If you aren’t a morning person, the thought of jumping out of bed to exercise may not sound like the best idea. Heck, for many, the mere thought of exercise is enough to make you want to reach for the Doritos. The great news is you don’t have to leave the comfort of your bed to get a full body workout. Check out these 5 exercises you can do in bed, and the best bit? They don’t require any special gym gear or equipment, and they can be done and dusted before you make your morning coffee.
The great benefit of exercising in bed, besides the magical comfort, is that most mattresses provide a slightly unstable surface, this is great news for muscles looking for a bit of a challenge. Similar to using a foam mat or exercise ball, an unstable mattress can help you build core strength, improve balance, and tone areas of the body like the abs and glutes. These exercises will help you use small stabilising muscles while also working larger muscles.
1. Supine leg marches – repeat for 20 repetitions
The lazy girls version of a regular glute bridge, this exercise targets the muscles of the glutes, legs, and core. To get started you simply lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the bed, hands by your side. Then, lift your bum off the bed until your body is in a straight line (kind of like a bridge). Without straightening your leg, press into your supporting heel as you lift one leg off the bed. Bring the 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.
2. Reverse crunches- 3 sets of 10 repetitions
This is a great exercise for targeting the lower abdominal muscles and core strengthening. With this movement, the slower you move, the better. Slower is better for this movement. Lie on your back with your hands by your side, palms 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 abdominals. Don’t let your lower back arch up off the mattress and pull your belly button towards your spine
3. Straight leg lifts- 3 sets of 15 repetitions per leg
This exercise is often used in physical therapy and helps to target the quadriceps on the front of the thigh. This movement is ideal for anyone with knee pain or instability. Lie on your back with your legs straight, feet flexed, toes toward the ceiling. Lift one leg to 45 degrees, engaging the quadriceps on the front of the thigh. Hold for 1 second and lower back to the bed.
4. Modified handstand push-ups – 3 sets of 10 repetitions
Looking to work those shoulders and upper back? This exercise targets the shoulders, upper back, and core muscles and can help build shoulder stability and strength for full handstand holds or handstand push-ups later on. To start, lie on your stomach with your head near the edge of the bed. Slide yourself forward until your hips are on the side of the bed. Place your hands on the floor in a handstand position, shoulder-width apart.
Lower yourself toward the floor, bringing your head between your hands. Try to remain as upright as possible. You can change the intensity of the exercise by walking your hands out to make it easier, or bringing your hips off the bed to make it harder.
5. Glute hamstring leg lifts – 3 sets of 20 repetitions
Feel the burn in your glutes and upper-hamstring area with this targeted movement. While you do this movement, focus on keeping your core tight and engage those bum muscles. Focus on small range of movement and go slowly. Lie on your stomach with your feet toward the end of the bed. Slide yourself back until your legs slightly hang off the bed. Your hip crease should be about 15 cm from the edge of the bed. Place your hands under your head for support if you need. Engage your core by pulling your belly button up off the mattress. Put your heels together, toes apart, and lift your legs toward the ceiling without arching too much through the back. You should feel this movement primarily in your glutes.
Once you’re done, don’t forget to stretch before having a shower or making your morning coffee!
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