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Best Ab Exercises to Do While Watching TV

Oct 14,2021

It might sound too good to be true, but it's entirely possible to firm up your midsection while you watch TV.

All you need is a little space, 10-15 minutes, and a few simple ab exercises.  

Ab exercises are a good choice while watching TV because the effort will be focused on one area of the body and take little time to deliver a stimulus.  You won’t be annoying your roommates or those around you with your movement.

During commercials, you can crank out a few good sets here and there, which at the end of 15 minutes, really adds up to some quality core training.  

Taking this subtle approach to abdominal training 2-3 days per week will yield noticeable results.

The benefits of core training to build strong abs include:

· Improved balance and stability

· Good posture

· A strong and healthy back

· It makes physical activities and everyday tasks easier

· Necessary for reaching fitness goals

· Don’t require a gym membership


Perform the work during commercials

Don't you dare miss your favorite show for core work!  Don't you dare!

Instead, perform a targeted number of reps or as many reps as possible while the commercials are on.  

Statistics show that ad time per one hour of network TV can range from 14-17 minutes.  

If you watch two hours of television several days per week, you're getting 28-34 minutes of dedicated ab training during commercial time alone.  

That is significant.  

Use everyday household items to enhance the training effect

Ab exercises don't require much equipment. Everyday household items can be repurposed as gym props to help enhance the potency of exercises and open doors to practicing new exercises.  

Chairs, stools, ottomans, hand towels, or heavy furniture like a sofa can transform your ab training.  I'll show you how this is possible down below.  

Attack multi-planar core exercises

Multi-planar refers to the different planes of motion that we’re capable of moving.  

Front Plane:  Side bending

Sagittal Plane:  Crunches

Transverse Plane:  Twisting and rotation

A balanced approach to core training will include exercises that challenge your body in all three planes.  

Performing marathon sets of crunches 24/7/365 is not a good idea.

Here’s a list of some of the best ab exercises you can practice while watching TV.

Slow Motion Bicycles


Assume a back lying position. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out to the side. The first motion is to bring the opposite side leg and elbow to meet each other midway above your belly. Touch the elbow to the knee if you can, moving slow and controlled. Return to the start position and begin the same moving on the opposite side.

Perform 12 reps on each side.



Front and side planks are time-tested core stability exercises. These are static, nonmoving positions that are perfect for conditioning the core and watching TV. Watching TV can help distract you from the fact that your abs are on fire!

If you’re up for a challenge, start with a side plank, moving into a front plank, finishing with a side plank.  Perform all of these moves without rest.   

Aim for 30 second holds in each position.

2-point Quadruped Holds


With both hands and feet in contact with the floor, the quadruped position is a fantastic core building position.

However, we're going to turn it up a notch and limit the base of support. Anytime you reduce your base of support, your core goes into overdrive reflexively. This exercise incorporates two points of contact, the opposite arm and the opposite leg. The limited base of support are challenging to control.

You’ll feel the instability in your mid-section immediately.

Hold each side for 15-30 seconds per side.

Russian Twists


Hook your feet underneath a couch or a chair, and begin twisting your torso slowly at a 45° angle. Aim to rotate as far as you can in both directions, moving slow and keeping the core tight.

Don't rush this exercise. Move with control and twist as far as you can in each direction. Control every aspect of the movement.

Perform 10 reps on each side.  

Core Smash


Lay on the floor flat on your back. Place your hands behind your head. Slowly curl up until the knees and elbows touch.

Once the elbows make contact with the knees, press hard in both directions.


Hold this position for 20-40 seconds.

Reverse Crunches


Reverse crunches are more effective than the modern-day crunch.

You're going to need to grab onto a sofa or a chair. Just make sure that whatever you're holding onto is well fixed and immovable.

Begin by laying on your back. Slowly bring the knees toward your waistline and begin to curl your spine off the floor one segment at a time, nice and slow. Bring your knees up just above your elbows, at which point you're going to reverse the path of motion and lower back down to the floor slowly, one segment at a time. Once your entire back is in contact with the floor, extend your legs out with knees straight before returning.

Perform 10-12 reps.

Tabletop with Rotation


This exercise combines core rotational strength with spinal mobility.

Begin in a seated position with hands just behind your butt, fingertips pointing away from your body. Lift your hips until they're in line with the knees and shoulders.  Relax your head back.  Lift one arm off the ground above and across your body.

Allow your eyes to gaze in the direction you're turning. Avoid any motion from your hips. Meaning keep your pelvis facing the ceiling and have all rotation coming above the waist line.

Hold the top rotated position for 5-seconds before moving to the other side.

Perform 6 reps on each side.

High Plank to Cross-Body Knee-to-Elbow


This exercise might look familiar for those of you who’ve had experience doing yoga.

Starting a high plank position, drive the knee across the midline to meet the opposite elbow.

Touch your kneecap to your elbow hold for 1 to 2 seconds before slowly returning your leg to the high plank position.

The magic in this exercise is moving slow and with control. Do your best to avoid letting your lower back cave.

Alternate each side for a total of 8 reps per side.

Ab Fallouts


Grab a towel or an old pair of socks, find a hard surface.

Beginning in a kneeling position with hands on the floor, slowly slide your hands out away from your knees, allowing your hips and chest to fall forward.  Once you’re on the ground, return to the kneeling position once again.

Training the abs to resist extension is critical for optimal function.  

Perform 8 slow reps.



The superman exercise strengthens the muscles that extend and support the spine.  Start by lying face down.  

Raise your hands and feet 4-5 inches off the floor and hold this position for three seconds before lowering back down.

Perform 10 repetitions.

Watch TV, Build Your Abs!

Slipping in some core work while watching TV is a great way to strengthen your abs while catching up on shows.

A little bit goes a long way when it comes to core training, and the more time you put into it, the more results you're going to get.

Instead of laying on the couch like a slug, get down on the floor and get to work!

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