Did you skip your workout today? With holiday festivities, cooler weather and darker days upon us, getting out of the house to exercise can be an obstacle to staying fit. But just because you’re not eager to rush to the gym doesn’t mean you should abandon your workout altogether.
The good news is, on the days when the comfort and warmth of your bed far outweigh your desire to get out of the house, you can easily do a mini-workout from your bed or couch. Yes, you read that correctly. Even when your feet are up and Netflix is streaming, you can still squeeze in some exercises.
Exercises you can do from your couch
Parked on the couch? No problem. Jaime McFaden, a trainer with Aaptiv, tells SheKnows that there are a number of basic exercises you can do while sitting on the couch. Some of her favorites include: knee tucks, which work the abs, and stretches, like sitting tall, side bends and the forward fold (reach your arms toward your toes and forward fold). You can do all of the stretching exercises on the couch, bed or floor.
Bicep curls with dumbbells or other weighted items (soup cans work!), dips on the couch, step ups on the couch (make sure your couch is not too soft) and push-ups with hands on the firm part of the couch are also great additions to an at-home couch workout, McFaden adds.
Quianna Camper, a certified personal trainer, tells SheKnows that glute bridges and lat air pulls are also great additions to the list of couch exercises.
Exercises you can do from the comfort of your bed
If you’re guilty of hitting the snooze button in the morning, you’re not alone. But rather than falling back to sleep for a few minutes, why not squeeze in a few exercises while you’re still cozy in your PJs? Here are two moves McFaden says you can easily do in bed.
- Hug your knees into your chest to relax your back and wake up your body. Then extend one leg down toward the foot of the bed while hugging the other one to your chest. Lift that leg up toward the ceiling, flexing your feet to activate the leg muscles. Take the leg back toward your chest and cross it over the opposite side of the body to wake up the spine. This spinal twist feels good any time of the day. Switch sides.
- Finish with a nice, slow roll up to your feet and then stand up and use the bed to stretch your back. Press your palms into the bed and bend your knees (like Downward Dog position), but while using the bed to keep yourself lifted.
If you have more time and want to add to the two stretches, Camper recommends lying leg lifts, sit-ups, bicycles, lying knee tucks, a forearm plank, push-ups, plank twists, Spider-Man crunches, single-leg pelvic thrusts, side plank leg raises and, while sitting up, air jabs.
Mini-workouts you can do on the couch or in bed
Ellen Thompson, a Blink Fitness personal trainer, put together a mini-workout you can do on your couch or in bed. For a total-body workout, perform each move 15 times. Rest 30 to 60 seconds and repeat the circuit one to two more times.
Full -body muscle-activation circuit
Superman with row
Muscles activated: rhomboids, lats, glutes
- Lie on your stomach (in bed) with your arms fully extended in front of you (palms down) and legs fully extended behind you. Tuck your chin in toward your collarbone for a neutral neck. This is the starting position.
- Take a deep breath, brace your core and lightly contract through your lower back and glutes as you push your hips into the bed and gently raise your arms and legs. Exhale as you begin to squeeze through the shoulder blades, pulling your elbows in toward your rib cage, achieving a squeeze through the lats. Pause at the top of the movement for two seconds.
- Slowly lower your arms and legs back to starting position.
Muscles activated: pecs, triceps, core
- Face your bed, hinge forward, and place your hands on the bed in front of you in line with your chest, about shoulder-width apart.
- Inhale as you slowly lower your chest to the bed, elbows coming down alongside you (not your shoulders). Take a deep breath, brace your core, and drive yourself upward on a slight diagonal. As you drive yourself upward, be sure to exhale and squeeze through the chest and triceps.
Upper ab crunches
Muscles activated: core
- Lie on your back, bringing your legs into the air as you bend the knees to 90 degrees and cross your arms over your chest. This is the starting position.
- Take a deep breath, brace your core, and lightly contract through your upper abdomen (right below the rib cage) as you slightly crunch upward, rounding the shoulders inward. Pause at the top of the movement for two seconds as you exhale.
- Slowly lower shoulders back to starting position.
Lower-ab knee tucks
Muscles activated: core
- Lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Slowly raise your legs about 5 inches off the ground while bracing the lower abdomen. This is the starting position.
- Take a deep breath, lightly contract through the lower abdomen (right between the hips) as you tuck your knees in toward the chest. Pause at the top of the movement for two seconds as you exhale.
- Slowly straighten and lower your legs back to the starting position. Be sure not to let them touch the ground.
Muscles activated: glutes and hamstrings
- Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart and planted flat on the bed or ground. Be sure your heels are about a hand’s length from your butt. Place your arms at your sides. This is the starting position.
- Take a deep breath, brace your core, and extend your hips upward while driving through your heels. Your pelvis should tilt slightly, and you should be squeezing through the butt. Be sure not to place tension in the neck and shoulders. Pause at the top of the movement for two seconds as you exhale.
- Slowly lower hips back to starting position.
See, there are plenty of options! The bottom line is this: It’s totally possible to work up a sweat even when you’re not up for a trip to the gym (or even going outside).