Monday, August 13, 2007

Couch Potato Workout for Guys

(Note: As requested by Vina, the self-proclaimed Crazy Doctor, here's the article I wrote in 2000 for a lifestyle site.)

Don’t you just love self-explanatory titles? A couple of gym friends and I invented a set of exercises you can do at home, in front of your TV. If you’re one of those workaholics that couldn’t sit still through your leisure time, this could help as well. Don’t forget to do some stretching first. You know the drills, you were in high school. But leave out anything that couldn’t be done while sitting down. Having fun while sitting down is the whole idea.

  • Tension Cushion
    Sit upright on your couch with both feet planted together. Put a cushion between your knees and squeeze. Do three sets of 10 repetitions. This will work the inner thighs and the muscles surrounding your knees, helping to prevent tendon problems in the knees.

    Perfect to do while watching horror movies or comedies that put the characters in stick-up situations. We know how annoying it is to watch mindless characters srewing up their lives or girls in revealing outfits getting away from being chopped up (and, of course, failing).

  • Soda Fonda
    You need at least a can of soda. Two are perfect. Hold both cans straight out and, by bending one arm; raise a can up to your shoulder. Return to original position, and then do the same with the other arm. Feel the strength of your biceps by doing three sets of 10 repetitions. For the last set do extra two or five curls.

    Grand Prix or badminton matches are good choices to watch. The cans would be well shaken enough for later celebrations. But don’t throw out the empty cans. You’ll need them later.

  • Channeling Arms
    Hold your remote control at arms length while flicking through the boring channels. Do it for 5 minutes for the first time. Increase weight, by tying something to the remote, and duration gradually. These will work shoulder muscles.

    Try to do them on a Sunday Afternoon when there’s nothing to watch for hours. Having cable will be perfect. More channels to browse.

  • Ball Squeeze
    It isn’t as painful as it sounds. Put a tennis ball or anything similar in the palm of your hand and squeeze for about two seconds. Do three sets of 10 repetitions, alternately between each hand. The exercise is good for your finger strength and suppleness, as well as helping relieve the stress from too much button-mashing on the remote control or your Playstation pad.

    Which is why it's best done right after Channeling Finger. Try flipping the channel to some irritating shows, like soap operas or Family 100 to get an extra energy to squeeze.

  • Knee Lift
    Fill a small bag with weights, like books, and hang it over your ankle. Lift foot and straighten the leg at the knee. Point toes towards your body and feel the pull. To increase difficulty, put your feet together and lift both.

    This workout increases lower body suppleness as well as knee and hamstring flexibility. Can help reduce risk of arthritis later on. Flip on to English Premiere League, Series A, or even the national league live football matches, and feel the emotional bond with your team. You'll curse less often when you share the pain.

  • Death Crush
    Here’s when your empty cans come in handy. Now place them between palms in front of your chest. Crush them. And feel the pectoral muscles in your chest building. Too bad we don’t have a recycling center. You could burn calories by dragging your butt to the center with the stash.

    The perfect movies to watch are any Leonardo diCaprio’s. You'll crunch the cans automatically.

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