You’ve heard that the absolute best time to get in your daily work out is in the morning, right after you roll out of bed. However, the prospect of sweating and panting with aching muscles is enough to keep most people rolled up tight in their sheets. If only there was a way to burn calories and build muscle without changing out of your pajamas.
Well, there is! Before you clear the crust from your eyes and drool from your chin, you can finish your morning workout from the comfort of your mattress. If you need another reason to stay in bed longer, read on for a simple five-step exercise routine to get you started.
Step 1: Have a Strong Mattress
There is a reason your parents always yelled at you for jumping on the bed: Such intense pressure and motion wears the fibers and cushioning of your mattress — be it foam, innerspring, or air — to make it less supportive and less comfortable. If you have an older mattress, you may want to invest in a newer, stronger model before attempting to build strength and flexibility in bed.
There are plenty of options these days when it comes to mattresses, but if you want a good workout, you should opt for bedding that you can adjust for different activities, like a Sleep Number. Not only will you get better sleep on a number bed, but you’ll find that in-bed exercise is easier and more enjoyable to complete.
Step 2: Stretch
Stretching is the fastest and most rewarding way to energize the body after long, dark hours of sleep. Additionally, stretching and warming your muscles before you engage in exercise is a simple and effective way to increase endurance and decrease injuries. So, immediately after you open your eyes in the morning, you should set aside 10 minutes to perform a few stretches. Here are some examples to get you started, all beginning with you in an upright, seated position with crossed legs:
- Reach your arms up and then begin bending sideways to gently stretch your upper back and obliques.
- Lean as far forward as you can with your butt still touching the bed, and then sway left and right to stretch your hips and obliques.
- Place your arms behind your hips and transfer your weight to your hands and knees, lifting your butt off the bed to stretch your abs, chest, and hips.
Step 3: Work Your Arms
There aren’t many upper body exercises that translate well to the bed, but these will keep your arms toned enough for tank tops.
- Lying stomach down, press your palms into the bed underneath your shoulders to lift your chest and torso up, keeping your head and neck straight. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat.
- Lying on one side with your upper leg bent so the foot’s sole flat on the bed, move your upper arm in wide, flat circles. Reverse the direction of the circles, and repeat on the other side.
Step 4: Work Your Abs
Your core consists mainly of stabilizing muscles, so doing ab exercises on the uneven surface of your bed only makes your muscles work harder and grow stronger. All of these begin lying flat on your back.
- With your arms at your sides — not under your butt — lift both of your legs to a 40-degree angle and make basketball-sized circles in the air, in both directions.
- With your hands beneath your head and legs bent vertically, do a sit up. As you approach sitting position, gently twist to face left, then right, then relax.
- With your legs together and your arms sticking straight above you, peel your spine off the bed with excruciating slowness until you can reach your toes with your fingers. Repeat the motion in reverse until you are lying in your original position.
Step 5: Work Your Legs and Butt
You might be hesitant to believe that you can have an adequate leg day without standing up, but actually some of the most challenging leg and butt exercises require floor work.
- Lying stomach down with your arms folded under your head, bend one leg and place that foot on the opposite leg’s knee. Then, concentrate to lift your bent leg’s knee a few inches off the bed without raising your hip. Repeat on the other side.
- Lying on your side with your lower arm bent to prop up your head and neck, lift and lower your upper leg. Repeat on the other side.
- In the same position, slightly bend both of your knees. Then, keeping your feet together, lift your upper leg to form a clamshell. Repeat on the other side.
By the time you’ve gotten in the habit of performing a workout in bed, you’ll look forward to your alarm buzzing in the morning.