Woman exercising at home with dumbell

5 exercises that you can do indoors

All you need is 20 minutes!

If you spare just 20 minutes tomorrow morning to fit in some exercise, it can boost your mood and give you a real sense of achievement before the day has even really begun. And guess what, you can do it in the comfort of your own home in front of the TV!

So that 20 minutes you might spend browsing social media, or watching TV; use that time to try these exercises out instead. Set an alarm each day to build up a routine, and don’t snooze it!

There are some super effective, easy exercises you can give a go without leaving the comfort of your own home. We asked one of our store managers, Beth, for her recommendations and here’s what she had to say…

Sofa Leg Raises/Crunches

How do you do it?

Sit on the edge of your sofa, place your hands either side of you.

Straighten your legs out in front of you and do 20 reps of raising them up to a 45 degree angle and then back down to just above the floor. Don’t drop them back to touch the floor in between.

Then while still sitting on the sofa, do 20 crunches by bringing your knees up to your chin and then straightening your legs directly out in front of you. This can also be done by sitting on the floor.

How does it help?

Both of these exercises are fantastic for working your abdominal muscles and improving your core strength.  Plus you don’t even have to get up off the sofa for this one!

Bottle Weights

How do you do it?

Using full litre bottles of water (or more if you can hold them), lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.

Hold a water bottle in each hand with your arms outstretched above you.

For 30 reps bring your elbows towards the floor with a 90 degree bend in your arms, hold for one, and then keeping your elbows where they are, unbend your arms to bring your forearms towards the floor. Don’t let your arms lax and touch the floor throughout the reps.

How does it help?

This is great for your triceps, shoulders and chest. But water bottle weights are useful for any weights exercise without having to splash out on buying professional ones! And you can easily alter the weight of the bottle if you need to by pouring some water out.


How do you do it?

Grab a skipping rope and with each rope rotation try to jump the rope with both feet simultaneously rather than stepping over it - attempt to increase your speed as you go.

Make sure you’re not going to wipe out any of your furniture in the process (I learnt that the hard way!) If you’re short on space, switch out skipping for star jumps.

How does it help?

This one is great for upping your heart-rate and getting in some cardio without facing an exercise that seems too intense. Using the rope also improves your coordination; which first thing in the morning, I’m sure we all need a bit of.

Chair Lunge

How do you do it?

Stand with a chair behind you, place one foot on the chair so you’re in a stance with your back foot lifted.

Bend your front knee until it reaches a 90 degree angle and then slowly straighten it back up, keep your back straight and repeat for 30 reps before swapping legs.

To increase the exercise intensity try to tense different muscle groups in each rep.

How does it help?

Chair lunges work all the major lower muscles, particularly the glutes, the quadriceps (upper thighs) and the calf muscles.


How do you do it?

If you’re unfamiliar with yoga then try a DVD or video to start you off with some ideas as it would be difficult in just a paragraph to do justice to the broad array of yoga exercises.

A personal favourite is the tree pose. Simply bring one foot up so the sole of it rests on the inner thigh of the opposite leg above the knee. Hold your palms together and raise your arms above the head until almost straight. Breathe in and out slowly and maintain balance.

How does it help?

The tree pose is fantastic for posture, balance and lengthening the spine. It is also a perfect way to end a morning workout as it opens the lungs, and relaxes the mind. Many yoga poses possess these same benefits in addition to improving core strength, flexibility and mental calmness.

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The “I’ll do it later” mentality can be hard to break out of and the later can become never. It’s said it takes just 21 days to build a new habit, so in less than a month you could be doing these in your sleep. Though let’s hope not literally or you will probably terrify a few people.

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Beth Harris has been a part of the Holland & Barrett team for 2 years and is a manager in one of our stores. She is an experienced athlete and has  fought her way to becoming a black tag in Taekwondo.