Health

Body by Netflix: A Binge-Watching-Compatible Ab Workout

Published On 12/17/2015 Published On 12/17/2015
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Finding time to exercise is nearly impossible when there’s so much good television to watch. You can’t plow through season one of Jessica Jones in a single night if you’re out trying to get washboard abs.

Now you can have it both ways. We’re giving you seven ab exercises you can do while watching Netflix. Seriously, work your abs and never take your eyes off the screen? What gets better than that? Grab a good pillow, throw on that Idris Elba movie about child soldiers, and get ready to shape up your stomach. It’s time for Netflix and abs.

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Flutter kicks

Flutter kicks are one of the more sinister ab movements you can do while lying down and binge watching conspiracy theory documentaries. The lower abdominals are a problem area for a lot of people out there, and butterfly kicks do a hell of a job working out that area.

How to do it: Grab a nice pillow off your couch and lie down on it. Still lying down, place your hands either under your butt or on your stomach. With your feet together, straighten your legs and raise them about six inches off the ground. Now, flutter your feet as if you were swimming. Not too fast, and not too slow. It should take about one second for you to get both legs done. Aim for about 20-30 total reps, and repeat that 3-4 times.

Scissor kicks

Scissor kicks are like the evil twin to flutter kicks, which means they would go great with some sort of horror movie like The Exorcist. They’re brutal, effective, and you’ve got no excuse to skip them since you can do them on your couch or floor.

How to do it: Just like flutter kicks, you’re lying flat on your back, only instead of fluttering your legs like you’re swimming, you move your feet from side to side, in an alternating fashion. Your left foot goes way left, and your right foot goes way right, then they come back together. Just like flutter kicks, shoot for about 20-30 reps, and repeat 3-4 times.

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Side planks

Love handles are one of those areas that just about everyone struggles with, and they’re unsure with how to fix it. Side planks are a perfect way to target them.

How to do it: Get on your side, and brace yourself on your forearm and foot. If you’re working your left oblique, you’d brace yourself with your left forearm and left foot. Keep your hips tight, and focus on keeping yourself as rigid as possible. Hold for about 30 seconds, and then switch sides. Repeat 2-3 times.

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Bicycle crunches

The full-on crunch got some hate from the Internet a while back for not being as effective as once thought, unlike the Narcos, which has been legit from the get go. The bicycle crunch takes the regular crunch to the next level by involving upper abs, lower abs, and a little bit of oblique thanks to the twisting motion.

How to do it: Lie on your back, with hands behind your head, knees bent at a 90-degree angle, and legs in the air. Then take your left elbow to your right knee. Think about the elbow and knee meeting in the middle. Come back to the starting position, and repeat. Each rep should take about one second. Shoot for 20 total reps, and repeat 2-3 times.

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Lying V-ups

Lying V-ups are an excellent way to train your upper and lower abs all at once. V-ups take some time to figure out, especially the balance part of the move. After a few practice reps, you’ll probably have it down.

How to do it: Get in a full sit-up position. You should be sitting up, with your legs bent and close to your chest. Here’s the challenge; lift your feet off the ground, and slowly try to straighten your legs while leaning back towards the ground. If your abs are on fire, you’re doing it right. Start off trying to do 10 reps, for 3-4 sets.

Boat pose

The boat pose is a perfect follow to lying V-ups, because once you’ve made it to the top of a V-up, you’re in a boat pose. How convenient! Where the V-up shines because of extending and contracting your ab muscles, the boat pose works by forcing your abs to constantly contract.

How to do it: I suggest doing these following V-ups. Once you’ve completed all your V-ups, then move onto boat posing. Don’t look to hold it for too long either. Shoot for about 20 seconds of holding, for 2-3 rounds total.

"6 inches"

If there’s an ab exercise that requires less actual work, I’m not aware of it. Six inches can be done anywhere, making it the ultimate lazy ab workout. However, it’s a top notch move when it comes to building ab strength, especially lower ab strength.

How to do it: Lie flat on a couch or floor. With your feet together, raise them about 6 inches off the floor, and hold it. That’s it. Simple, I know. You’ll notice pretty quickly just how difficult it actually is, though. I recommend people start off by going for 20 second holds, for 3-4 sets.

Follow this simple plan while binge watching the newest Netflix series, and you won’t have to worry about a missed ab workout next time you’re trying to Netflix and chill.

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Tanner Baze is a writer, trainer, and Netflix watcher. Follow him on Twitter @dtbaze.

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