Hit the Snooze Button! These Exercises in Bed Count As a Full-Body Workout

Photo: Getty Images/ Deborah Kolb
You know those mornings when you straight up just don't want to get out of bed for the sake of getting a workout in? Same. But in what might just be the best news ever, you actually may not have to, because we found a workout you can do entirely from under the covers...and no, I'm actually not talking about sex. Though, that counts too.

While exercises in bed may not be quite as effective as, say, exercises in the gym (I think you probably could have guessed that), there actually are some benefits associated with working out on top of a mattress. "You will naturally be slightly off balance which will force you stabilize through your core, which is a great way to work on your balance," says Jackie Vick, CSCS, a trainer at Gold’s Gym. If you generally have a hard time getting up and down off of the ground, she adds that a bed can be a great option.

Vick recommends doing the below circuit training series that involves 30 seconds of movement on followed by 15 seconds off. After you complete one round, rest for 30 to 45 seconds and repeat for four rounds total. Seriously, your muscles will be on fire by the time the series is over.

1. Glute bridge: Begin on your back with knees bent and feet close to your hips.  Keep your shoulders down and press your hips up. Squeeze your glutes at top, and return slowly (and still squeezing!) to the ground. Or, um, the mattress.

2. Crunches: Stay on your back. Keep your knees bent and cross your arms across your chest.  Lift your shoulders off the ground and focus on squeezing your abs.

3. Superman: Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs extended out. At the same time, lift your legs and arms up a few inches off the ground, and lower them back down, engaging your core as you cycle through the movement.

4. Plank: Begin with your hands directly under your shoulders and extend your legs back. Keep your hips lifted and a neutral spine. Be sure to squeeze your core and glutes, and don't let your butt drop.

5. Scissor kicks: Lie on your back with your feet three to six inches off the ground. Keep one leg low and raise one leg up in the air then switch legs. Squeeze your core and glutes, and keep your heels and toes raised off the mattress—even at the bottom of the move—the entire time.

"It’s definitely not realistic that you’re going to achieve a healthy cardiovascular system by staying in bed" says Blink Fitness’s personal training program manager, Phil Timmons. However, he is a fan of using your (lying) downtime to get some stretching in, and to work on your breathing and mindfulness. "Stretching is something almost all of us could use more of," explains Timmons. "It’s one area of fitness in most fitness routines that nearly all of us rush through, so take this time to improve your mobility through static stretching while continuing to focus on your breathing."

Either way, you get to stay in bed and still count it as a workout day, and that's something I think we can all get on board with.

In addition to strength training and stretching exercises in bed, you can also do a full yoga routine in bed, too. And when you do finally decide to get off the mattress and, ya know, go do things, this 8-minute stretch series will help wake you up. 

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