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24th November 2015
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21st January 2016
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Home Body

Home-d body workouts

Get moving for free within your own four walls

I was going to start by saying why not leave the overcrowded gyms behind this new year and get more out of your time in the tranquility of your own home. Then I realized that if you are reading this then you are likely to be a working parent and the words tranquility and home are unlikely to go together in a sentence. However, no matter what size house you have from matchbox to mansion there is a plenty you can do at home if you want to avoid everyone else who has started their New Year’s resolution.

In previous articles, I have covered how to be more generally active, but this time I will focus on giving you some actual exercise plans. Please note these are only ideas and if you have any preexisting injuries or illness you need to check first with your GP before starting the exercises.

Playing card work out

  • Think of 5 exercises.
  • For example one for the upper body, one for the lower body, one for the abs/back, one cardio exercise and then one that works everywhere or really tough. Alternatively you could decide to just focus on one area, and choose all exercise related to that body part.
  • Assign a suite to each exercise, see the example below for more ideas.
  • Each card represents how many repartitions you preform. From ace = 1 rep, to king = 13 reps (jack = 11 reps, queen = 12 reps; all the numbers represent the shown amount of reps)
  • Joker = the exercise that works everywhere or is really tough
  • The joker exercise is performed for a minute
  • Shuffle the cards and start working out


Diamond = diamond press up:

Press-up position (knees under hips, ¾ position or on toes), but instead of arms being shoulder width & a half apart, have the hands instead with the thumbs from each hand touching and the forefinger from each hand touching to make a diamond shape. Lower in the usual manner, keeping abdominals pulled in.

Club = Squat kick

Start with feet hip distance apart.

Squat as low as possible, keeping knees behind toes, and knees tracking the same direction as the toes.  Keep eyes looking forward.  Ensure heels remain on the ground.

Stand up and lift 1 leg up and kick it forward as high as you comfortably can.

Squat again, then repeat the leg kick with the other leg.

Count 2 squats and 1 leg kick per side as one repetition.

Heart = standing elbow knee

From an upright position draw elbow down whilst lifting the opposite knee towards it.

Repeat with opposite elbow and knee.

To increase work add a skip as you swap sides.

Spade = Plank with knee drop/lift

Lying on front with abdominals drawn gently in.

Place elbows under shoulders – hands relaxed.

Lift your abs towards the ceiling, so your chest and thighs lift, but knees remain on the floor.

Keep toes on the floor, but lift alternate knees off the floor.

Count a knee lift each side as a repetition.

For a more challenging version start as before, but instead of resting on knees, come up onto toes.  Then take it in turns to lower alternate knees towards the floor.

To make it easier, stay on knees and instead of knee lift hold the position slowing counting to the number on the card.

Joker = burpee

From an upright position, bend both knees and place both hands on the floor.

Jump both legs back (or for an easier version step one leg out at a time) to a straight arm plank position.

Jump/step both legs back in.

Stand up

Option add a jump

Repeat for one minute.

On the box bingo

The idea behind 'On the Box' Bingo is to banish the couch potato.  On the bingo card you will find 16 different exercises, split between strength work and cardio.  When an advert break comes on look for the exercise that best matches that type of advert and then perform that exercise for the duration of the advert. When the next advert comes on, again match up that advert type with corresponding exercise on the bingo card.

For example if a car advert comes on, followed by a music CD advert you would sprint on the spot for the first advert and perform floor bridges for the second advert.

Simple instructions for each exercise are on the bingo card. Initially it will be a bit stop and start as you keep referring to the notes, but after a few goes you will barely have to look - so please persevere. Have a good read through all the exercises prior to doing it for the first time.  If you have been inactive for a while, just march the spot in the first advert break.

If you are stuck on any of the instructions I am happy for you to email me [] and I will endeavor to explain in a clearer way.

On the Box – BINGO

* If you have been inactive for a while, just march the spot in the first advert break *

Health / Sport

[Squat thrust]

Start in a straight arm plank. Easier arms on sofa. Harder: hands n floor

With a straight body line, step in towards the hands with one foot

Simultaneously switch feet position (the forward leg extends back and the extended leg comes forward)

Keep body stable and repeat as fast as can maintain good form

Financial / Insurance

[Push up]

Start with arms shoulder width & a half apart placed on the floor

Easier: Knees placed on the floor (bottom lower than shoulders)

Harder: On toes, legs extended

Both: abs drawn in, spine neither dipped or arched

Both: Breath in and lower chest towards the floor for the count of 3, breath out and return to the start position


[Arm Walk]

Start with extended arms, hands shoulder width apart placed on the sofa

Easier: Knees placed on the floor (bottom lower than shoulders)

Harder: On toes, legs extended

Both: abs drawn in, spine neither dipped or arched

Both: Walk 1 hand at a time to the floor, then return hands back to sofa


[Floor bridge]

Begin by lying flat on floor in supine position with knees bent, feet flat, toes pointing straight ahead and arms by sides

Activate core by drawing navel towards the spine and squeezing the bottom

With core activated and bottom squeezed, lift hips off ground to form a straight line between knees and shoulders.

