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Gym? What gym? I workout with my furniture!

Gym? What gym? I workout with my furniture!


Finding the time, money and inclination for  the gym can be challenging. What if I were to tell you that with nothing but your own body weight, gravity and a few choice pieces of household furniture you could be building up a serious sweat without stepping a foot outside? 'Tis a true story, my willing-to-workout-without-the-torture-of-the-gym-Warriors!

I'm going to highlight FIVE simple exercises you can perform with common household items that are guaranteed to tone, strengthen and get the heart pumping!  Feel free to do them in your birthday suit. No-one's watching.  ;)


This is a low-impact exercise that will have you engaging core, inner thighs, arms and shoulders.

How to do it

Sit on the edge of the chair, bending your right knee out to the side and extending your left leg straight out to the side, toes pointed. Lean forward slightly and extend your arms straight whilst reaching your left arm to the inside of  your right foot and raising your right arm up behind body. Rapidly switch from side to side and repeat 30 times (15 reps each side). 


One of my personal favourites. It will build upper body strength and engage pecs, tris, deltoids and core muscles. GRRRRR!!!

How to do it

Place both hands on the stair and get into pushup position with wrists directly below your shoulders, legs and feet fully extended and straight out behind you. Alternatively you could have your feet hip-width apart. Bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the step ensuring that you engage your core. Suck it in, baby! Aim for 10 reps at the very least but do as many as you can and then five more on top of that! A ltittle bit of pain, never hurt anyone. (It that an oxymoron?)


Banish bingo wings and get yourself a nice pair of tris!  (Mine are still a work in progress).

How to do it

First of all, make sure that the sofa/chair is sufficiently sturdy and can support your body weight. Bend your legs and place your palms on the front edge with your fingers pointing forward. Walk your feet out in front of you, until the majority of your body weight is supported by your arms. Keeping your elbows tucked in at your sides, slowly bend your arms and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel with the floor, dropping your hips to the floor. Hold for a second and then straighten your arms back up to the starting position. Start off with 10 reps but, as with the stair pushups, work to the point of burnout! (Being sensible of course and knowing the limits of your own body.)

Note: Make sure to let sleeping dogs lie.


Find yourself a nice pair of shiny canisters and work those shoulders!  I filled these with sugar and they each ended up weighing 1.2kg.  Not a serious weight, admittedly, but you'd be surprised how quickly you begin to feel the burn!

How to do it

To execute this exercise stand (or sit) with your weight of choice in each hand at shoulder level with your elbows bent. Straighten your back, stabilize your core and then push the weights overhead by extending your arms. Slowly return to the starting position. Do three sets of twenty and see how you feel.

If you don't have any tins, jars of canisters at your disposal then grab your nearest whippet. 


Disclaimer: It looks as though my hand is probing her doggie derrière but I can assure you it's not. No animals were harmed in the production of this blog post.


The exercise that everyone loves to hate! But there really is nothing more effective at strengthening your core and potentially improving your posture than a good plank.  I said a good plank.

How to do it

Get in the pushup position with your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Ensure that your elbows line up directly underneath your shoulders, toes on the ground. Squeeze those delicious buns and tighten your abs. Neck and spine should be aligned in a neutral position. I only have my head up to smile sweetly at you and to disguise the burning sensation that is beginning to consume my body.

In short, create a strong, solid line from head to toe and hold for as long as you can, even if it's only for a few seconds. Do this on a daily basis and you'll be a mighty planker before you know it!


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  1. Funniest thing I’ve read today….will try out later!

  2. Fab! You make it sound (and look!) so easy!! I do the plank but may well just incorporate these other 4 into my (very) little regime! Thank you! xxx

  3. Can’t believe you woke me up to be a dumbbell. Love Sapphie x 😉

  4. Fab ideas, I do push up’s in the shower by using the wall to lean on, also while making dinner and push against the kitchen units lol

  5. I’d rather do the “wise whippet dog” yoga pose incorporating the sofa please!

  6. Furniture workout?! Fabulous idea

  7. This is fantastic! I’ve always wanted to know those handy workout tips! And now I have them! Thank you Ceri! Xxx

  8. Wow this is really cool! Thanks for the tips :)

  9. Some great tricks there Ceri you really know your stuff! Another simple exercise in the home is the sofa/crisp lift. Simply sit on the sofa and select your favourite crisp flavour, open the bag and lift a crisp into your mouth, repeat as often as necessary to empty the bag. This works all the main couch muscle groups and enhances nearly any TV watching experience. 😉

  10. Brilliant Ceri!! You should do a zumba blog and we could all play it and zumba along with you!!

    • The Ginger Warrior

      You know what, Sonia? That’s exactly what I’m going to do. A 30 minute dance fitness video with the Ginger Warrior! :) xxxxx

      • This is definitely a brilliant idea. One of the big things I miss from living near Brackley is your Zumba classes. I used to have so much fun & laughter whilst working out too! Please post a Zumba video or two! That way I can keep my GW Zumba intake topped up. x

  11. LOVE the idea of a Zumba video for those days when childcare is tricky; I could still get my dose of the GW and the BrackleyZCrew! My top home exercise tip is housework and gardening – a good spring clean burns of the calories, works you all over and gives you a fantastic smug feeling when you finally settle on the sofa with your favourite treat afterwards.

    • The Ginger Warrior

      Housework can be very energetic! I hoovered my flat the other day (and it’s not that big) and was sweating like a badger by the end! Lol!!!

  12. Great ideas Ceri, but i do prefer to attend a class treat her than work out at home. I block book and pay for my classes on a monthly basis, that way I must go and not let the instructor down. Laurie loves a Zumba workout!!!

    • The Ginger Warrior

      I’d love to set up a monthly block book for my classes. Have thought of doing it before but not sure the ladies would like it. And glad to hear you love a Zumba workout! When I come over to visit you I’ll give you your own private session and I won’t even charge you that much! 😉 xxxx

  13. I do try to workout at home but last time I was doing situps and pressups and the girls decided it would be fun to sit on me. Saying that, I still somehow managed :-) Have got zumba dvd but really not as good as your class!

  14. Love the ‘home gym’ exercises using the furniture. Just right when I can’t get to a Zumba session, or to top up weekly exercise! Love it! :)

  15. Looked at “gym” a few times…… must try it out haha

  16. Love these! Poor dog :) when are you making your Zumba DVD so I can have the ginger warrior in my living room ? X

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