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Alison Sweeney's Couch Workout

  • Andrew Southam

    Row Boat

    The Biggest Loser's Alison Sweeney may spend more time on TV than she does in front of it, but the multitasking mom has mastered the art of finding exercise options in her living room or hotel room. "When it comes to working out, I don't just let it happen; I make it happen. I think about it a day in advance," says Sweeney, who walks the talk on these pages. Got 24 minutes during your fave sitcom? Then sculpt sexy muscles at home. "Anyone can do it," says Sweeney's trainer, Stevie Sant'Angelo, who designed this fast allover firm-up exclusively for FITNESS using just a couch and a single resistance band. "You'll get your sweat on and tone all the top trouble zones on your own schedule." Do 15 reps of each move then repeat the circuit twice. Stash the band between your sofa cushions so it's always on hand to keep your body supersleek.

    Row Boat

    Targets: Back, shoulders, and biceps

    • Loop center of band around couch leg and sit on floor facing couch, holding ends of band in each hand, arms extended in front of you with palms facing down.
    • Drive elbows behind you at shoulder height to row band toward chest; then, keeping elbows bent to maintain resistance, lower them to sides. Return to start.
    • Do 15 reps.

    Trainer's Tip: Keep your shoulders down throughout the move so that their blades kiss in back.

    Watch the workout video

     
  • Andrew Southam

    Decline Push-Up

    Targets: Chest, arms, and abs

    • Get into full push-up position with palms on floor, arms extended, balls of feet resting on couch cushion and hips lifted so that body forms a straight line from head to heels.
    • MAKE IT EASIER: Place knees on cushion or do an incline push-up with feet on floor and palms on cushion.
    • Bend elbows to lower chest toward floor, then return to start.
    • Do 15 reps.
  • Andrew Southam

    Flye Master

    Targets: Shoulders, chest, and abs

    • Loop center of band around couch leg and sit on floor with back against couch, legs extended in front of you, holding ends of band in each hand. MAKE IT HARDER: Lean torso back 45 degrees without touching couch and raise feet a few inches off floor.
    • Lift extended arms out to sides at shoulder level, palms facing down, and then bring them toward each other in front of you.
    • Bring arms back out to sides and repeat.
    • Do 15 reps.
     
  • Andrew Southam

    Flamingo Dip

    Targets: Triceps and quads

    • Stand with feet hip-width apart with your back to couch and place both palms on edge of cushion or armrest, fingers facing forward.
    • Keeping arms straight and elbows close by sides, bend knees about 90 degrees and then lift left foot a few inches off floor, knee bent, to get into start position.
    • Flexing left foot, bend elbows behind you 90 degrees and simultaneously extend left leg so that it's parallel to floor.
    • Straighten arms and bend left knee to return to start.
    • Do 15 reps.
    • Switch sides and repeat.

    Trainer's Tip: "Think of your heel as added resistance," Sant'Angelo says. "The greater you flex your foot, the more you'll work your quads."

  • Andrew Southam

    Pli? Plus

    Targets: Shoulders, abs, butt, inner thighs, and calves

    • Loop center of band around couch leg and stand with back to couch, feet together with toes turned out, holding ends of band in each hand in front of hips.
    • Bend knees 90 degrees to lower into pli? squat.
    • Straighten legs to stand up, squeezing inner thighs together and raising heels off floor as you lift extended arms in front of you to shoulder level, palms facing down.
    • Lower heels and arms, then return to pli? squat.
    • Do 15 reps.

    Trainer's Tip: Squeeze your glutes and hold for one count as you stand in the calf-raise position.

     
  • Andrew Southam

    Curl 'n' Squat

    Targets: Biceps, abs, butt, and legs

    • Stand with feet hip-width apart on center of band so that your back is facing couch, holding ends of band in each hand with arms by sides and palms facing forward; stand about 18 inches from edge of cushion.
    • Keeping elbows by sides, curl hands toward shoulders as you lower into a squat, barely touching edge of cushion.
    • Stand up quickly, lowering arms by sides.
    • Do 15 reps.

    Trainer's Tip: To really target the butt, push through your heels, not your toes.

  • Andrew Southam

    Booty Lift

    Targets: Butt and hamstrings

    • Lie faceup on floor with heels hip-width apart on edge of couch cushion, knees bent 90 degrees and arms on floor, slightly out to sides.
    • Lift hips, squeezing glutes, so that body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees.
    • Lower knees out to sides and bring them back in, then return to start.
    • Do 15 reps.
     
  • Andrew Southam

    Thigh-Frying Wood Chop

    Targets: Shoulders, abs, obliques, butt, and legs

    • Tie one end of band to couch leg and hold other end with both hands. Stand with feet hip-width apart so that couch is a few feet to your right and you feel resistance in the band, hands by right hip.
    • Lower into squat, knees bent about 90 degrees, then pull band diagonally up with arms extended from right hip to above left shoulder. Maintain squat as you rotate torso.
    • Do 15 reps.
    • Switch sides, with couch on your left, and repeat.

    Trainer's Tip: Squeeze a towel between your knees during this move to add inner-thigh toning.

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    Extra-Credit Sweat

    Turn up the burn and ab flattening of this workout with the following five-minute quickie after each resistance-band circuit. Or try it on its own during commercials.

    0:00-1:00
    Jump rope, do step-ups on the couch or coffee table, or run up and down the stairs in your house.

    1:00-2:00
    Hold a plank pose, balancing on floor on forearms and feet.

    2:00-3:00
    Do jumping jacks.

    3:00-4:00
    Do bicycle crunches, bringing opposite elbow and knee together. (Every fourth crunch, hold the position for five seconds before resuming.)

    4:00-5:00
    Repeat jumping rope, step-ups, or running up and down stairs.

     

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