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Mobility Exercises You Can Do In Bed

This is a mobility exercise routine that most can comfortably do while in bed.

Begin with ankle circles while supine, clockwise and counter-clockwise. Follow this up by alternating between plantar flexion and dorsiflexion.

Next, use a resistance band or towel to stretch your hamstrings and the other tissues of the posterior compartment of your lower extremities. You can follow this up with unilateral knee extensions (straightening) while holding onto the outside portion of the sole of your foot.

Next, do single leg raises while keeping your pelvis tilted up and stable. Place your hands on the mattress on either side of you to stabilize your core as you do these leg raises.

While supine, bring your knees to your torso, knees bent, then take hold of both soles of your feet with your hands and pull your thighs down into the mattress - this is an excellent stretch for both hip capsules and the tendons that insert into the bottom of your pelvis.

Moving to a prone position, you can do unilateral hip swivels to induce internal and external rotation into your hips.

Continue with hip swivels while sitting up, keeping your buttocks on the mattress if possible.

Follow this up with some 90/90 work - you can find a separate video on 90/90 exercises for hip mobility here:

90/90 Hip Mobility Exercises

Next, while lying supine, you can do slow semi-circles with your hips, one side at a time, taking them through external rotation.

Sole-frog stretch is next - keeping the soles of your feet together and knees spread wide on the mattress, lower yourself to the prone position so that the inside of your thighs are in contact with the mattress. Keep your soles touching one another and push them down toward the mattress. Then, rotate your legs upward and outward so that your soles end up facing the ceiling; alternate between this position and the initial sole-frog stretch position.

A separate video demonstrating the sole-frog stretch can be viewed here:

Sole-Frog Stretch

Next, while lying prone, gently twist your trunk backward to one side so that the foot of one leg approaches the mattress on the other side of your body - you should use your hands to stabilize your trunk on the mattress as you do this, and only reach back with each leg as far as you comfortably can. You can view this lumbar mobility exercise in a separate video here:

Lumbar Mobility Exercise

Next, from kneeling pose, have your arms overhead on the mattress and push your upper trunk into the mattress, inducing shoulder flexion into both shoulders. You can do this unilaterally to further emphasize flexion of your shoulder joints. If you feel your spine and shoulders need a break, you can alternate between kneeling pose and cobra pose as shown in the video.

Then, starting supine, have both legs fall to one side of your body while keeping your chest facing relatively straight up toward the ceiling, thereby inducing rotation through your lumbar spine. While in this position, do slow arm circles with your upside arm, taking it above and around your upper body, clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Repeat on the other side.

Finish with shoulder dislocates while lying prone, using a resistance band or a towel.

For a systematic approach to improving your mobility, please feel free to have a look at our series of progressive mobility exercises here:

Mobility Exercise Progressions

For some suggestions on how to set up a simple workout area at home, please feel free to view:

Suggested Resources for a Home Gym


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