Hold and slowly return back to floor, touching floor momentarily then repeat.

Food & drink

[Back raise]

Lying face down on the floor-in prone position, have arms beside your hips.

Activate core by drawing in navel towards spine and squeezing bottom and raise chest off the floor, lift arms up and back towards the hips rotating thumbs towards the ceiling.

Pause momentarily at the top of the lift then return to starting position; at all times keeping the chin tucked into the chest.

Household cleaning

[Tricep dip]

Perch on the edge of the sofa

Place hands on sofa facing forward next to body, shoulder blades retracted.

Bring the bottom off the sofa and bend the arms to a right angle, so body lowers. Keep back close to the sofa, & elbows into the body.

Slowly come up.

The more the legs extended the harder the move


[Side Plank]

Lie on the right side with legs bent.

Place right elbow directly under right shoulder and draw your abs inward toward your spine.

While maintaining the drawing-in maneuver, lift body up onto forearm and hold for 5-10 seconds.

Lower and repeat twice more on this side before, performing the same on the other side.

Pet Food/care

[Spotty Dog]

Start standing with right foot forward and left ft back hip width apart. Right arm backwards and left arm forwards.

Simultaneously jump all the limbs to the opposite of the start position.

Simultaneously jump back to the start and repeat.


[Sprint on the spot]

Start standing with feet hip width apart, arms bent at a right angle by the sides

Sprint as fast as you can for the count of 20

Jog at a recovery pace for the count of 20

Keep alternating speed


[Lie down – get up]

Start lying on your back on the floor and get up to standing

Carefully return to lying down position and repeat.

Advancement: do not use the hands to get up


[Bent over row]

Pick up an object to use as a weight

Start side onto the sofa, and place hand & knee closest to the sofa on the sofa, bend at hips, keeping abs drawn in and back in neutral

On weighted side, lift the elbow upwards keeping the arm close to the side of the body

TV / Film trailer

[Star Jumps]

Start standing with feet hip width apart, hands by the side

Jump both feet to a wider position (heals go down), arms up wide

Easier: Step 1 leg and arm out, then return & do the other side

Home Furnishings

[Sofa Sit]

Perch on the edge of the sofa, feet hip width apart (heals under the knees)

Draw abs in and push through the heals and stand up

Personal hygiene / Cosmetics


From standing lift one leg off the ground.

Hope either on the spot changing foot every 20 hops OR

Perform big hops round the room



Lye on back, knees bent & feet hip width apart

Draw abdominals in throughout move

Breath out and use abs to raise head and shoulder blade up - keep abs flat

Breath in and slowly lower



Start standing with feet hip width apart, hands by the side

Start transferring your wait from foot to foot with a small jump, whilst turning the wrist to simulate a skipping move

Skipping Challenge – 30 minutes in under 30 days!

The aim is to skip for 30 minutes in one day, by the end a month.

If time is tight, spread this out throughout the day ie 12 minutes could be 4 x 3 minutes.

days have been built in to allow to rest the muscles.

Please ensure you are warm before starting and that you stretch afterwards.

Please do not do this challenge if you have been advised against impact work.

Home body (workout for weight loss)

An example of how your week could look….

Activity Duration Intensity
Monday Stair runs
jog on spot
Quick step
Stair runs
Jog on spot
Core work
1 min
1 min
1 min
1 min
1 min
5 min
Repeat a block of 5 min sequence at 4-6 times
Concentrate on drawing in abs & back position
Tuesday Playing card workout 30-60 min Mixed intensity
Wednesday Outdoor cardio workout
Run / bike / skating
45 min Moderate/high intensity
Thursday Mixed intensity
Friday Playing card workout 30-60 min
Saturday Lots of walking 2 hours + throughout day Moderate intensity
Sunday Cardio exercise dvd 45 min High intensity for the entire dvd

I would be interested to hear how you get on with these ideas and how they work for you. Please email any feedback to . Or if you would prefer a more personalised exercise plan, tailored to match your goals please get in touch by the aforementioned email or by telephone 07984 159824 to find out how I can help.

Finally keep checking Mothers Mean Business as videos to accompany these and other workouts are coming soon.

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