Five gym-worthy exercises to try at home

January 5, 2021

Personal trainer shows us what you can do with a tea towel & a cushion

For those struggling for new ideas for their at-home exercise, fitness and wellness coach Jared Berndt shows us how to get creative with what we have around the home, using tea towels and cushions for an inventive and effective home gym routine.

All you’ll need for the workout is:

  • A book
  • Two chairs or side tables
  • Two tea towels, or even two socks
  • A cushion
  • A sofa or armchair

Tea Towel Ab Rollouts

You will need to be on a wooden or tiled floor for this exercise, which is focused on the core. Place two tea towels or socks underneath your hands. On all fours, with your knees on a yoga mat or cushion and keeping your back straight, slide the towels out away from the body, keeping the core controlled through the movement.

Incline Side Table Push Ups

This movement is activating the chest, and you’ll need two side tables or low chairs. The goal here is to have both hands elevated onto a platform of some sort so that when the push up is performed, there is a fuller range of movement taking place.

Sofa Split Squats

The focus here is the quads. It’s a two-part movement: first, put one leg forward, foot planted firmly to the ground and a good, comfortable distance away from the sofa. Raise your other leg up and place behind you, toes firmly dug into the sofa cushion. Slowly drive your knee to the ground, driving up through your front foot that is planted into the ground.

Cushion Half Kneeling Rotationals

This explosive movement will work the shoulders and get your heart-rate up. In a resting lunge position, back knee touching the ground, place your cushion on the inside of your front leg. Reach down for the cushion, lift it up, driving with the core and keeping shoulders locked tight, twist over to the outside of the front leg and slam the cushion to ground. The movement works the shoulders from the explosiveness of the slam, and also works the core from the twisting motion.

Heel Elevated Pile Front Squats

This movement targets the glutes and quads. Anything can be used here to elevate the heels off of the ground, such as a book or sofa cushion. The reason we want to elevate the heel with this movement is because a common issue when people squat is that on the way up people tend to drive through their toes, losing all muscle activation on the glutes and quads. You could hold a two-litre bottle to the chest or above the head to add resistance to this move.

Jared said: “If lockdown has taught me one thing with new clients, it’s that many people don’t have a firm grasp of the basics. You might see people at the gym bench pressing huge weights, but they can’t actually do a proper push up with the right technique.”

“Learn the basics of movement, and when you get back to the gym you’ll feel the benefit of what you’ve accomplished at home.”

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