7 Effective Exercises You Can Do in Bed

Fitness instructors share exercises that can be done in bed, including ab roll-ups, hip lifts, flying eagle stretch, leg elevation, plank, diamond bridges, and dips. These exercises target different muscle groups and can be done to wake up the core, promote blood flow, increase flexibility, and strengthen the upper body.

Most days, you likely struggle to decide whether you should get up early to hit the gym or press snooze and continue to lie in bed. But what if we told you you didn’t have to leave your bed to fit in a workout? Here, top fitness instructors share the best exercises you can do right from the comfort of your bed.

Ab roll-ups

“This is so effective for ‘waking up’ your core,” says Rachel Piskin, co-founder of ChaiseFitness. It also helps you focus on breathing and stretching out your spine.

How to do the exercise:

  • Lie down with your legs extended and arms overhead.
  • In eight slow counts, lower your arms toward your ears, bring your head toward your chest, and roll your upper body up, breathing in and out as you go.
  • Sit up tall and reach your arms toward your toes, holding the stretch for eight counts.
  • Slowly roll back down starting with your upper body, head, and arms. Do this eight to 10 times.

Hip lifts

“This focuses on the core and most importantly the lower abs,” says Piskin. “When the bed is soft you have to focus on controlling the movement even more, so bonus for that ab sculpting power.”

How to do the exercise:

  • Lie flat with your legs on the bed, with your arms pressed into the bed by your hips.
  • Extend your legs up so that they’re in a 90-degree angle.
  • Scoop your core in and lift your hips a few inches off the bed, then slowly bring them down. Do 20 reps.

Flying eagle stretch

This is a great hip opener stretch while also being a full-body exercise because you need to focus on balance, says Piskin.

How to do the exercise:

  • Standing in an upright position, place the arch of one foot on top of your bed. Your standing leg should be slightly further back.
  • Extend your arms in a V position by your ears.
  • Bend both your knees and pull your elbows into your hips creating a stretch in your back hip, then push up to a standing position with arms extended. Repeat 10 times per side.

Leg elevation

According to Piskin, this position is great for promoting blood flow and increasing flexibility. Do it before bed to help relieve stress.

How to do the exercise:

  • Lie down on your bed with your hips toward the headboard and your legs extended up against the headboard in a 90-degree angle. Above the heart is a good guide for leg placement, says Piskin. Keep your upper body aligned and arms by your side.
  • Focus on breathing and activation of core muscles. Hold for 15 seconds.


“The soft surface of the mattress adds an element of instability and a new dimension of challenge,” says Corey Phelps, National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer and founder of Cultivate 365.

How to do the exercise:

  • Begin on top of the bed face down, then tuck your toes under and place your forearms on the mattress.
  • Lift your hips in line with your shoulders and hold. “Be sure to keep the core engaged and not to arch the back,” advises Phelps. Aim to hold for 30 seconds to one minute and repeat four to five times.

Diamond bridges

This exercise helps to lift and sculpt your glutes, especially underneath and on the side, as well as your hamstrings, says Phelps.

How to do the exercise:

  • Begin by lying back on the floor with your legs bent in a 90-degree angle and your feet on top of the bed. The soles of your feet should touch in a diamond shape at the edge of the mattress.
  • While engaging your core, glutes, and hamstrings, lift your hips and hold for three counts.
  • Lower back to the starting position. Do three to five sets of 15 to 20 reps.


This exercise strengthens and tones your upper body, targeting mainly your triceps and shoulders, says Phelps.

How to do the exercise:

  • Begin with your back facing the edge of the mattress.
  • Place your hands on the edge of the bed with your fingers facing your back, legs slightly bent, and shoulders rolled back.
  • Lower your hips toward the ground by bending at the elbow to a 90-degree angle.
  • Press to lift back up to the top. Repeat for 15 to 20 reps.

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