Try this six-move circuit from Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock’s home fitness book The Whitlock Workout.

How To:

  • 30-45 secs per move
  • 10 secs rest between moves
  • 3-4 rounds
  • 1 min rest between rounds
Work Your Core With Max Whitlock's Sofa Workout – Men's Fitness UK

Photography: Dan Jones

1a. Single-Leg Sofa Squat

  • An extremely challenging squat variation that, along with being excellent for lower-body strength, is also great for balance.
  • Set up as for a squat, but stand using one leg, extending the other leg out in front of you.
  • Come right up onto your toes to challenge your balance, then sit back down with control.
  • Change legs and repeat.

Work Your Core With Max Whitlock's Sofa Workout

1b. Hip Bridge Single-Leg Lift 

  • A hip bridge progression, bringing in straight-leg lifts which demand good hamstring flexibility.
  • From a hip bridge hold position, keeping both legs straight, raise one, aiming for a 90-degree angle to the other leg.
  • Lower the leg with control and lightly touch the sofa with your calf.
  • Perform three reps with one leg, change to the other, perform another three reps and keep alternating in this way.

Work Your Core With Max Whitlock's Sofa Workout – Men's Fitness UK

1c. Decline Plank

  • By elevating your feet, you increase the difficulty of the plank.
  • Ensuring that your elbows are directly under your shoulders and that you’re up on your toes, hold a plank position with your feet elevated on the sofa.

Work Your Core With Max Whitlock's Sofa Workout – Men's Fitness UK

1d. Sofa Leg Lift

  • This works your lower abs as well as building lower back mobility.
  • Lie on your back facing away from the sofa, with straight legs and your hands under the sofa.
  • Keeping your legs straight, raise them off the floor, pressing your lower back into the floor.
  • Once your legs pass 90 degrees, release your lower back and,
    as your legs continue over your head for a toe touch on the sofa, allow it to peel fully off the floor.
  • Return to the start position with control and repeat.

Work Your Core With Max Whitlock's Sofa Workout – Men's Fitness UK

Work Your Core With Max Whitlock's Sofa Workout – Men's Fitness UK

1e. Press-Up Climb

  • A dynamic planking movement that’s a workout for your upper body, too.
  • Set-up in a press-up hold position with your hands on the edge of the sofa.
  • Step one hand down to the floor.
  • Follow with the other hand and then climb back up to the start position.
  • Keep working in this way, alternating your hands.

Work Your Core With Max Whitlock's Sofa Workout – Men's Fitness UK

1f. Handstand Dip with Sofa

  • The press-up movement throws the emphasis onto your upper chest and shoulders.
  • Kneel on the edge of the sofa and place your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart, on the floor about a foot from the sofa.
  • Pivoting on your knees, lower your head towards the floor by bending your arms. You should aim for a 90-degree bend in your arms with your upper arms parallel to the floor.
  • Lift by straightening, not locking, your arms and repeat.

Extract taken from The Whitlock Workout by Max Whitlock (Headline Home, £20)