Don’t want to get up earlier to record a morning workout at the gym? Okay, stay in bed. You can still transform your body with exercises that you can do right on your mattress. Pick a few of them or complete each movement and do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. You will burn more calories than you would by repeatedly pressing the snooze button.
If you’re not one to get up early, the idea of jumping out of bed to hit the gym may seem like the worst idea in the world, especially on a Saturday morning. Wouldn’t you love to exercise to tone and tighten your legs, abs, and shoulders without even getting out of bed? These five exercises require no clothing or equipment, and can be finished before making your morning coffee.
Benefits of exercising in bed
Unless you sleep on a concrete bed, most mattresses provide a slightly unstable surface. Similar to using a foam mat or exercise ball, exercises in bed can help recruit small stabilizing muscles while working on the large main engines. Unstable surfaces can be beneficial for building core strength, improving balance, and toning areas of the body such as the abs and glutes.
Supine leg marches
This exercise targets the gluteal, leg, and core muscles. It is a variation of a normal glute bridge.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the bed, with your hands at your sides.
- Lift your buttocks off the bed until your body is in a straight line.
- Without stretching your leg, press on your supporting heel as you lift one leg off the bed. Bring your knee toward your chest until it’s in line with your hips.
- Return your foot to the bed and repeat on the other side without lowering your hips.
- Repeat for 20 repetitions.
This exercise is aimed at the lower abs. Slower is better for this move. Focus on core stability and don’t rely on gravity or momentum.
- Lie on your back with your hands at your sides and your palms facing down.
- Keeping your legs straight, use your abs to lift your legs toward your face until your toes touch the headboard.
- Slowly lower your legs back to the bed, engaging your abs. Don’t let your lower back arch off the mattress.
- eel like you are knitting the ribs and pulling the navel towards the spine.
- Repeat 10 times. Complete 3 sets with a 30 second rest between sets.
- If this is too difficult, try decreasing the load by bending your legs 90 degrees and moving in a smaller range of motion.
Straight leg raises
This exercise targets the quads in the front of the thigh. It is often seen in physical therapy as it is ideal for people with knee pain or instability.
- Lie on your back with your legs straight, your feet bent, and your toes toward the ceiling.
- Raise one leg to 45 degrees, hooking the quads at the front of the thigh.
- Hold for 1 second and lower your back onto the bed.
- Repeat 15 to 20 times on each leg. Complete 3 sets with a 30 second rest between sets.
Modified handstand push-ups
This exercise targets the shoulders, upper back, and core muscles. It can help build stability and strength in your shoulders for full stands or push-ups.
- Lie on your stomach with your head near the edge of the bed.
- Slide forward until your hips are at the side of the bed. Place your hands on the floor in a handstand position, shoulder-width apart.
- Lower yourself to the ground, holding your head in your hands. Try to stay as upright as possible. You can change the intensity of the exercise by spreading your hands to make it easier or by lifting your hips off the bed to make it more difficult.
- Repeat for 10 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds. Repeat 3 sets.
Leg raise for glute hamstrings
This exercise is great for targeting the gluteal area and upper hamstrings. Focus on engaging your glute muscles, keeping your core tight and working your body against gravity in a small range of motion.
- Lie on your stomach with your feet toward the end of the bed.
- Slide back until your legs hang slightly off the bed. Your hip crease should be about 6 inches from the edge of the bed.
- Place your hands under your head for support if necessary.
- Engage your core by pulling your belly button up from the mattress.
- Bring your heels together, spread your toes, and lift your legs toward the ceiling without arching your back too much. You should feel this movement mainly in your glutes.
- Lower to half and repeat 20 times.
The bottom line on exercising in bed
Try these exercises in bed to tone and tighten your glutes, abs, and shoulders. And hey, if you’re craving some cardio, I’m sure you can grab your partner and experiment with other ways to get your heart pumping before the sun comes up. (Yes, we had to go there!)