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The 5-Minute Couch Potato Workout That'll Easily Get Your Body Moving

Ditch a sedentary lifestyle for a more active one in just five minutes.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

There's no doubt that your body needs time to rest and recover. However, you also need enough exercise, whether that's running, cycling, or jumping on the latest fitness trend. In fact, not getting enough physical activity and being sedentary can cause serious health issues such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and certain forms of cancer, according to Jumpstart by WebMD. That's why we're here with a five-minute couch potato workout that'll get your body moving.

We totally understand that working out can be challenging if you haven't been moving around much lately and aren't in the best shape. Fortunately, even a little bit of movement each day can be a fabulous way to start—and perhaps even fall in love with—your fitness journey.

If we've piqued your interest, then get off the couch and gear up for this five-minute workout from Maggie Jenson, a certified personal trainer, weight loss specialist, nutrition coach, and behavior change specialist. You heard that right! All you need is five minutes of your time to perform an "effective full-body burner" that'll help you get in daily movement. And trust us—you'll also have fun.

"This is an EMOM workout! That stands for "Every Minute on the Minute" and means that you will set your timer for five minutes. At the top of every minute, you'll start the next exercise," Jenson explains. "If you 'maxed out' your reps at say, 30 seconds, spend the rest of the minute skipping rope—with or without the actual jump rope, whatever is easiest and safest for you."

Are you ready for this couch potato workout? Then set your timer, and let's get going!

Squat Thrusters

dumbbell squat thrusters illustration

To begin, Jenson suggests tackling a minute's worth of squat thrusters. Get yourself into the same position you would if you were performing a normal squat while keeping your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Make sure your toes are pointing slightly outward, and grab a set of dumbbells or two water bottles. It's just important that each item weighs the same.

Sit back into a squat, and hold the weights up by your shoulders. Then, push up to stand while squeezing your glutes. At the same time, lift the weights above your head until your arms are straight. Use control as you bring the weights back down to your chest. Next, lower yourself into the starting squat position to complete one rep.

Continue to do reps until one minute is up. If you can't do an entire minute of squat thrusters, then perform as many as possible before switching over to jump rope for the remaining time.

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Planked Hip Drops

For the second minute of your couch potato workout, perform as many planked hip drops as you can within 60 seconds. This time, assume a plank by keeping your elbows on the ground, or place your hands on the floor and keep your arms straight.

While bracing your abs and engaging your core, press your toes into the ground and rotate your hips by lowering one side at a time. Your main goal here isn't to touch the floor with your hips, but rather to focus on controlled movements.

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Alternating Side Lunges

two women doing side lunges in family room, part of couch potato workout

For minute number three, you will perform another exercise that puts a small but effective twist on a classic: alternating side lunges.

Bring yourself into a standing position and place your hands on your waist or cross your arms on your chest. Put one leg to the side as you move into a lunge. Your chest will come forward as you do this, allowing you to push back with your butt. Next, press into your foot and push off to return to a standing position. Now, do the same with the opposite leg, and continue to alternate. Just like the other exercises, do as many reps as you can in one minute.

Reverse Burpee

Although reverse burpees require you to start off by lying down on the ground, you definitely won't be resting during the fourth minute of your workout. Instead, bring your knees up against your chest. Using a burst of power, bring your feet to the floor, and push your torso up with your abs. As your feet come down and your body comes up, you should have the momentum needed to move into a squat, then a standing position. Feel free to add a jump at the top.

Once you're done, reverse the movement by bringing yourself down into a squat. From there, move into a sitting position and let your body roll back, then lie back down.

One rep includes both moving up and coming back down, which you should do for one full minute.

Explosive Tricep Dips

woman performing tricep dips at-home arm exercises for flabby triceps

For the fifth and final minute of this couch potato workout, explosive tricep dips are the ideal exercise.

Stand by a couch, bench, or something that will be supportive. Place your palms on the edge of the steady surface while your fingers point forward. Pretend to "sit" as though you're actually on a couch or bench, staying slightly in front of it.

Once you're in position, lower down by bending your elbows. Go down as low as you can before coming back up, and continue to push up until your elbows are straight. Do this as many times as possible while using a controlled movement to go down and an "explosive" motion to come up. Note that both hands should actually come up from the couch or bench.

When it comes to explosive tricep dips, Jenson adds, "This may not be something you can do on day one, but keep at it and you'll see the progress in no time!"

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more about Desirée
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