8 Fitness Expert-Approved Moves You Can Do While Watching Netflix
Sometimes your heart asks you to choose between going to the gym...and rushing home to watch your latest Netflix addiction. We asked two fitness experts about the workout moves they love doing at home and how to properly work out while multitasking.
“My favorite exercise to do in front of the TV is rebounding,” says Tosca Reno, founder of the Eat Clean Revolution. “This involves jumping on a small trampoline, alternating small jumps from center to side to side and moving your arms however you like to the rhythm of your bounces while working up a sweat.” Make sure to keep your back and shoulders straight to avoid lower back pains and strains. “The benefits of rebounding include boosting the immune system, firing up the cardiovascular system, increasing balance and coordination, lowering resting heart rate, improving lymphatic drainage and so much more.”
Planks, which work out your core along with your entire body, are easy to sneak in during the credits of your favorite show. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, keep your spine straight and look at the floor directly in front of you. (If this is too tough, try in on your elbows.) Hold for 15 to 20 seconds for three to five sets, gradually working up to holding the plank for three minutes. Here are seven plank upgrades for a lean and toned body.
To work out your lower abs during the latest Grace and Frankie episode, try deadbugs, a move that strengthens your core and requires zero equipment. “Lay flat on your back with your hands extended above you toward the ceiling. Bend your knees in a 90 degree angle and raise your thighs until they are perpendicular to the floor. Now deeply exhale, activate your core, and flatten your back onto the floor. Hold this position throughout the whole exercise,” she explains. “Slowly lower your right arm and left leg toward the floor at the same time, as low as you can go without having your lower back rise off the ground. Exhale forcefully as you lower. Slowly return to the starting position while inhaling.” Repeat this move on alternating sides and continue for eight to ten repetitions on each side. For an instant sweat, check out the workouts that burn the most calories.
When done correctly, squats are the perfect exercises for toning your glutes and quads while indulging in a binge of Stranger Things. “If you are new to exercise, try holding on to the back of a chair for balance and to help you maintain perfect form,” suggests Tosca. “Once you feel strong enough and sure of your form—you can let go and depend on your own body’s stabilizing muscles to execute the move.” Do a set of ten squats for three to four sets at a time. Don’t have time to work out during your nine to five hustle? Here’s why it’s okay to work out only on the weekends.
Focusing on your muscles while working out in front of the television is key to getting a good workout. “Thinking your way through the move enhances your efficiency and ensures proper form when doing shoulder presses with light dumbbells at home,” Tosca explains.”With a dumbbell in each hand, raise the weights at shoulder height and then lift upwards (the dumbbell should be directly over your shoulders to engage the muscles correctly, not out in front or behind you).” Repeat the move eight to ten times for three to five sets. Don’t have a pair of dumbbells lying around? Find out which household items you can use for your at-home workouts.
A crowded gym isn’t always the ideal place for getting pumped after a long day. If you had to hurry home, you can loosen and stretch your limbs with a move called the flat back. “In a barre class, this exercise would be done sitting underneath the ballet barre with your hips pressed against the wall, your legs outstretched and your hands hooked over the barre.” says Rachel Fieldman, personal trainer. “At home, you can do it sitting on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of your hips, your arms extended straight out ahead of you with fingertips on the floor, (they’ll end up being in line with your knees). While maintaining a flat back, hinge forward from your hips, pushing your upper body weight forward while pulling your abs back, exhale drawing your abs toward your spine and your pelvic floor up.” You can then alternate lifting your legs a few centimeters off the floor without leaning back. The action should come from the bracing of the abdominals not letting your hip flexors take over the work. The connection between the breath and the movement is the main focus, exhaling as you lift your legs and allowing a natural inhale when the legs come down.
Straight leg stretch
Cassey Ho, the mastermind behind the P1128 program loves doing single straight leg stretches in front of the television. “I love doing this Pilates move during credits or commercial breaks because it allows me to work my ab muscles while also stretching my hamstrings,” says the Popilates founder. “When doing the single straight leg stretch, lie down on the floor, making sure your back is pressed into the floor and that your head, neck, and shoulders are lifted. Hold on to one leg, just above the ankle, and pull it twice toward you while letting the other leg lower half-way to the floor. You can then alternate legs for a total of 20 switches. “You can have legs straight or bent knees if the move is new to you. If you feel your neck straining, then you can rest it on the floor or mat.
When it comes to stretching your muscles before and after a workout, our experts agreed that it should be an essential step in your routine—and not something you skip out of when you’re working out at home. “I love to stretch while I watch TV. It lets me zone out and forget that I’m actually stretching, which lets me hold poses longer and work on my flexibility.” shares Cassey. Tosca recommends the ‘sacral stretch,’ which is perfect for opening up your hips and relieving lower back pain. “Simply lie on the floor, on your back, with a yoga block or folded towel under your lower back. Recline, with your arms out by your sides and your legs straight out, and relax into the position. You can also draw the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop down as far as you can. Remain in the position for as long as you like. It’s a beautiful hip opener—most of us have very tight hips thanks to excess stress and hours of sitting at a desk!”