Five Exercises You Can Do in Your Living Room

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Last month a study showed that a two minute burst of exercise a week can have positive health benefits. Personal trainer Rob Jones shares five exercise that are perfect if you’re squeezed for time (or the weather is horrible!). These indoor exercises are the perfect way to get your dose of cardio and isometric exercise each week – even whilst you watch TV!

Jumping Jacks
(Images via Rance Costa, Flikr)

Jumping Jacks: This is a simple cardio exercise that will work both your upper and lower body. It doesn’t need much space and it will raise your pulse.
How to do Jumping Jacks
1. Start standing with your hands by your sides.
2. Jump off the ground a couple of inches and bring both your arms out and up (to around shoulder level) and legs out (wider than shoulders width) before landing on your toes.
3. Spring quickly back in the air a couple of inches and bring the arms and legs back into the start position before landing on your toes again.
4. Repeat at a relatively quick pace for the desired time.


Squat: A lower body exercise for developing strength in practically all muscle groups of the legs: hamstrings, quads, calves and even the glutes.
How to do a squat
1. Place your feet around a shoulders width apart with toes pointing forwards
2. Keeping your back in a neutral position (a slightly arched back), drop your hips back and lower your bum down as if you were about to sit down. As you drop back keep your chest pushed forwards, arms extended out in front and hips rotated down to keep good back form.
3. Squat down low enough so the thighs are parallel to the ground, but keep the heels firmly planted.
4. Drive back into a standing position, driving back up fast and keeping the weight on your heels.
5. Repeat for the desired time or repetitions.

Ab crunch

Abdominal Crunches: Crunches are a really good exercise for targeting the abs, specifically the adominis rectus muscles – those muscles that make the six-pack!
How to do Abdominal Crunches
1. Lie on your back with you knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
2. Contract your abs, flatten your lower back against the floor and slowly lift your shoulders one or two inches off the floor – exhale as you lift, keep your neck straight and chin up (try and keep a fist-sized space between chin and chest).
3. Slowly lower while keeping your abs tensed.
4. Repeat for the desired time or repetitions.


Lunges: A fantastic exercise that will build strength and balance. As well as improving strength (quads, hamstrings and calves) this exercise will also improve your cardiovascular condition – a must for any workout!
How to do Lunges
1. Stand with feet together and place your hands either on your hips, out wide or behind your head (the latter called a ‘prisoner lunge’).
2. Take one foot back a step and then bend and lower the rear knee towards the floor, at the same time bending the front knee.
3. When the rear knee is almost to the floor (hovering an inch) both the back and front knees should be almost at 90 degrees. If this is not the case adjust the distance the next time you lunge.
4. Now come back to stand by driving through the front foot and stepping the rear foot forward.
5. Repeat with the other leg and continue for the desired time or repetitions.

(Images via Rance Costa, Flikr)

Plank: An isometric holding exercise that helps develop strength in the abs, shoulders, mid back, bum and (most importantly) the muscles of your core.
How to do a Plank
1. Starting in a push-up position, drop down to rest on your forearms with elbows directly below shoulders and fists meeting in front.
2. Hold a straight posture (think of a straight line from shoulders, hips and ankles), taking care to keep the core activated by drawing the navel to the spine. Also ensure the neck and head are in line – you should be looking straight to the floor.
3. Hold for the desired time.

Rob Jones is the resident fitness expert at He’s a seasoned personal trainer, outdoor fitness guru and kettlebell addict hailing from Brighton. Rob is also a qualified cardiac rehab exercise specialist and working at the University of Brighton’s Cardiac Rehab Programme. All of Rob’s fitness experience is backed by a solid scientific understanding of exercise and health from an undergrad in Biological Sciences, postgrad in Exercise and Health and his qualification in Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Rob Jones

Rob Jones

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