If gymnastics at home was once a choice, for a year now it has been a must. Of course, having gym-like machines available at home is quite difficult. But with a little ingenuity, and above all goodwill, you can train well even at home. Our sofa can be transformed from an ideal accessory for relaxation to a real tool for a proper workout.
Sofa workout or sofa gymnastics, what is it
The sofa workout or sofa gymnastics is a circuit consisting of a series of exercises that can be performed comfortably at home without the need for gym equipment. Using the sofa as a bench or a support surface. Practically all the muscle groups of our body can be strengthened and toned: legs, arms, abdomen, and buttocks.
It can be practiced by everyone, men and women, without age limits. Except, of course, the presence of particular pathologies. As with any physical activity. A medical consultation is always highly recommended.
The correct execution of the exercises is of fundamental importance. Both to obtain maximum effectiveness and to avoid injuries.
Regardless of the forced confinement of this very particular period. The sofa workout or sofa gymnastics is very useful for the laziest people who do not want to play sports or who for reasons of messy hours do not join the gym. This type of training, in fact, allows you to train and keep fit, staying comfortably at home, without any kind of constraint.
Using the sofa, you can also train while watching a favorite movie or series. Time will pass faster and the effort will also feel a little less.
Sofa workout or couch gymnastics, how it works
For this type of training, the sofa is used as a bar or bench. The exercises that can be done are really many and involve practically all muscle groups. So let’s see some exercises to do using the sofa.
Strengthening of the legs with the sofa workout or sofa gymnastics
With the help of the sofa used as a support, this particular type of single-sided squat can be performed.
Standing, with your back to the sofa, place the back of one foot on the seat. Place the other foot on the ground, approximately 10 cm in front of the knee of the bent leg. Then bend the leg on the ground trying to get down as much as possible.
Attention: the knee must never go beyond the tip of the foot!
For a more intense version, while performing, hold some weights or bottles filled with water in your hands.
Classic squat and jump squat
The sofa can become the base, the point of reference and arrival, up to where you can lower yourself to consider a normal squat complete. With your back to the sofa, perform a classic squat until your bottom touches the seat, and then get back to the starting position.
For a more dynamic exercise, once you have touched the seat of the sofa with your buttocks. Instead of rising normally, give yourself a good boost and leap upwards.
Sit on the edge of the sofa, back straight, legs bent parallel in front of you and hands resting on the sides. Inhale and, exhaling, take the legs off the ground and, always keeping the abdomen well contracted. Bring the bent legs towards the chest and bring them taut to the initial position.
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Arm toning with the sofa workout or sofa gymnastics
The sofa is an excellent support base to perform some exercises to strengthen the triceps.
With your back to the sofa, place your hands on the end of the seat facing outwards. Extend your legs to the ground and move your pelvis towards the floor by bending your arms. Rest your buttocks almost to the ground and rise so that your arms are extended.
This exercise becomes more and more intense and challenging the further you move your feet from the sofa.
Sitting on the sofa, with your back straight and your legs slightly apart. Clench your fists and place your elbows at chest height. Punch in the air with one arm at a time. Repeat 20 times on each side.
The same exercise can be done by unleashing the hooks from the front.
To enhance the exercise, hold weights or bottles of water in your hand.
Strengthening the abdominals with the sofa workout or sofa gymnastics
The sofa can also be a good base for always useful crunches. Let’s see ho
Sitting and with your back straight up, inhaling, take your legs off the ground bent and, keeping the core area contracted, “pedal”, simulating the movement with your legs when you ride a bicycle.
Repetitions: 20 rides per side.
In this case, our sofa becomes a bench: then place your palms or forearms on it, and stretch your body backward. Everything must be well aligned and care must be taken not to lower the pelvis. Pay attention to the neck which must be relaxed and not stiffen.
Maintain the position with the muscles tightly contracted for a certain period.
For newbies, start with about 15 seconds, and then slowly increase from time to time until you get to hold 1 minute.
While performing, try to breathe regularly, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
The sofa can also be used as a base for the dynamic version of the planks. For example, to perform the mountain climber or the version in which, alternatively, you touch the shoulder with the opposite hand.
Firm buttocks with the sofa workout
Lie on the ground in front of the sofa, place your legs bent at 90 degrees, making your calves adhere to the seat. From this position, with your arms at your sides, lift your hips, keep your glutes contracted for a couple of seconds, and then come back down to the starting position.
When you have gained some confidence with the exercise, perform it by applying force on one leg, performing upward thrusts with the other. Repeat 15 times per side or 30 times for the basic version.
General strengthening with the sofa workout or sofa gymnastics
Place the sofa firmly against the wall. With your eyes turned to the wall, put your hands on the cushions, extend your arms and begin to push with all the strength you have, as if you want to move the sofa itself over the wall. While performing, slide your feet in front of each other.
Does the sofa workout or sofa gymnastics make you lose weight?
As it turns out, this type of training focuses more on toning exercises and increasing muscle strength.
Those who want to lose weight, and therefore have slimming goals, must instead focus more on aerobic activities, such as running, brisk walking, exercise bikes, treadmills …
For a complete workout, the ideal would be to alternate the two types of training, dedicating, for example, 3 days a week to strengthening and another 2 days for cardio activity.
Sofa workout or sofa gymnastics: contraindications
Everyone can practice it, women and men of any age. However, anyone suffering from particular pathologies, especially of the back and joints (eg herniated disc or osteoarticular pain) must ask the doctor for advice.
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