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Tune in and Tone Up

Sandra Prior
Sep 13, 2008
Channel surfing burns few (if any) kilo joules, yet the average American woman watches nearly five hours of TV daily. And the risk of packing on the kilos rises by 23% with every two hour increase in daily viewing.

But you can stay slim while you watch your favorite shows with this TV friendly circuit. The half hour workout alternates between moderate cardio moves during your show and high intensity cardio bursts and multi-muscle strength exercises during commercials.

To get started, you'll need dumbbells (about 2kgs), a sturdy chair, and a mat. Ad breaks can vary, so you may need to adjust the times slightly. Repeat the circuit if you're watching an hour long show.

Showtime Cardio


Lift knees to a comfortable height and march in place. Continue until commercial break.

Commercial Break #1

Quick Feet

Spread feet wider than hip width and take quick running steps for 30 seconds, barely lifting feet off floor and keeping hands in front.

Lunges with curls

Stand with feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms forward. Step right foot forward just over half a meter. Bend right knee and lower left one straight down toward floor. (Keep right knee over ankle; if it's not, take a bigger step). As you lower, bend elbows and raise weights towards chest, keeping elbows next to body. Press into right foot and stand back up, bringing feet together and lowering weights. Alternate legs for two minutes, taking breaks as needed.

Showtime Cardio

March with a Kick

March in place. Next, kick to the front with left leg. March another three beats (left, right, left) and then kick with right leg. Kick at a comfortable height so you don't hunch over. Continue, alternating left and right kicks between marches.

Commercial Break #2

High Knees

Jog in place, lifting knees as high as you can for 30 seconds.

Push Ups with a Row

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, kneel with weights on floor and body extended to form a straight line from head to knees. Bend elbows to sides and slowly lower body as close to floor as possible. Keep abs tight. Hold for a second. Push back up to starting position and do a row with right arm, squeezing shoulder blades, bending elbow, and lifting dumbbell toward chest. Hold for a second, then slowly lower weight. Do another push up followed by a row with left arm. Alternate arm rows for 90 seconds, taking breaks as needed.

Showtime Cardio

Step Touch

Step right foot to side just over half a meter and tap left foot next to right. Then step left foot out the same distance and tap right foot next to left. Continue stepping side to side.

Commercial Break #3

Jumping Jacks

Stand with feet together, arms at sides. Jump feet apart, raising arms overhead. Then jump together, returning arms to sides. Continue for 30 seconds.

Wall Squats with Side Raises

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, press back against wall, point toes forward, and slide down wall until legs form 90 degree angles, with knees directly over ankles. (Move feet farther away from wall, if needed). Bend arms at 90 degree angles so dumbbells are about waist height in front. Slowly lift arms to sides until dumbbells are at shoulder height. Hold for a second, then slowly lower. Repeat for 45 seconds.

Wall Squats with Shoulder Presses

Maintaining the wall squat (you can stand if this is too hard), position dumbbells slightly above shoulder height with palms facing forward and elbows out to sides. Slowly raise dumbbells overhead until arms are almost straight. Hold for a second, then slowly lower. Repeat for 45 seconds.

Showtime Cardio


Step right foot to side just under a meter and kick left foot up behind you toward butt. Then lower left foot out to side and kick right foot up behind you. Let arms swing forward and back as you alternate sides.

Commercial Break #4

Ski Jumps

Jump from side to side, as if you were hopping over a line. Keep feet together, and bend knees when you land. Jump for 30 seconds.

Triceps Dips

Place hands on sides of a sturdy chair, feet flat on floor, and bend knees 90 degrees. Bending elbows behind you, slowly lower body until arms form 90 degree angles. Hold for a second, then press back up. Repeat for 45 seconds.

Dumbbell Twists

Sit with legs bent and feet off floor. Hold a dumbbell in front of chest. Rotate torso (and dumbbell) slowly from side to side for 45 seconds. If this is too challenging, keep feet flat on floor with knees bent.
About the Author
Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu.
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