Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning? OK, let's be honest, most of us do — mentally, at least. Having physical difficulty getting out of bed, however, is a completely different story and can seriously make it tough to get the day started.
With age, it's common for simple daily activities like rolling out of bed to become more difficult due to stiff and achy joints.
However, age isn't the only factor affecting one's ability to get out of bed, says Zac Armstrong, master trainer with YogaSix. Even younger adults have trouble due to neck or back pain, he says, which often comes from sitting all day or hunching over cell phones.
If you're super active, neglecting rest days and recovery routines can also make it tough to get moving in the a.m.
"Functional mobility and strength are so important to help prevent injury and bring efficient and healthy movement back to the body," Armstrong says. "Full-body motion helps engage and stabilize all joints and muscles to avoid injury when your body is just waking up when getting out of bed."
Here, Armstrong offers four simple exercises that will make physically getting out of bed easier.
1. Supine Hip Circle
This move is one you can do right upon waking up to make the transition from sleep to awake a bit easier on the body. It helps lubricate the ball and socket joint of your hips, increase blood flow to the area, and help loosen up your low back.
- Upon waking up, roll onto your back and gather your knees, one in each hand.
- Make circles with your knees. Start with small circles and increase the range as your mobility improves.
- Do 3 to 5 reps in each direction for about 30 seconds.
2. Foot Fascia Rolling
"A lot of my clients suffer from plantar fasciitis, which can be very sensitive upon waking and getting out of bed," Armstrong says. "I suggest keeping a massage ball (a tennis or lacrosse will do) on the ground beside your bed so that before you step out of bed you can roll out the fascia on the bottom of your feet."
Just a couple of minutes of rolling each foot should be plenty to ease inflammation, help realign the fascia webbing and bring fresh blood to your ankles and feet, he explains.
- Sit comfortably on the edge of your bed. Your feet should reach the ground fully.
- Rest one foot on top of a massage ball and press firmly into the ball.
- Roll your foot around on the massage ball, targeting your arch, heel, ball of your foot and the outer edge of your foot.
- Switch feet and continue alternating as needed.
3. Cat-Cow Pose
This move is great to incorporate after your feet and hip exercises are complete. It'll increase spinal mobility and encourage you to deepen your breathing, both of which help bring the body into an awakened yet relaxed state.
- Sit up on your bed with your feet on the ground.
- Place your hands on your thighs and create a neutral spine.
- Inhale, roll your shoulders back and lift your gaze to create spinal extension.
- Exhale, tuck your chin and tail bone and round through your entire spine.
- Do 3 sets of 5 reps.
4. Chair Squat
Finally, now that your feet, ankles, hips and spine have been warmed up, it's time to get your leg muscles working. Armstrong says you can do this exercise shortly after waking, or at any time throughout the day. It's a great overall strengthening move.
- Sit tall on the edge of your bed.
- Press your feet firmly on the floor, place your hands on your hips, and position your gaze slightly upward.
- Drive through your feet, inhale to engage your core and exhale as you stand up.
- Slowly lower back onto your bed with control.