Stay in Bed!
Winter is here and the weather outside is cold, a little wet, and… yes, cold. At this point I don’t think anyone really wants to get up early in the morning, leaving the warmth of their bed, just to work out! We tell ourselves we will feel much better by getting a few extra z’s instead of exercising, but it’s just an excuse to stay in bed, right? Right! Well, what if you could get the best of both worlds? What if you could stay in bed, where it’s all nice and cozy but still get your morning exercise in? “Impossible!” you say. Not so.
Bed exercise is actually a really clever way to work out and gives you plenty of possibilities for getting every muscle group in. Some bed workout elements are based in yoga or Pilates, and many are regular floor exercises that can be done just as easily in the comfort and warmth of your bed. Aside from developing core strength and improving cardio, these exercises can actually be more challenging when performed in bed, as it is an unstable surface, just like a Pilates ball. The best part of doing your workout in bed is that by the time you finish these exercises, you’ll be fresh and ready to start your day and you never even had to take off the covers.
Here are 10 exercises to start off with and really get your heart rate going and your blood pumping. Once you’ve mastered these, add a little weight to amp up the challenge.
This one is a basic workout that you can do as soon as you wake. You will probably be surprised at how great it makes you feel when you have been lying still all night long. Download this ankle weight workout guide for instructions, and yes, you can do this with or without the extra weights!
2. The Cobra
This is a great bed exercise that gives you a great stretch, whilst also working your arms out at the same time. Lie on your stomach with your hands positioned directly under your shoulders and fingers facing forward. Legs should be straight and toes pointed. Gently exhale. Engage your abdominal/core muscles to support the spine. Press your hips into the bed. Lengthen your torso and curl your chest away from the ground while keeping your hips stable. Hold this position for a few seconds before gently lowering your upper body back to the starting position.
Lay on your stomach and lift your body onto your elbows and toes, almost like you are ready to do a push up only you stay in that position and instead of holding yourself on your hands, support yourself with your elbows and forearms. This is great for your core. When starting out, try to hold the plank for 30 seconds and as you progress, work your way up to 2 minute planks.
4. Table Tops
Start on your back, place your feet shoulder width apart with knees bent. Place your hands up by your armpits and push your body off the bed with both your arms and legs. Turn your hands so your fingers are pointing away from your body to create a stable and comfortable position. Hold this position for 30 seconds before slowly lowering your body back down. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Most abs exercise can be performed in bed, but to start with, try regular crunches or roll ups to increase your strength and stability.
6. Side Leg Raises and Kicks
Lying on your side, start by lifting your outer leg up and down, slowly progressing to kicks. Then switch legs! Download the ankle weight workout guide for instructions and don’t worry you still don’t need the added weights.
7. The Clam
This one is awesome for the outer thigh, and is a small enough movement that you can still perform it under your covers. While lying on your side, keep both knees bent and flex the hips to 30 degrees. Keep your heels touching and pelvis still, open and close your knees slowly. Repeat 10 – 15 times before turning over to switch legs.
8. The Superman
Ideal for the back and strengthening the core! Lay on your stomach and lift your arms and legs so that you are in a “flying” position. Hold for as long as you can. Try to beat your own time every morning by 15 seconds to amp up your workout or add some ankle/wrist weights.
9. Butt Lifts
Similar to table tops above, this one also starts on your back, place your feet shoulder width apart with knees bent. Place your arms by your sides and raise your butt off the bed for 15 to 20 seconds before slowly lowering your butt back down. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
10. Leg Spinners
This is a fun one to do in bed, and involves plenty of balance. Lay on your back and lift your legs, keeping them glued together and move them in a circle clockwise first for 30 seconds, then counter-clockwise for the same time. You’ll build plenty of ab and glute strength with this one!
So, there you have it! You can start doing any of these bed exercises whenever you feel that old familiar feeling coming on that you don’t want to get up. If you are able to literally stay where you are, you will find that it is so much easier to get your routine going. Start your bed workout today!