Dad Bod

The 30-Minute Bodyweight Workout You Can Do While Watching TV

Because when you only have half an hour of time to yourself a day, you've got to learn to multitask.

Originally Published: 
A handsome young Chinese man working out at home. Doing jumping jacks exercise at home.
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Working out while watching television is easier said than done. How often do you find yourself sitting there stretching for the majority of the show? It’s not an effective workout, and not a pleasurable way to watch TV. Don’t give up just yet. A TV-watching bodyweight workout — a serious sweat-inducing and muscle-building session — is possible. You just need to have the right moves, ones that keep your eyes steady and head up while you’re burning calories. Here’s your 30-minute cheat sheet. Feel free to mix and match the moves or make it an hour-long show (if you can) to let a little more rest into the mix.

0-2:00: Lunges

Warm your body up with lunges—front knee over toe, back leg slightly bent without letting your knee touch the floor, then push back up to standing and repeat with opposite leg. Two minutes total.

2:00-4:00: Squats

Stand, bend knees, drop seat, resume standing. Repeat. Two minutes.

4:00-6:00: Jumping Jacks

Get that heart rate up. Hands over head every time! Two minutes.

6:00-11:00: Triceps Dips

Find a chair or couch facing the TV. Sit, placing your hands on the edge of the seat. Slide your butt forward until it is off the seat, your weight supported by your arms. Bend and straighten elbows. Three sets of 10 dips.

11:00-16:00: Wall Sit

Place your back flat against a wall, feet about two feet in front of you. Bend your knees until your quads are parallel to the floor. Stay there. One minute = OK. Five minutes = Elite class.

16:00-18:00: Side Plank

Lie on your side, propped up on one elbow (keep those eyes focused on the screen!). Use your core and push through your feet to raise your hips off the floor, creating a straight line from your shoulder to your feet. Hold 60 seconds. Switch sides.

18:00-21:00: Mountain Climbers

Usually, you do these with your head facing down, but when you think about it, shouldn’t you be looking up if you’re climbing a mountain? Of course you should. So for this one exercise, get down in the extended push-ups position but raise your head and keep your eyes on the football game. Bend one knee to your chest, then straighten it back as you hike the other one up. Continue “jogging” in this fashion for one minute. Rest a minute; do one minute more.

21:00-23:00: Sit-Ups

You can do these the traditional way, or you can mess with the timing a little to maximize your TV viewing: Quick on the up, then slowly roll back down. Incidentally, you’ll work your deeper ab muscles just a little more in this variation. Give us what you’ve got for two minutes.

23:00-24:00: Calf Raises

Sit in the chair, feet flat on the floor. Lean forward and press down on your quads with your hands. As you do this, rise up onto the balls of your feet. Lower back down. Continue raising and lowering your heels, using your calf muscles to resist the pressure from your hands. One minute.

24:00-26:00: Side Push-Ups

Stand near a wall, facing the TV. Straighten one arm out to the side so that your hand just touches the wall. Keeping your body in a straight line, bend your elbow and lean into the wall. Push away and back to standing. Do one minute on this side, then find the wall on the opposite side of the room and repeat on the other.

26:00-30:00: Modified Burpees

For your final move, you will find yourself lifting your gaze from the TV for a split second. Your goal is the push through this part of the sequence as quickly as possible. Start in an extended push-ups position (facing down, arms and legs extended). Do a super-fast push-up, then jump your feet towards your hands and stand up tall, feet shoulder-width apart. From here, let your arms drift in front of you while you slowly bend into an easy squat. Hold five counts. Lean forward, drop your hands to the floor, and jump your legs back into a push-ups-ready position. Go again. Two minutes.

Cool Down & Stretch

Using the back of chair for stability, stand on your left leg while you bend your right knee and raise right heel toward your butt. Grab your right foot with your right hand and gently pull the heel closer to your backside. Release your foot and swing it in front of your left leg. Bend left knee and rest your right heel across left quad. Holding onto chair back with both hands for support, bend left knee deeper into the stretch. Release. Repeat on opposite side.

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