I think if you’re reading this, it’s safe to say you’re one of the many people who would rather watch Netflix after a long day at work than hit the gym – and who can blame you? Everyone is constantly recommending different “must-see” shows on Netflix, and when you’re really into a series, it can be difficult to turn it off and head to the gym. Plus, we’re not all teachers with summers off, so sometimes a long work day reward is a Netflix binge. However, beach body season is already upon us and it’s crunch time if you want to achieve that summer body before summer is over. Luckily, there are a ton of at-home workouts and exercises that guarantee you’ll get fit while you watch the newest season of Orange is the New Black. I like to call this Netflix and Tone, a much healthier alternative to Netflix and Chill. Here are 5 ways you can #NetflixAndTone and get fit for summer while keeping up with all your favorite Netflix shows:
1. Do medicine ball exercises
A medicine ball is a heavy, weighted ball that comes in very handy when doing at-home exercises. It’s extremely versatile as you can hold the ball between your legs while you do those hip bridges, raise it over your head while you do squats, use it for tricep extensions, weighted supermans and twist it from side-to-side to work your core. Here are 25 medicine ball exercises that can be done in your living room in front of the TV. The extra weight of the medicine ball increases the effectiveness of any given exercise, which means you’ll get better results faster and get toned more quickly.
2. Strap on a wearable ab-toning belt that uses electrical muscle stimulation
One of the most common areas that we’re self-conscious showing off in swimwear during the summer is our midsections. Call it what you want to call it: your gut, your belly, your tummy. It’s normal to be conscious of it. I wear an ab-toning belt called Slendertone while I watch Netflix to tone my tummy. Laying on the couch for 30 minutes with the toning belt on is the equivalent of doing 200 sit-ups. So, if I put this toning belt on at the beginning of an episode of Girlboss, by the end of the episode I’ll have completed a killer ab workout without moving from my couch. By using electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) Slendertone works your core muscles resulting in a firmer, tighter tummy and a smaller waist. Wearable toning belts like these really do work, and this technology is FDA-approved and has been researched and perfected by scientists for over 50 years. It’s backed by clinical trials that prove its effectiveness and safety. If you’re looking for a way to tighten and tone your abs while you lie on your couch, this is proof that it can be done.
3. Do planks
Planking is another very simple exercise that tones the entire body. Planks work your core, your glutes, and your arms as you tighten up and hold the plank position for as long as you can. On average, people can hold a plank position from 30 seconds to three minutes. It’s the perfect exercise to get down and do while Netflix is on, and there are several benefits of doing planks every day. If, for example, you can only hold a plank for 60 seconds, do this a few times throughout your Netflix binge. Hold a plank, sit back down on the couch and rest, then get up and do another plank. You’ll feel a lot better (and a lot more toned) than you would if you just sat on the couch the whole time.
4. Use a Simply Fit Board
The Simply Fit Board is something I originally discovered from watching Shark Tank. It’s such a simple yet brilliant concept. All you have to do is stand on the board and twist, as the board’s shape is designed for the perfect body-toning twisting motion. The twisting motion tones your legs and your abs, and it’s super easy to do in front of the TV. I also like how small and portable it is, as it’s easy to store away when I’m not using it. Your at-home workout should definitely include a Simply Fit Board.
5. Do squat reps with hand weights
You should really invest in some hand weights to keep at home, but if you don’t have any, filling up two large water bottles should do the trick. Either way, doing squat reps with weights is a fantastic, full-body workout that tones your core, your butt, your legs and your arms. Squats are one of the best exercises to garner results that tone the entire body, and they especially produce results if you do them daily. So, why not watch Netflix while you do squats in front of the TV? It’s one of those exercises that allows you to stare straight ahead, so it’s the perfect at-home workout for you Netflix addicts out there. There are several major benefits of doing squats, and you can even do bicep curls or any other arm workout while you squat to kick it up a notch. Use your couch to guide you, because as long as your butt lightly touches the couch cushion, you know you’re squatting low enough. Put one foot on the edge of your couch for one-legged squats that really target the glutes. Squats had to be on our list of #NetflixAndTone workouts because of the infinite number of case studies that have proven their effectiveness.
So, there you have it. If you want to #NetflixAndTone like I do, you’ll have to invest a small amount of money in the form of at-home workout armor such as hand weights, a Slendertone belt, a Simply Fit Board and a medicine ball that is the right weight for you. Although you can do body-sculpting exercises without this armor, the armor simply enhances the results and makes the at-home workouts more versatile and fun. In fact, I think you’ll find that getting fit in time for summer while watching Netflix will be much easier and more fun than you thought.
Erica Gordon is the author of Aren’t You Glad You Read This? The Complete How-To Guide for Singles with a History of Failed Relationships Who Want their Next Relationship to Succeed, available here.