6 Exercises You Can Do Without Leaving Your Bed
Does the idea of exercise fill you with dread? Perhaps you go to sleep at night full of good intentions, then don’t quite make it out of your bed. Perhaps you’re getting on in years, and you simply don’t have the motivation (or the time) for lengthy gym sessions.
If that’s the case, bed exercises might well work for you.
Wait a minute…what?
Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like!
Whether you’re warming up for your real workout session or you want to workout right there in your bed, exercises you can do in bed are convenient and very effective.
You might be surprised to realize just how many common exercises (like sit-ups and push-ups, for instance) can be done in bed. In this article, we’re going to take a look at six simple exercises you can do in bed and what benefits they can have on your lifestyle and body.
6 Exercises You Can Do Without Leaving Your Bed
1. Leg Raises
Leg raises are simple but effective. They’re a fantastic bed exercise for a strong core and strong quadriceps. And you can do as many or as few reps as you feel comfortable.
- Start by laying on your back. Put your palms down on the mattress.
- If it feels comfortable, tuck your hands under your buttocks to give yourself more leverage. This will also force you to focus on your core.
- Raise both legs into the air. They should now be at a 90-degree angle to your body.
- Using your core, lower one leg down. Don’t let your leg touch the mattress. Move slowly. This will be harder than doing the movement quickly, but it’s more effective that way. You should feel your core and legs working.
- Bring your legs up to the starting position and do the same with the other leg.
- Continue to do this for 10-15 reps and 2-3 sets.
2. Happy Baby Pose
When you’re going through your wake-up workout moves (or your bedtime workout moves!), don’t forget to stretch. Healthy, flexible muscles will make working out much easier. This also helps lower your risk of injury.
The happy baby pose is a straightforward position that opens up your hips. This is a perfect one if you sit all day long at a desk.
- Start by lying on your back. Bring your knees to your chest. Ideally, pull your knees back as far as you possibly can.
- Grab onto your feet, either holding the center of the foot or your toes. The soles of your feet should be parallel to the ceiling and your knees bent.
- Slowly open your knees. This, in turn, will stretch your groin and open up your hips. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds.
If you can’t manage a stretch for the time recommended, don’t worry. Start with the length of time you do feel comfortable with, and gradually increase from there.
3. Toe Touches
This is another great exercise for working your core and thighs. Start with the position for leg raises, with your legs at a 90-degree angle to your body.
Now, engage your core to lift your upper body forward without letting your legs rise or fall. The idea is to touch your toes with each crunch. However, don’t worry too much if you can’t manage this at first.
Keep practicing! Or get as close as you can to your toes.
The idea of exercises without leaving your bed might sound like an easy option, but a few reps of toe touches will convince you otherwise! You can have an effective workout - even in the comfort of your own bed.
Aim to do 20 reps of this exercise and 2-3 sets.
You might also really like: 7 Types of Push-Ups for Your Next Workout
4. Scissor Kicks
Bed exercises for seniors often incorporate exercises like scissor kicks.
These are tough exercises that do a lot to tone your core and legs. This is really important as you age since you tend to lose muscle mass and balance. Strengthening your core and legs combats this.
- For this bed exercise, start by lying on your back and raising your legs. Don’t raise them as high as you would for leg lifts or toe touches. A 45-degree angle from the ground will do just fine. Basically, keep your legs straight out in front of you but off the ground.
- Now, lower one leg while raising the other. To do a proper rep, your lowering leg shouldn’t touch the mattress, and your rising leg shouldn’t reach too high that your leg is at a 90-degree angle from your body.
- Try doing 10-15 reps and 2-3 sets.
A plank is a great workout to tone your core and upper body. It can also support proper posture - when done correctly.
Keeping your body in a straight line, support yourself on only your forearms and toes. Don’t let your hips dip or rise. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. You can hold this pose for as long as you can, usually between 20 seconds to a minute.
Planking on a bed is harder because the surface isn’t as stable as the floor. But this can add a little challenge to this one, meaning you’ll be stronger because of it.
If you really want to challenge yourself, you can even push yourself up into a full plank and perform a few push-ups. Be careful, though! You don’t want your hips to drop, which would place pressure on your lower back.
6. Spinal Twist
Once again, don’t forget about stretching!
- Start by lying on your side, in a fetal position.
- Draw your knees up to a 90-degree angle and stretch your arms out in front of you.
- Lift your top arm and lay it on your other side. Now both of your arms are stretched out to the full length across the bed, in opposite directions.
- This should turn your body so that your upper half is facing the ceiling, with your legs still on their side. However, don’t force your body into this position if you aren’t used to it.
- Use pillows to create a compromise and gradually work up into a full twist.
- Hold this for 20-30 seconds or up to a minute.
Do what feels good, and don’t forget to switch sides!
Get Moving in Bed!
Bed exercises are fantastic for seniors or people with limited energy and mobility - or even if you’re feeling a little “blah.” Having these options means you can work out in comfort without heading to a gym or even leaving your bedroom.
So, go ahead and get your movement in before you’re even out of bed in the morning. No one is judging!
Related article: 7 Daily Core Moves to Eliminate Lower Back Pain