Start and End your day with Bed Exercises
By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
Bed exercises are a great way to start and finish the day. The following exercises are done in the supine position (flat on back with legs extended). It is best if the bed is firm to help support good postural alignment.
1) Exercises for the Tibialis Anterior: (front of lower leg, shin)
• Flap toes in opposition (pull toes of right foot up toward your knees and point toes of left foot down).
•Keep alternating feet up and down and repeat several times.
• Flap toes together (pull toes of both feet up together and down together) several times.
2) Exercises for the Quadriceps: (front of upper thigh)
• Starting Position: Bend knees and place feet flat on bed.
• Keeping thighs parallel, lift right foot off bed, straighten right knee and tighten knee cap.
• Return to starting position and repeat 3 times.
• Repeat exercise with left leg.
• Put hands on quadriceps muscle as you do the exercise– feel the muscle working.
3) Exercises for the Abdominals: (stomach)
• Press lower back into the bed and tighten abdominal muscles.
•Repeat four times.
•Repeat the above exercise but this time raise the head slightly off the bed and look at the knees.
•If needed, place one hand under the head for support. Put the other hand on the abdominals and feel the muscles working.
4) Exercises for the Rhomboids/Trapezius: (upper back)
• Squeeze the shoulder blades together and press upper arms and elbows into the bed.
• Relax, then repeat 4 more times.
5) Exercises for the Triceps (back of upper arm) and Pectoral Muscles (chest) Strengthener:
The full length of the bed will be used for this exercise. With head toward the head of bed and feet toward foot of bed:
•Roll onto your side, facing edge of bed.
•Shoulders push part way up and down 3 times.
•Now push up completely to sitting position and dangle legs over side of bed.
• Switch and lie down with head toward foot of bed and feet toward head of bed.
•Add more repetitions on each side, as endurance improves.
•Remember to breathe throughout exercise.
(This is the same movement needed when moving from lying down to sitting up, described above.)