Individuals born with low birth weight (LBW) are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), which may be precipitated by physical inactivity. Twenty-two LBW subjects and twenty-three controls were studied before and after bed rest by the hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp combined with indirect calorimetry and infusion of stable isotope tracers and preceded by an intravenous glucose tolerance test. LBW subjects had a similar body mass index but elevated abdominal obesity compared with controls. The basal rate of whole body lipolysis (WBL) was elevated in LBW subjects with and without correction for abdominal obesity before and after bed rest (all P = 0.01). Skeletal muscle hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) protein expression and phosphorylation at Ser565 were similar in the two groups. Bed rest resulted in a decrease in WBL and an increased skeletal muscle HSL Ser565 phosphorylation indicating a decreased HSL activity in both groups. All subjects developed peripheral insulin resistance in response to bed rest (all P < 0.0001) with no differences between groups. LBW subjects developed hepatic insulin resistance in response to bed rest. In conclusion, increased WBL may contribute to the development of hepatic insulin resistance when exposed to bed rest in LBW subjects. Nine days of bed rest causes severe peripheral insulin resistance and reduced WBL and skeletal muscle HSL activity, as well as a compensatory increased insulin secretion, with no differences in LBW subjects and controls.