The living room does not a convincing gym dupe make. After all, living rooms aren’t usually for getting a sweat on — unless you’re watching a particularly stressful episode of Breaking Bad. It’s not, usually, the place to do complex cardio moves or lift weights. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and, for the time being, maintaining fitness will have to be done in quick at home workouts, in between changing the baby or putting dinner on the table. Luckily, there are myriad easy at home workouts that can be done quickly, with little equipment, and with little space.
The first step is to find a space and keep it clean, whether it’s behind the couch or in the backyard. Make it a refuge for your quick at home workout. Then, find bodyweight moves that are familiar, effective, and work in a small space. This makes the living room workout more likely to get started in the first place — and that’s half the battle.
What moves, exactly? We’ve put together an easy at home workout comprised of 15 strength and cardio moves that can be performed in your living room, in less than 30 minutes, making it a great quick at home workout. Together, the workout will tone your weak spots, get your blood flowing and heart pumping, and allow you to supervise (at least in theory) your kids nearby while you’re at it. String together the following in an order of your choosing and keep at it.
Core Home Workout Moves
Sit-Ups. Basic, but effective. Aim for 20 to start, and work your way up to 50 once you’re a pro. Do not tuck your feet under a chair or table for assistance, to get the maximum effect.
Crunches. These bite-size versions of the whole enchilada isolate smaller, deeper abdominal muscles in their motion. Shoot for three sets of 20.
Bicycles. Lie on your back feet in the air, knees bent. Place your hands behind your head. Begin pumping your legs in the classic bicycle motion, vigorously, for one minute.
Planks. Hands down the best overall bodyweight toning move you can do. Rest on your elbows and toes, keeping your back and legs straight. Hold for one minute.
Cardio Home Workout Moves
Jumping Jacks. Time to get your heart rate up. Making sure to raise your hands over your head each time, and keep the cardio going for at least one minute.
Burpees. Get from a perfect plank to a jump with the hands in the air and back again as fast as possible. Start with 10 and work up from there.
Lower Body Home Workout Moves
Squats. Back straight, feet slightly turned out. Drop your seat to knee height. Do two sets of 10. Advanced/Dad version: do these with your kid on your back.
Lunges. This is the best quad toner in town. Start standing with your feet parallel. Take a big step forward with your right leg, landing with your knee bent and over your toes. Allow your back knee to drop down toward the floor while swinging your left arm forward for balance. Push off your right front foot to return to standing. Do two sets of 10 on each side.
Squat Jumps. Bend your knees as if you are going into the squat position, tucking your arms like a downhill skier. Spring off the floor and straighten your legs in the air, before landing in a squat once again. Advanced version: When you push off the floor into a jump, add a half-twist so you land facing the opposite direction. Do two sets of 10.
High Knees. Jog in place for one minute, lifting each knee as high as you can.
Bavarian Split Squats. It sounds hardcore, but it’s just a regular squat with one leg resting on a chair seat or low table behind you. Focus on keeping your weight over your forward leg, and don’t let your knee bend further than your toes. Two sets of 10 on each side.
Calf Raises. Face a wall and place your palms against it for balance and support. Rise up onto your toes and back down. Repeat 20 times. Advanced version: Let your kid ride piggyback for extra resistance.
Upper Body Home Workout Moves
Push-Ups. Drop and give us 20. Let your child sit on your butt for extra weight resistance.
Dips. Sit in a sturdy chair, hands holding the front edge of the seat. Push your butt forward until it is it suspended in front of the seat and your weight is being supported by your arms. Bend elbows and drop your hips toward the floor. Straighten. Do two sets of 10 dips.
Dead Lifts. A modified version of the gym classic, you’ll need a heavy, low-to-the-ground object for this, such as two gallon-size jugs of water, dumbbells, or a duffel bag filled with shoes. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, knees slightly bent. Keeping your back straight, reach down and grab hold of the weighted object on the floor in front of you. Return to a vertical position. Lower down; raise back up. Do 20 times.