5 Simple, Worthwhile Exercises You Can Do Without Even Leaving Your Sofa

Sofa exercises are a great way to get fit with little effort.

The NHS recommends that adults between the ages of 19 and 65 do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week.

While this is all well and good, and makes sense for having a long, healthy life, getting into the habit of exercising when you’re just... not that interested, can be difficult and actually put you off it entirely.

However, if you are looking to get started and feel intimidated by just the thought of pulling on running shoes, what if you started just at your sofa? It is possible and works important muscles!

Exercises that can be done from the comfort of your sofa

Usually done in short sets, these can be done one after the other or, if you just want to do a little exercise to begin with, just do one at a time! All movement is good.

Chair dips

This exercise is actually considered by some experts to be one of the best ways to work your triceps and doing them in 10-15 sets to begin with is a great way to get started.

Healthline recommended:

  • Sit on your chair or bench with your arms at your side and your feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart
  • Position your hands so that your palms are down beside your hips. Your fingers should grip the front of the chair seat
  • Move your torso forward off the chair with your arms extended. Your buttocks should hover over the floor and your knees should be slightly bent. Your heels should touch the floor a few inches in front of your knees
  • Breathe in as you slowly lower your body, hinging at the elbows until each forms a 90-degree angle
  • Breathe out as you push up to your starting position with your arms fully extended

Sofa punches

Speaking on ITV last summer, fitness expert Shakira Akabusi spoke about the benefits of “cosy cardio” and introduced the presenters to an exercise that she dubbed “sofa punches.”

Shakira recommended: “Whilst sitting down on the sofa start punching with both arms outwards while lifting your knees.”


Glute bridges

Shakira also recommended glute bridges. Technically this does involve getting off your sofa but only to lie down and rest your legs on it.

To do this, you simply lie on the floor with your feet resting on the sofa, lay your arms flat and slowly raise your hips whilst engaging your glutes.

Side-lying hip raise

This exercise will help to work your glutes and core muscles and is really simple to do. Simply lie down on your side with your legs stacked, bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, keeping your feet behind you and still stacked.

Then, according to CNN, you simply: “Extend your top leg straight out in front of you, positioned somewhere between your opposite knee and hip, depending on how tight your leg feels.

“Internally rotate your hip to point your toes down and lead with your heel as you raise your leg up above hip height and then lower down below the front of the couch.”

Once you feel you’ve done enough reps of this, simply rotate around the sofa and do it again, flipping the legs so there’s an equal workout.

Sofa squats

According to the BBC, this exercise builds strength in the legs, buttocks, bones, and back.

The BBC advises following these two steps and then repeating.

Step one:

  • Sitting on the edge of the sofa, have you feet shoulder width apart and back straight
  • With the weight going through your heels push up as you stand
  • Use the armrest if you need to at first
  • Make sure that you’re keeping your back straight. Stop yourself from bending forward
  • As you stand up, tense your buttocks and steady yourself on the spot
  • Keep your back straight – this is really important. That is why we keep saying it

Step two:

  • Standing up straight, with your feet shoulder width apart, lower yourself down slowly to the count of 5 seconds
  • Lead with your buttocks, keeping your back straight as you sit back down into the sofa
  • Keep the movement slow and controlled - this is what builds strength. If you go down too fast you won’t feel any resistance and you won’t get any of the benefits
  • Use the armrest if you need to at first
  • When you feel your behind on the sofa, gently ease your pelvis back just a little to support your lower back

Fitness without even having to turn off Gilmore Girls? Sold.