Super Fun Beginner Workout You Can Do on Your Couch

couple lounging on couch
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Looking for a way to exercise at home in small windows of time? Celebrity trainer Craig Ramsay has a great workout that you can use to burn calories while you're on your couch.

Ramsay is a pro when it comes to creative workouts. And he's a Hollywood favorite among stars who keep their bodies in shape. He's trained Nina Parker (The Insider, TMZ), Jackie Warner (Bravo reality TV star, fitness expert), and Food Network chef Giada De Laurentiis. Ramsay not only provides effective workouts for his clients, but he also likes to have fun. His "Eat It, Burn It" video series will have you laughing while you burn off the calories.

How to Do the Exercises

This exercise plan works because exercising in small 5 to 10 minute increments throughout your day has shown to be just as effective as exercising continuously for 20 minutes straight. This workout can easily fit into your daily schedule simply by multitasking your exercise movements while watching your favorite television or sports program.  

Craig suggests that when your program takes a commercial break, your body should get busy. Since the average half-hour program has approximately 10 minutes of commercials, he says that in a one hour program you can burn anywhere from 150 to 250 calories with these 3 simple rotating exercises.

  • Exercise #1: Couch Can-Can’s
    • Sit at the edge of the sofa and place your palms on each side of your hips. Lower your booty off the couch like you are going to perform a triceps dip. Hold that position with your feet on the floor and knees bent at 90 degrees. Your elbows should be kept slightly bent and parallel, facing the back of the couch.
    • Now "can-can" kick your legs, start with the right leg and kick it out straight in front of you just above your hips. Return the foot back to the floor. Hop the feet barely off the ground and with that same right leg kick it out slightly crossing over to your left side, return the foot on the ground, take another small hop and repeat on the left. You'll feel this full body effort in your triceps, forearms, shoulders, chest, core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and inner thighs.
  • Exercise #2: Remote Control Punches
    • Stand in front of the couch facing the television. Place your feet parallel and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart (resembling a sumo stance). Hold on to your remote control in the right hand. Perform 4 right arm forward punches while slowly lowering your body down towards the cushion of the couch with each punch. By the fourth punch, your booty should barely touch the couch. Now, continue back up repeating the punch/squat raise combo, by the last rising punch you should be returned to standing sumo stance.
    • Switch the remote to the left hand and repeat. This full body exercise works your calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, inner and outer thighs. You also work your core when you stabilize your body.
  • Exercise #3: Couch Climbers
    • Start with your elbows on the couch cushion and your hands together. Align your chest over your forearms with your feet on the floor. Your body will be in plank position. Do not let your hips drop and try to keep your body in a straight line.
    • Lift up and place your right hand on the edge of the couch, as if preparing for pushup position. Quickly place your left hand out to the other side continuing the flow upward to a pushup plank. Return carefully back down to your elbow plank position, starting with your right elbow and hand, with your left elbow and hand to follow. Think "up, up, down, down" in a metronome rhythm.
    • Repeat this sequence starting with the left hand and arm. During this calorie burner, you work your core muscles (abdominals and obliques), lower back, chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders, forearms and lats. 

Of course, if you consume more than a single workout's worth of calories when you snack, you should plan to do this workout on a regular basis. You can also do a different TV workout on alternate days to use different muscles and blast more fat.

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  1. Parker-Pope, T. The New York Times. Really, Really Short Workouts.