Max Bridger reveals his World Cup sofa workouts

The World Cup kicks off today, which means it’s time for for millions of men and woman up and down the country to become reacquainted with their sofas.

And if you’re planning on being glued to your screen for the next four weeks, going to the gym will be the last thing on your mind.

Luckily, help is at hand as fitness guru Max Bridger has devised a simple, six-step regime to help you keep in shape from the comfort of your sofa – no workout gear needed. 

Here Max, a personal trainer and co-founder of LDNM, guides us through the six moves that will see you through to the final – even if England don’t make it.

1. Glute bridge 

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Personal trainer and fitness guru Max Bridger demonstrates the glute bridge workout

‘An exercise you may want to do alone, but the hip thrust motion fires up the biggest muscle in the body – the gluteus maximus!

‘Place your feet outside shoulder width and shoulders on the sofa or chair. From here flex and extend the hips, whilst keeping the chin tucked toward your chest. 

‘To make this harder; go slowly on the way down, powerfully on the ascent and hold for 3-5 seconds at the peak of each repetition.

‘Perform 5 sets of 20 reps, with 30 seconds rest between each set. You’ll smash a load of calories during half time (but just don’t make eye contact with anyone).’

2. Feet Raised Crunches

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Max demonstrates the feet-raised crunches, done by rolling the shoulders towards the knees

‘Assume the bottom of a sit up position, but with the calfs resting on the sofa (and right angles at the hips and knees). This position alleviates a lot of the discomfort some people feel in their back when doing sit ups or crunches.

‘Crunch the abs by rolling the shoulders towards the knees, closing the space between the chest and hips. Perform small holds at the peak of each rep to really test your core, and lightly touch the back of your head down between reps.

‘Complete 5 sets; all to failure. Have 30 seconds rest between each set. For the easiest option, rest your hands on the thighs throughout. 

‘To make this harder place the hands across the chest, and for harder still keep your middle and index fingers touching your temples throughout.’ 

3. Bulgarian Split Squats

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Max shows how to do the Bulgarian split squat, which will test your sense of balance

‘This is a great movement to make a bodyweight squat a lot more challenging, and to test your coordination, balance and symmetry.

‘Stand with the calfs touching the sofa, before taking one large stride forward. Now lift the back leg and rest it on the sofa. 

‘Putting all your weight through the front leg; lower down as far as possible, before driving through the front leg until you are standing tall – this is one rep. 

‘Place the hands across the chest and stare at a static object directly in front of you for greater balance, and brace the knee of the working leg outwards to prevent it caving across the body. Aim for good posture throughout, with a slight forward lean.

‘Complete 5 sets on each leg – switching legs each set. Have minimal rest between each set, almost relaying the 10 sets in total for added intensity.’ 

4. Bench Tricep Dips 

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The bench tricep dip: Make sure you have 45 seconds rest in between each set, Max says

‘This is a good movement to work the triceps, but if you have bad shoulders look up an alternative like close grip press ups to work out the triceps without issue.

‘Sitting on the floor with your back against the sofa or chair, grip the edge of the item or furniture behind you with the base of both hands. 

‘We are going to flex and extend the elbows to move the body up and down – each rep stretches and contracts the triceps as a result. 

‘To make this harder take the feet further from the sofa until the legs are straight, toes pointing up and only your heels are touching the ground.

‘Perform 5 sets of 15 reps. Have 45 seconds rest between each set. Performing these straight after the press ups will make a good superset; which is to work two related exercises back to back with no rest (burning more calories as a result).’ 

5. Single leg squats (pistol squats)

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Max demonstrates the single-leg squats, but  make sure you aim for a little rest in between sets

‘Assume the position shown in the photo, before rocking the torso forward, and driving through the planted leg. Stand tall, before extending the non-working leg forwards and up, and slowly lowering into the start position.

‘Although you want to aim for good posture, we need some forward lean to distribute weight correctly and allow a solid movement.

‘Complete 5 sets of 5 reps on each leg. Aim for little rest between each set, relaying between the 10 sets, and alternating legs each set.’

6. Incline press-up 

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Max shows how to do the incline press-up, aiming for a flat line from ankles to shoulders

‘This is a slightly less intense version of a press up, which allows less of a warm up, a more comfortable pressing angle for the shoulders, and more reps to be performed as a result.

‘Place your hands on the sofa; flat and just outside shoulder width. Tip toe the feet forwards, until the shoulders are above the hands, whilst aiming for a flat line ankles to shoulders. 

‘Now lower yourself down until the chest touches the sofa – making an effort to keep the elbows close to the sides and core tight. With the same key points in mind, drive up to full extension, flexing the chest muscles hard at the peak.

‘Perform 4 sets of reps until failure. Have 60 seconds rest between each set. This is a great way to burn some calories, increase circulation (which slows when sitting for long periods), and get a pump on.’

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