Woman doing leg lifts in bed as part of morning stretching routine

Exercises you can do in bed

  Reading time 8 minutes

One thing is certain, exercising right after you’ve gotten up does not necessarily mean hitting the gym or going for a jog. There are a host of effective exercises you could do while still enjoying the comfort of your own bed. Whether it’s stretching your muscles or strengthening exercises, your bed can be the perfect space to help you wake up your body and start your day off on the right foot. In this article, we’ll explore simple exercises that are not only convenient but can also help improve your circulation, flexibility, and strength—all from the comfort of your bed.

Why Bed Exercises Matter

Bed exercises are a great way to ease into your day, especially if you’re short on time or have difficulty with morning routines. Engaging in simple exercises right after waking up can help to kick-start your metabolism and improve your mood, without even leaving your bedroom. For those with back issues or other physical limitations, exercising in bed can provide a low-impact alternative that still engages the core muscles. These exercises can also assist people who might have difficulty with more conventional forms of exercise, allowing them to maintain fitness and flexibility without undue strain.

Couple practicing yoga poses in bed for a relaxing bedtime workout

Preparing for Your Bed Workout

Before embarking on your bed workout, it’s essential to ensure a safe and supportive environment. Your mattress should be firm enough to support your body weight without too much sagging. Make sure that there aren’t any objects such as pillows or loose bedding that might interfere with your movements. Have enough space around your bed to avoid any accidental falls or knocks. Your safety is paramount, and doing so will ensure that your exercise routine is not only effective but also enjoyable.

Dress for Success

Even though you’re not stepping out to the gym, wearing the right attire can make a difference in your bed exercise routine. Opt for comfortable clothing that allows for a range of motion such as stretchy workout clothes or even pajamas that are not restrictive. This ensures that your movements are fluid and you can perform all exercises without any discomfort. Moreover, the right clothing can manage your body temperature and prevent excessive sweating, especially if using thicker bed covers.

The Bed Exercise Routine

Start your routine with some gentle stretching to wake up your body. Try doing a few neck and shoulder rolls, extending your arms above your head and then out to the sides. Lying down with your knees bent and feet flat on the bed, slowly bring one knee towards your chest while keeping the other foot planted. Hold for a few seconds, and then switch to the other knee. These simple exercises will help to loosen up your muscles and prepare them for more intensive movements.

Core-Strengthening Movements

Your core muscles are essential for stability and strength. Try some bed-specific exercises like the bridge: lying down with your knees bent and feet flat, lift your hips towards the ceiling, creating a straight line from your shoulders to knees. Hold the position for a few seconds and then slowly lower down. You can also perform a modified plank in bed by lying on your stomach and then pushing up onto your forearms and toes, keeping your body straight and your core engaged.

Man performing sit-ups in bed to stay active and fit during lazy mornings

Lower Body Workouts

To target your lower body, start with some leg lifts. Lie flat with one leg straight out and the other leg bent at the knee with your foot planted flat. Lift the straight leg up as far as comfortable, hold it briefly, and then slowly lower it back down. Do several reps, then switch to the other leg. This will strengthen your thigh muscles and can also help with toning your lower abs.

Upper Body Exercises

For your upper body, try bed push-ups. Start in a modified push-up position with your hands placed wider than your shoulders, and lower down, keeping your elbows at a ninety-degree angle. If this is too challenging, you can perform the push-up with your knees down. Another effective exercise is arm circles which you can do while sitting up with your legs crossed. Extend your arms to the side and make small circles, first clock-wise, then counter-clockwise.

Flexibility and Cool-Down Stretches

Conclude your bed workout with some flexibility stretches to help your body cool down. Lying on your back with both legs straight, lift one leg and hold it up with both hands. Try to stretch it towards your body, maintaining a straight leg to feel a stretch along your hamstring. On your side, you can perform side planks by propping yourself up on one forearm and lifting your hips, keeping your body in a straight line to work on the obliques.

Tips to Enhance Your Bed Exercise Routine

To make the most of your bed exercises, continuously challenge yourself by increasing the number of reps or integrating new movements. Keep track of your progress and try to push a little bit further each time. Listen to your body and avoid any movements that cause discomfort. Remember, consistency is key, and even though these workouts might not replace a full gym session, they are a fantastic way to build a daily exercise habit.

Senior woman using resistance bands for gentle exercises in bed, promoting mobility and flexibility


Bed exercises provide a multitude of benefits, from strengthening core muscles to improving flexibility and circulation. They are convenient, effective, and can be tailored to fit any fitness level. Best of all, they allow you to work out without even leaving the comfort of your bed. By incorporating these exercises into your morning routine, you’re taking a significant step towards a healthier, more energized you. So, roll back those covers, and let’s get moving.


Q1: Is exercising in bed as effective as going to the gym?

A: While bed exercises are generally gentler and may not replace all aspects of a gym workout, they can still be effective for building strength, improving flexibility, and starting your day with physical activity.

Q2: Can bed exercises help with weight loss?

A: Combined with a balanced diet and regular physical activity, bed exercises can contribute to weight loss by kick-starting your metabolism in the morning and building muscle.

Q3: How long should a bed exercise routine last?

A: A bed exercise routine can be as short as 10 minutes for a quick morning stretch or up to 30 minutes for a more comprehensive workout. Tailor the duration to fit your schedule and energy levels.

Q4: Are bed exercises suitable for people with mobility issues?

A: Bed exercises can be excellent for people with mobility issues as they often provide a low-impact alternative to traditional workouts. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen.

Q5: How can I make bed exercises more challenging over time?

A: To increase the challenge, you can add repetitions, hold positions for longer, incorporate resistance bands or ankle weights, or try more advanced movements as you build strength and confidence.