Ever have a day where you plan to get in a morning workout—but when the time comes the thought of getting out of bed feels basically impossible? Or meant to work out in the evening, but a Crown binge beckoned first… and now you simply cannot abandon those warm covers? If you still want to fit in some kind of movement, you can actually do some exercises without leaving your bed. (No, not that kind of exercise, although one study showed sex can burn about 3.6 calories per minute for women, so…)
(Not feeling exercise today? One of these morning habits could help boost your mood.)
While many trainers and fitness experts might balk at the idea of you doing a workout on your mattress, we rounded up a few who have suggestions to get blood flowing, stretch you out, and do a little bit of toning without changing out of your PJs. Consider this your “better than nothing workout.” It shouldn’t be your only workout plan—it’s more about getting blood flowing and stretching your body out a bit. You can also do all of these exercises on a yoga mat or the floor (then stretch out with a few of these beginner yoga poses).
Worried that a pre-bedtime workout might interfere with sleep? That’s more likely with an intense cardio workout, as your body temperature needs to drop to help you ease into sleep. In fact, exercise, or physical activity in general, is generally good for shuteye, regardless of the time of day the activity is performed, according to a 2013 Sleep in America poll.
If you’re doing stretches with muscles that haven’t been warmed up, remember to be gentle and don’t push too hard to avoid injury.
Butterfly bridges: Lie on your back with knees bent and then place the bottoms of your feet together with knees open (like butterfly wings), arms by your side, palms pressed into the mattress. Drive the feet into the bed and lift your hips up, while keeping your knees wide apart. Lower down but before your butt touches the bed, drive your hips back up again. Aim for 20-30 reps.
Lateral Leg Lifts: Lie on the left side of your body, left knee bent and foot behind you, supporting your head propped up with your left hand. Keeping your hips stacked and right leg straight extending through the heel, lift up the right leg towards the ceiling. Lower down and before the right leg makes contact with the left leg, raise the leg back up. Perform 20-30 reps on one side and flip over to repeat on the other side.
(These moves will help you sculpt sexy thighs in no time.)
V-Up: Lie on your back with enough room behind you so arms can extend overhead and legs are straight out in front of you. Lift your lower and upper body simultaneously so that your hands meet your toes. Lower down and repeat for 15-20 reps. Not enough room to do this in bed, position yourself perpendicular to your mattress if you need more room.
Happy Baby Pose: Begin lying on your back with both knees drawn in toward the chest. Grip the feet directly with your hands. You can hold the center of the foot with each hand or wrap your fingers around the big toes. Keeping your back on the mattress, gently begin to open the knees wide while gently drawing the soles of the feet toward the ceiling. Your ankles should be in line with your knees and the legs should have bent knees but be perpendicular to the floor. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds, stretching your hips and groin.
–Mike Donavanik is a Los Angeles-based personal trainer and fitness influencer.
Cross ankle hamstring stretch: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the mattress. Cross your right ankle over your left thigh. If that stretch feels like enough, gently press on your right thigh and hold for about 20 seconds. For a deeper hamstring (back of thighs) stretch, lift the left leg off the mattress and clasp your hands behind the top of the left thigh. You should feel the stretch in the back of your left thigh and this will help open up the right hip. After holding for a few breaths switch sides.
Child’s pose with mattress hold. Turn over so your knees are directly under your hips and toes are pointed behind you with the big toes touching. Stretch your arms in front of you and grip the top of your mattress to hold the stretch while taking deep breaths. Allow the forehead to rest on the mattress; and exhale as you fold deeper into the pose, widening your knees as needed. Try to hold this for 5 to 10 deep breaths. This stretch is great for your back and shoulders and, allows hips to release tension.
-Nikki Walter, TEAM Bodybuilding.com Athlete
Bicycle Crunch: Lie on your back, with knees in the air until your thighs align vertically to the mattress with 90-degree angle at the hips (also called a tabletop position). Drive your right knee towards your chest in a straight line and allow the knee to bend to a deeper angle. Straighten your left leg out away from you while keeping it elevated off the floor. Contract your abs to curl up, lifting your left shoulder blade off the floor and rotating your trunk slowly to drive your left elbow towards your right knee that’s bent toward you. Try to bring your elbow close to the opposite knee. Make sure your low back stays on the bed. Hold and then repeat on the other side, switching the leg positions. Do 15 reps on each side.
Crossover arm stretch: Bring your right arm across the body. Use the left hand or forearm to hold the right arm in place for 15 seconds. Switch sides. This is a great stretch for the shoulders.
-David Freeman, Life Time Fitness’ National Manager, Alpha & Group Training
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