It’s taken off on TikTok and now millions are getting down on the ground for a little time out. Find out what you’re missing out on – and discover 5 ways to take your floortime to another level.

It seems standing desks are so last year … If the latest Gen Z trend is anything to go by, the cold hard floor is all we need to live our best lives. #Floortime has become a ‘thing’ and there is now a bevy of TikTok users trying it out and attracting millions of views. This not-so-innovative trend simply involves sinking to the ground, sprawling out spending a few minutes ‘letting go’. It’s an opportunity to ground yourself and reset – focusing on the physical sensation of being on the floor rather than any emotional thoughts.

Floortime releases stress

It’s not very often you stretch out your whole body at once, but laying on the floor gives you the perfect opportunity. In fact, it’s so perfect, we do it naturally. As soon as you lay on the floor, chances are you’ll involuntarily stretch out from head to toe without even thinking about it. This type of static stretching your autonomic and parasympathetic nervous system. As a result, we can experience increases in serotonin levels, which can help stabilize your mood and create a feeling of calm and relaxation.

It can help with aches and pains

While there is scant scientific evidence to show spending time on the floor specifically benefits your body, many researchers have explored the benefits of lying down in bed – and how different positions might ease back pain. While some people find laying flat on your back can aggravate back pain, researchers assessed different sleeping positions and found laying on your back with both hands at your side or on your chest can ease pain stemming from the neck area. Another study found that laying on your side can help reduce pressure on your spine, and those who lay on their side as they slept were far less likely to suffer spinal pain than those who lay on their stomachs.

It can improve your posture

Spending time on the ground can help bring attention to how the different parts of your body align – and focusing on this can help improve your posture. With improved posture, you can move smarter, train more effectively, reduce injury risk, and even boost your mood.

It helps you reset

Spending time out on the floor is an effective way to restore, reconnect and reset. Whether you spend 60 seconds on the ground at the end of a workout, or hours relaxing on the ground, it’s valuable time to reset your mind, process emotions, and focus on yourself. A great example of this is yoga’s Savasana. Also known as the corpse pose, the savasana involves laying on your back with your arms at your side, palms up. Kylie Gates, Les Mills Creative Director says Savasana helps her filter out external noise. “It’s an opportunity to balance all the body systems – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual, and I find it always leaves me feeling back into touch with my higher purpose and alignment to self.”

5 ways to use floortime to boost your health and fitness

Use the floor for your core

Some of the most popular and most effective core strengthening moves are based on the floor – so when you’re down on the ground, you can use your time wisely and give your abdominals a quick workout. Here are three core fundamentals to try:

  • The oblique crunch: There’s no single abdominal exercise that comprehensively works all the muscles of the core, but the oblique crunch comes close.
  • The double leg and arm extension: Using your arms and legs as levers is an excellent way to challenge your core – and there’s plenty of scope to adjust the intensity.
  • The side plank: It provides an intense core challenge, at the same time as helping strengthen your arms, shoulders, back and legs.

Perk up your posture

The Prone Cobra is a simple postural improvement exercise that is ideal to do when you’re taking time out on the floor.

  • Start lying face down
  • Squeeze your butt hard
  • Lift your chest just off the floor – you don’t need to raise it super high
  • Turn your palms out and away from your body, so that your thumbs are turned up
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades tight
  • Keep your chin gently tucked so that your neck is long
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3-4 times.

Enjoy the power of Pilates

Mat Pilates can help you improve core control, strength and stamina. Using nothing but bodyweight and the floor, you can move through popular exercises like hundreds (a variation on the common crunch where you do 100 pulses); leg circles, which challenge core stability; planks and side planks; plus single and double leg stretches.

Read more about the power of Pilates. Find a Mat Pilates workout on LES MILLS+.

Make time for mindfulness

Mindfulness or meditation is a great way to decrease stress, plus it’s shown to increase your exercise performance. If you’re lying on the ground, it’s easy to tap into the benefits – simply get comfortable, contact your breath, and focus your mind's attention on the breath. If you want to make it even easier, tune into a short guided meditation or mindfulness session. Just a few short minutes can help you release emotional stress and find focus and clarity. Explore more guided meditations on LES MILLS+.

HIIT it hard… then hit the floor

Now that you know that spending time out on the floor offers very real benefits, it might motivate you to push even harder in your next HIIT workout. It’s amazing how much extra energy you can find when you know the intense challenge is short-lived and followed by the opportunity to collapse on the floor and recover. It’s training at such contrasting extremes – high intensity followed by all-out recovery – that delivers the transformative results associated with HIIT training.

TOP TIP: To help maximize post-workout recovery, you can focus on down-regulation breathing to shift the nervous system away from stress. Try box breathing (a 5-second inhale, 5-second hold, 5-second exhale, 5-second hold) for 3-10 minutes.