It’s safe to say that the novelty of isolation and quarantine has worn off—sure, it was fun for a few days to work from home in leggings and sweats, but the honeymoon period has definitely come and gone. While we’re living through this strange and unknown period of time with an immense level of underlying stress and anxiety, we’re still burdened with the pressure to do everything—the tasks, the outlying projects, the coursework, the readings, the cooking, and we can’t forget the workouts. From gym-rats to boutique studio-goers, fitness culture is thriving in the United States, even in times of utter chaos. So, how do we balance this pressure to still reach our fitness goals and keep our mental health intact, while also giving ourselves the necessary time and space to sink into sloth mode?
We’ve rounded up a list of the five best exercises to do when you’re feeling lazy. The couch is calling, but don’t feel guilty, we’ve got you covered. And the best part is, they can all be done from your living room!
1. Hip Taps
Despite trending all over TikTok, hip taps are a nice change from a standard plank, which can get a little boring. Hip taps are more of a challenge with the added side-to-side motion and having to stay elevated off the ground. You’ll start in a plank position on your elbows, and from there, drop your hips down from one side to the other, returning through the middle each time. You’ll turn up the heat on the difficulty of a plank by using your obliques with the side-to-side motion, targeting the majority of your abdominals. This move is definitely a challenge, and tapping from side-to-side will have you sweating in no time, but the benefit is you’ll find that the time passes more quickly with the distraction of having to stay in motion. Hip taps will get your core fired up without having the seconds crawl by.
Deadlifts target both the hamstrings and glutes, making them a great exercise to incorporate into a lazy day workout—two for the price of one! And, as an added incentive, your hamstrings are one of the larger muscle groups in your body that help to stabilize your knee joint. Holding dumbbells, a heavy book, or even a bottle of wine, you’ll set your feet about hip-width apart. Hinging at the hips and keeping your core engaged, you’ll lower the dumbbells to mid-shin, feeling a stretch in your hamstring, and then rise back up, squeezing at the top of the motion. Your hammies will be feeling a little sore the next day, so be sure to drink a lot of water, but keeping those muscles strong and working will help to burn more calories while resting throughout the day.
3. Toe Taps
This soccer-inspired move will have you wanting to watch Bend It Like Beckham as soon as possible. Toe taps are a great way to get your heart rate up and get sweating without huge impact. If you’re working out in an upper-level apartment or in a room upstairs, there are measures you can put in place to make sure you don’t sound like a herd of elephants. To ensure reduced impact and noise, try doing the move in just socks and on a rug or carpet. If you’re still concerned about potential noise, or the impact to you physically, you can modify the toe taps by taking the hop out. The move itself is pretty simple: you’ll tap your toes on an elevated surface, like a stair or couch, alternating your feet as you go. Kick up the intensity by moving your toes faster, and don’t forget to pump your arms!
4. Goblet Squats
If you’ve ever been to any workout class or scrolled past a fitness influencer on the explore page on Instagram, you’re probably familiar with squats. A goblet squat is just a variation of the classic, powerhouse move, so you’re getting all of the same benefits, but the stance can be more comfortable to perform. Holding a dumbbell (or a household item like a detergent bottle or a water jug) so that it is length-wise up and down, spread your feet in a wide, second position (where are all my ballerinas at?) with your toes pointed slightly outward. Then you’ll squat down, and stand back up squeezing at the top. Goblet squats are an awesome alternative to a traditional squat, and the position makes it even easier to keep the pressure off of your knees. This exercise targets all those leg muscles!
5. Shoulder Taps
Shoulder taps challenge your core with a bit of an added element of cardio. Core moves can feel repetitive, but your abdominal muscles stabilize your entire body, giving you the strength and balance to do simple things like standing up straight, and protecting you from lower back injury if you ever lift something heavy. Your core has a lot of responsibility, so it’s important to keep it strong! You’ll start in a push-up position up on your hands, and tap your opposite hand to your opposite shoulder. Once you have the movement down, challenge yourself to pick up the pace! As a modification, you can take the push-up position to your knees if you need. You’ll feel your core burning in no time, and when you do, keep it up!