a little bit better when you’ve earned them. Go ahead and enjoy yourself without any residual guilt by fitting in a quick (but tough!) workout during those iconic commercials. You can do all of these exercises right from the comfort of the couch—really. Recruit the whole party to join in, up those endorphins, and get into the zone.


Squat tap-backs

Warm up with this full-body move. Stand about a foot and a half away from your couch, facing the TV (so you can still catch the ads!). Keeping your posture upright, bend your knees and send your hips back, as if you were going to sit. As soon as your butt lightly taps the couch, return to standing, drawing your belly button in and squeezing your glutes as you straighten the legs. Do 30 reps.


Couch burpees

Stand facing the couch. Bring your hands to the seat cushions in a pushup position. Jump back into a plank, activating your core. Do one pushup—or hold your plank if you want more of an ab workout—and then jump feet forward to come back up to standing. Repeat 20 times.


Single leg step-ups

Pro tip: Take your shoes off for this one, or else your friends won’t want you coming over again! Start standing with the left side of your body closest to the couch. Step your left leg onto the couch, coming to stand up straight on the furniture. Look at you, breaking all the rules. As you do this, draw your opposite knee up towards your navel, using your abs to lift your leg. With control, lower yourself back down to standing, with both feet on the ground. Do 20 times on one leg, then switch.


Split-leg lunges

Stand about three feet away in front of your sofa, facing the TV. Kick one leg behind you and rest the top of your foot on the couch, knee facing the floor. Balancing on your standing leg, lower yourself into a lunge. Make sure your standing knee stays over your ankle and doesn’t jut out over your toes. Repeat 15 times, then switch to the other leg. Make this harder by holding a full keg over your head (JUST KIDDING! But, that would really work your core muscles!)


Spiderman push-ups

These. Are. The. Best. If you only do one exercise, pick this one. With the balls of your feet pressing into the top of the seat of the couch, walk yourself out to a plank position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your abs contracted (no saggy butts, please). Complete a pushup, lowering all the way down to two inches above the ground and then pressing back into your plank. Make this harder by adding the lower body, which activates your obliques even more. When lowering down, bring the right knee up to the outside of your right elbow. Repeat this on the left side. That’s one rep; complete 10 reps to get those abs working.


Twist-and-reach side planks

You’re already in your plank position—how ’bout another exercise? This time you’ll come to your side plank, balancing on the right hand or forearm with your feet on the couch. Reach your left arm up, then through your right armpit, leading the fingertips to reach behind you like you’re trying to grab something (a wing, a beer, some guacamole?). Come back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the other side.


Triceps dips

Work those arms a little more with some basic triceps dips. Come into a basic dip starting position: Fingertips and eyes pointing toward the TV, hips bent at a 90-degree angle, and weight in your heels. Bend at the elbow, lowering yourself four to six inches, then press back up. Repeat 30 times, or make it harder by extending legs straight out in front of you.


Alternating toe taps

Arms aren’t tired yet? Good, we’ve got one more move for you. Start in the same position as you did for triceps dips. Maintaining your balance, reach your right hand toward your left toe. Come back to the center, and switch to the other side. That’s one rep; repeat 20 times.


Seated scissors

Finally, one you can do without getting up! Sit on the edge of the sofa, leaning back so your torso creates a 45-degree angle with the couch. Raise both legs up in front of you, and do quick, little kicks, alternating between legs. Do 20 kicks, take a five-second rest, and then do 20 more.

You’re done! Now treat yourself to a nice, cold beer—you deserve it!

Photo credit: Alicia Cho

This article is related to:

Exercise, Fitness Tips, Health, Tips

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Michelle Pellizzon

Certified health coach and endorphin enthusiast, Michelle is an expert in healthy living and eating. When she's not writing you can find her running trails, reading about nutrition, and eating lots of guacamole.

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