Some days, the thought of getting to the gym can feel paralyzingly daunting. Whether it’s first thing in the morning and you just can’t get out of bed, or after a long day at work when your body simply cannot fathom doing a single other thing with itself, everyone knows the feeling of wanting to lie the F down and do absolutely nothing.
But your desire to be totally horizontal doesn’t have to mean skipping out on your workout. In fact, you can do an entire full-body workout while lying on your back, à la a dead bug or me on Sundays at 4 p.m. And yes—it can actually help you get stronger. “This workout is a great way to fire up your entire posterior chain, which gets shut off when we sit a lot,” says certified personal trainer Ashley Borden. “The floor is a great way to get immediate feedback with bracing your core and pushing through your feet. It’s safe but very effective, and your glutes, back, and core will thank you.” (I’ll also thank her for giving me a workout that I can literally do while lying down.)
Here, Borden shares the full-body workout that you barely have to leave your bed for… which makes a great case for keeping a set of dumbbells and a resistance band on your nightstand.
1. 15 mini-band shoulder extensions
2. 15 second scapular retraction holds
3. 30 single-leg hip raises
Do each move for 30 seconds with 15 seconds of rest in between. Repeat for four rounds.
1. Banded dual hip raises: Lying on your back with your feet on the floor, place a resistance band around your thighs, right above your knees. Raise and lower your hips, squeezing your glutes and core.
2. Banded hip raise with press: With the band around your knees in the same position, start with your hips elevated and glutes tight. Raise the dumbbells to the top position above your chest with your palms facing inward (AKA supinated). Keeping your hips raised, pull your arms to the outside of your shoulders, then press the weights back up and together.
3. Hollow body hold: Squeeze your core to lift your arms and legs off of the ground—effectively hollowing out your body so that your butt, back, and shoulders are the only things touching the floor—and hold.
4. Dumbbell skull crushers: Hold a set of dumbbells straight up over your head, parallel to your body. Dip them slowly back toward your shoulders so that they come down on either side of your face.
5. Scapular slides: Start on your back with your arms at a 90-degree angle. Keep your thumb and pinky touching the floor, and slide your arms up and back into a wide “W.” Keep your arms pressing into the floor and keep your core tight.
For more workouts you can do on your own, try Charlee Atkins’ 7-minute core crusher, or Emily Turner’s lower body series that will make your legs feel like jello. Or, for a workout you can do without having to leave your lounge chair, check out the one below.
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