By Vanessa Voltolina
OK, so maybe that 7 a.m. spin class just isn’t happening today. Maybe you want to spend more time sleeping -- or maybe your partner wants to do something else under the covers. Whatever the case, don't sweat it. Your bed isn’t just for snoozing. Yep, that’s right: There are some gentle (yet tough!) exercises that you can do each morning to start your day off right.
Consider in-bed exercises part of your regular "ramping up to have an amazing day" ritual, suggests NYC-based holistic fitness trainer Jonathan Angelilli, aka the Exercise Alchemist. “Don’t make it about squeezing in a workout, but about waking up right,” he says.
These four exercises will get you up and moving in the a.m.:
Breathe Through Your Nose
Doing this exercise will literally help you get in touch with your body every morning, Angelilli says. To do it, breathe through your nostrils while sweeping your hands down your entire body, from head to toe. "It’s a gentle morning ritual that sets the tone for your whole day and helps you get out of bed with a more positive mindset,” he says.
Doing isometric moves in bed will strengthen and stretch your body, says Angelilli. To perform this move, place your feet on the bed with knees bent, legs hip-width apart. Lift your tailbone and push up until your upper body makes a straight line from shoulder to hip to knee. Pause for 30 seconds, keeping your tailbone lifted and your glutes engaged, then lower. Do three reps, breathing gently with your abs throughout.
Straight Leg Raises
After you come down from your Half-Bridge, do some leg lifts, which will contract your abs, work your hip muscles and help improve circulation. Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides, legs straight. Lift your right leg, exhaling as you do so, until your leg and hip form a 90-degree angle. Slowly lower the leg down to the bed. Repeat with alternate leg. Do two sets of 10 reps per leg.
Get into push-up position on your mattress, balancing on your forearms instead of your hands (so you can safely perform the exercise while on a soft surface). With your weight on your forearms and toes, align your elbows under your shoulders. Lift your body to make a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold this position for 20 seconds while breathing gently. Rest for 30 seconds by placing your knees on the bed. Do three reps.