Do you occasionally have lazy mornings when you just don’t want to get out of bed, much less travel all the way to the gym? Here are five exercises to get you started in the morning, exercises you can do in your pajamas and require you to travel no further than the floor.
1. Bicycle Crunches
Start with this effective ab exercise, that also works your obliques. Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed into the floor. Bring your knees in toward your chest and lift your shoulders off the ground. Straighten your right leg as you turn your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow to your left knee. Switch sides and perform the same motion on the other side to complete one rep. This exercise should be performed slowly and with controlled motion for 2-3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.
2. Donkey Kick Plank
Add a challenge to your planks by adding a leg lift. Start with your elbows directly below your shoulders, don’t let your hips drop or pop up. Lift your right leg off the ground, and bend your knee so the bottom of your foot is facing the ceiling. Press your right heel toward the ceiling as high as you can without moving your pelvis or lower back. This is a small movement you’ll feel in your buttocks and hamstrings. Relax and lower the bent leg slightly and repeat for a total of eight to 10 repetitions, then repeat with the opposite leg.
3. Single-Leg Bridge
This exercise works your backside, you’ll feel the burn in your glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings. Start flat on your back with one leg bent and that foot flat on the floor near your butt. Place your hands on the floor next to you to stabilize yourself as you lift the opposite leg off the ground and hold it straight. Lift your pelvis and hips and push them up toward the ceiling. Lower your body to the floor and repeat 10-15 times then switch legs and repeat.
4. Side-Lying Leg Lifts
Work your hips, thighs and lower back. Start on your side with your legs stacked (one on top of the other). Straighten the bottom leg as you slightly bend the top leg. Hold your head up with your bottom hand and stabilize your torso with the other hand. Lift the bottom leg and move it as far up towards the ceiling as possible. Slowly raise and lower that straight bottom leg for as many reps as possible on 30 seconds. Roll over and repeat with the other leg.
5. Mat Swimming
Similar to the Superman exercise, this is a slow controlled movement focused on keeping your pelvis in contact with the mat but your arms and legs off the mat. Lie on your stomach and extend your arms and legs straight out in front and behind you. Inhale as you lift your arms and legs off the floor and slowly alternate your arms and legs in a swimming movement for 30 seconds. Relax and repeat for a total of 2-3 sets.