Abdominal exercises can be performed in bed to strengthen your core, burn calories and build ab muscles. A bed offers adequate support to perform ab exercises such as crunches, bicycle crunches and leg lifts. Overly soft mattresses could make the ab exercises difficult to perform. If that's the case, move the exercises to the floor or a bench.
The standard crunch is a simplistic movement that will target your upper abs. Start by lying flat on the bed and keep the legs bent with the bottom of the feet planted on the bed. Cross the arms on your chest and contract the abs to lift your upper torso until the upper back is off the bed, according to the Mayo Clinic. Hold for three deep breaths, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
This exercise will target your upper and lower abdominals by crunching your upper body and keeping the lower body isometric. Start by lying flat in bed and raise your legs so your body forms a 90-degree angle. Lift your arms above your chest and contract the abs to lift the upper body. Crunch upward until the fingertips touch your toes before slowly lowering yourself to the starting position. Repeat for as many repetitions as you want.
A bicycle crunch works the upper abs, lower abs and obliques. Start by lying flat with the hands behind the head and the legs elevated at 90 degrees. Bring in your left knee toward your chest while twisting your upper body to bring the right elbow toward the opposite knee. Repeat with the right leg and left elbow. Alternate and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Slowly lower the legs and arms to the bed upon completion.
Leg lifts target the lower abdominal region. Start by lying flat and placing your arms at your sides with the palms face down. Lift your head off the bed while maintaining space between the chin and chest to avoid neck strain. Contract the abs to lift the legs straight up so the toes are pointing to the ceiling and your body forms a 90-degree angle. Hold for three breaths, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.