AKA how to exercise without actually exercising

I totally get it, sometimes there’s nothing more daunting than the thought of putting on your exercise gear and tackling your next workout. It’s a feeling of complete and utter dread that you just can’t shake when nothing could possibly seem worse than the idea of hitting the gym or smashing that workout you vowed to do.

Never fear, you’re not the only human and this absolutely happens to the best of us, so I’ve put together some tips to trick your body and exercise without actually working out. Enjoy!

Jump around

An activity so fun you don’t even realise your exercising? Sign me up! Grab a pal and head for a bounce at your closest trampoline park, jumping in the foam pit will have you really feeling like a kid again.

Do a dance

Chuck on your favourite playlist (my Sam Crew playlist is a personal favourite) and have a good old-fashioned dance. Trust me, not only will you get a great workout in, but time will fly when you’re doing your favourite moves listening to your favourite tunes!


Let your inner daredevil come out to play and give rock climbing a go. Yous’ll work up an unsuspected sweat while using heaps of muscle groups like your back, abs and legs.  

Playtime with your four-legged friend

Nothing puts a smile on my face like playing with my lab Hendrix. Taking your dog to the park for a run and having a run around with them is an awesome way to squeeze in some incidental exercise.

Stand up paddleboarding

A blissful paddle in the ocean while taking in the serene natural surroundings, that’s also a fantastic workout for your core, legs and balance. What’s not to love?

Tournament time

Got that competitive edge? Organise a tennis tournament with your pals and pool together a cash prize for the winning pair. Dons’t be surprised when you see a whole new feisty side to your friends out on the court!

If minimal effort and maximum effect is the aim of the game, try giving these exercises a go in front of the TV.

Glute bridges: A great exercise to fire up your glutes. Lie down on your back, bend your knees and lift your hips in the air, keeping your feet firmly on the floor.

Tricep dips: An exercise that can easily done from the comfort of the couch. Make sure your hands are facing forward and lower yourself down and up, keeping your butt as close to the couch as possible.

Superman: The ideal lazy ab workout. Lie down on your tummy and extend your arms out in front of you, try to hold for 10 seconds and repeat.

Wall sits: An awesome low effort workout for your glutes, quads and hamstrings. Just keep your knees bent and your hips at a 90-degree angle and hold while resting your back against a wall.

So there you have it, my tips to trick your body on those lazy days when “exercises’ is just not on the agenda.

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Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.

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