Let's be honest, some days it's hard just getting out of bed, let alone hauling a** to the gym for a workout. Don't feel bad, morning gym sessions are often the absolute last thing I want to do, too. So, because we all have days when we just can't get it together, I crafted a workout routine we can all do from the comforts of bed. That's right, an exercise series that openly welcomes eye boogers, pyjamas, night guards and bed head.
Now that you have a clear image of what I look like in the morning, let me clear the air -- I'm not advising this routine replace an every day exercise schedule. But, for those occasional days when we want to get a sweat but just can't get ourselves outta the sack give this amazingly lazy, yet effective sequence a try.
A plank on a hard flat surface is one of the most effective exercises you can do. When done properly you are engaging your legs, butt, core, arms and full back...so basically all of your major muscle groups. When done on a slightly uneven plain -- well, even BETTER! On the forgiving surface of your bed, you are forced to tighten your core and all your muscles even more in order to keep balanced; making the plank more intense and more challenging. So roll over onto your belly in your p.js (or in nothing at all) and try doing 30 seconds in a regular elbow plank followed by 30-second side planks in each direction. Repeat this circuit three times with 30 seconds rest between rounds.
Not to worry there are no actual tables in this series. As promised, the next few exercises can be executed without even untangling yourself from your sheets. So for these moves, prop up onto all fours in a table-top. From this position there are so many different muscles you can work.
Let's start with the core. Starting in that table-top position, extend your right arm and your left leg straight out. Again, because of the uneven surface of the mattress this will really challenge the stabilizer muscles in your midsection. Now bring the extended arm and leg into your body until your elbow and knee touch (or close to), feeling your abdominal muscles crunch as you bring your knee and elbow together. Slow and steady wins the race with these. Try doing three counts in and three counts out for each repetition, focusing on keeping your hips aligned and your back straight throughout the entire movement. Do 10 knee elbow touches here then switch to left arm and right leg. Repeat three times per side with no rest in between rounds.
Now let's work on the backside. Again, in table top position extend your right leg so that it's straight and in line with your hips. From here, maintaining a straight leg and flexed foot, pulse your leg straight up, reaching your heel to the ceiling. It's not a big movement, just a few inches, but you should feel the burn in your glutes right away. Do 20 pulses on each leg and repeat three times per side with little rest in between rounds.
Pelvic Tilt Series
When teaching this next exercise in class, I usually get at least a couple of giggles when I introduce the "pelvic thrust." Its true, this move can look slightly suggestive. And considering most people can't get their minds out of the gutter doing it in a GYM, I assume doing this exercise in bed (potentially naked) is only going to accentuate this provocative parallel. (NOTE: There is a risk that if you're doing this series and your partner is home, the workout ends here.)
Ok enough of that, you dirty birds! Here's your starting position: lay on your back with your head and shoulders resting on the mattress, knees bent at about 90 degrees and your feet flat on the bed. From here, thrust your hips up as far as they can go, so that your butt and lower back are straight and off the bed. Hold at the top and squeeze your glutes for two seconds before lowering your hips down, so they hover over the sheets (don't rest them completely until the set is done). Do 15 hip thrusts and then for a bonus, hold at the top for a ten second count followed by ten more mini thrusts or pulses. These are smaller, quicker movements where you only bring your hips a quarter of the way down and back up without holding at the top. Do three sets of this series with 30 seconds rest between each round. If you hate me at the end of these just remember, I'm helping you workout in BED!!!
Leg Raising Series
Let's maximize this horizontal heaven and complete the workout with a series on our backs. This time place your hands underneath your lower back, extend your legs out and lift your shoulders off the bed to about a 45-degree angle. From here you're going to lift your legs up about six-inches off the mattress and hold while alternating between three different movements. The first is simply holding them straight out with strong legs (engage your thigh muscles and point your toes). Hold here for 30 seconds. Next, from the same position, switch to a "flutter kick" -- kicking legs up and down in an alternating fashion, like you would if you were swimming. Count 30 kicks on each side, 60 total. Finally, the "scissor kick" -- with your legs still extended and flexed, repeatedly open and close them like a scissor without letting them fall to the mattress. Complete this motion 30 times and repeat the entire leg raise series 3 times with 30 seconds rest in between each round.
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