A 5-Minute Ab Workout You Can Do in Bed

You don't have to leave you bed to get a solid 5-minute ab workout!
Image Credit: Cravetiger/Moment/GettyImages

Before you roll out of bed to start your long day, you can wake up your body and strengthen your core from the comfort of your mattress.

Advertisement

"Workouts in bed can be beneficial, as they're more accessible for people working through specific injuries, rehab, joint pain, arthritis or degeneration," says Joanie Johnson, CPT, founder of Strong Mom Society and former professional dancer.

"It reduces the strain of gravity you may feel on joints when working out in an upright position," she says. "And the unstable surface recruits more of the core and smaller stabilizing muscles, helping to increase balance, stability and work larger primary movers."

Advertisement

You can more easily utilize deep belly breathing from a supine or side-lying position, which will engage all your abdominal muscles while further reducing strain on neck, shoulders and upper trapezius muscles. If you're ready to work out before work, try these 5 moves from Johnson:

1. 360 Belly Breathing With Criss-Cross Hands

JW Player placeholder image
Time 1 Min
Region Core
  1. Start lying on your back and bring your hands to your belly, fingers interlacing.
  2. Take an inhale and focus on filling your lower ribs. Feel how your belly gently rises as you breathe in.
  3. As you exhale, imagine zipping up your core from your pelvic floor to the bottom of your ribs. Pretend you're trying to stop yourself from peeing or passing gas as you hug your abdominal muscles in.
  4. Inhale to fully release the core muscle activation.
  5. Repeat for 60 seconds.

2. Hip Bridge With Leg March

JW Player placeholder image
Time 1 Min
Region Core
  1. Start lying on your back, feet on the floor, knees pointing toward the ceiling.
  2. Using your core activation breathing from above, exhale as you engage your core and lift one foot off the ground.
  3. Focus on keeping your core engaged as you alternate lifting your right foot, then left foot.

3. Supine Leg Lift

JW Player placeholder image
Time 1 Min
Region Core
  1. Start lying on your back, right leg extended straight out along the bed, left leg extended up toward the ceiling.
  2. Using your core activation breathing from above, exhale as you engage your core and lift the right leg up to meet the left.
  3. Focus on keeping your core engaged as you lower your left leg, keeping your right leg in the air.
  4. Next, lift your left leg up to meet your right, then lower your right down to the bed.
  5. Continue alternating which leg you lift up.

4. Dead Bug

JW Player placeholder image
Time 1 Min
Region Core
  1. Start lying on your back with your knees lifted in 90-degree angles and your arms extended up toward the ceiling.
  2. Using your core activation breathing from above, exhale as you engage your core and lower your left arm and right leg toward the bed.
  3. Return to the starting position.
  4. Next, lower your right arm and left leg down toward the bed.
  5. Continue alternating opposite arm and leg.

5. Oblique Hip Lift

JW Player placeholder image
Time 30 Sec
Region Core
  1. Start in a side plank, propping yourself up on your right forearm with your elbow underneath your shoulder. Extend your legs and place the top foot in front of your bottom foot and squeeze your core and glutes.
  2. Place your left hand behind your head with your elbow pointing up. This is the starting position.
  3. Rotate toward the floor, bringing your left elbow to meet your right hand. Keep your hips up throughout; the rotation should happen through your core.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Slowly dip your hips toward the floor until they make light contact.
  6. Return to the starting position. This is 1 rep.
  7. Continue for 30 seconds on each side.

Advertisement