The Bed Workout – An easy workout for chronic pain and fatigue

Are you someone with low energy, lots of pain or limited movement who’s checked out the internet to find exercises you can actually do?  I bet you couldn’t find many.  I know I couldn’t!   So today I wanted to give you a workout that you can actually do.

It seems to me, the real reason for exercise seems to have been forgotten

Exercise is a tool you use to keep healthy or get healthier

But the current fitness trends seem to be about big biceps, six pack abs and half naked booties.  The sad thing is, these people will eventually wear out joints, tear tendons, and cause things like adrenal fatigue because they’re overtraining.  Yep, too much exercise is definitely a thing!

Secondly all the workouts you find on the internet, including the beginner workouts, are NOT for beginners!  I’ve been exercising for nearly 10 years and I know at 40 (I was a bit of a late-starter!), I couldn’t do any of the stuff you see on Google.

If I was to add a third point – there’s very few exercises I can find on the internet that can help my mum, who’s had fibromyalgia for nearly 40 years. My mum was the main reason I put together a workout specifically for chronic fibromyalgia.

 

Why The Bed Workout?

I wanted to show you exercise can be manageable even for people with chronic conditions or physical limitations

As Personal Trainers, we’re actually taught to modify exercises to work around injuries, bring down high blood pressure, work with the elderly and rehabilitate people.

The only way we can do that is to give you exercises that are do-able and manageable for you. While exercise is supposed to be outside your comfort zone, it’s not supposed to lay you out for 3 days afterwards! We have to find your Goldilocks – not too much, not too little but just right!

I wanted to make sure you were in a safe place

What can go wrong if you’re lying on a bed right?

You don’t need any equipment for The Bed Workout (except maybe a pillow) and you don’t need help from anyone else.

I wanted to make sure the workout doesn’t aggravate symptoms

If you have stability issues or dizziness, well first of all you’ve got nowhere to fall!

Dizziness is common with exercise and it’s because we move too fast from a lying or sitting position to standing.  Your blood automatically pools in your legs and midsection when you’re lying down and the change in height can be enough to give anyone the swoons – happens to me all the time!

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You certainly don’t need an extra boost to your existing dizziness symptoms so The Bed Workout has you lying down the whole time.

Just remember to sit up slowly when you’re done!

The Bed Workout

Fundamentals

Now there’s some exercise fundamentals that you should probably know about which you can find here and here, but these are the basics:

  • Don’t forget to breathe
  • Go slowly
  • Stop if it hurts
  • Only do as many as you can manage
  • Spread the exercises out over the day if you need to
  • A repetition means doing the exercise just once.
  • Use your pillow to make you more comfortable. You might need it under your back or your tummy to help you keep your spine nice and straight, especially if you have a twingy back.
The exercises

Prone arm raises

What it does – this very simple exercise uses a lot of muscles including your arm, shoulder, back, chest and stomach muscles.

How to do it – lay face down on the bed with enough room to stretch your arms out in front of you.  Make your hands into the “thumbs up” sign.  Lift one straight arm about an inch off the bed. Hold for a second then relax. DON’T hold your breath! You can alternate your arms to give them a bigger rest.  Start with 2 or 3 each side.

supine arm exercise start

 

 

 

supine arm finish

 

 

 

 

 

Prone leg raises

What it does – another simple exercise that uses a few muscles including your legs, back, and stomach muscles.

How to do it – lay face down on the bed with your head resting comfortably on your arms.  Stretch your legs out straight behind you.  Slowly and gently lift one straight leg off the bed. Remember listen to your body and stop when just when it starts to get uncomfortable. Hold for a second then relax. DON’T hold your breath! Alternate your legs to give them a bigger rest.  Start with 2 or 3 repetitions each side.


supine leg start

 

 

 

supine leg finish

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridge

What it does – this exercise is great for your core muscles (all the ones in your midsection) and your legs. It also uses your arm muscles.

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How to do it – lay on your back, knees bent and feet as close to your butt while still being comfortable. Lay your arms by yours sides, hands flat on the bed. All you need to do is lift your pelvis up and hold for a second then drop back down. Don’t forget to breathe!  Just do 2 or 3 bridge holds or whatever you’re comfortable with.

bridge exercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knee rolls

What it does – this one is good for your core muscles as well, stomach, pelvis and back.

How to do it – lay on your back, knees bent and feet as close to your butt while still being comfortable. Lay your arms out straight out from your body, hands flat on the bed. All you need to do is roll your knees first left then right.  Your knees do not need to touch the bed (only go as far as you’re comfortable) but you do need to keep the rest of your body in position. Do these 2 or 3 times each side.

knee roll exercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knee Squeeze

What it does – this one is good for the inside of your thighs and your tummy muscles.

How to do it – lay on your back, knees bent and feet as close to your butt while still being comfortable. Lay your arms by your sides.  Put your spare pillow between your knees and all you need to do is squeeze your knees together for one second and then relax. Don’t forget to breathe!  Do 2 or 3 squeezes or whatever you’re comfortable with.

knee squeeze exercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side leg raise

What it does – You’ll probably feel this exercise mostly in your hips and legs.

How to do it – lay on your left side and prop head on your left hand.  Put your right hand on the bed in front of you to make sure you stay in position. Keeping your right leg straight lift it up off the bed (remember not too much and not too little) and then bring it back down again.  Do 2 or 3 leg raises and then roll over to your other side and do 2 or 3 leg raises on the other leg.

side leg raise

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clam

What it does – this is another great exercise for your butt, legs and hips.

How to do it – Lie on your side and rest your head on your arm or your pillow.  Bend your hips to about 45 degrees and bend your knees to about 90 degrees. Make sure your hips are level so that the one on top is directly over the one on the bottom.  Keeping your feet together, spread your knees by raising the top one to your comfortable point then bring it back down again. Make sure it’s only your knees that are moving and keep the rest of your body in position. Do 2 or 3 of these each side.

clam exercise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are in control

Try doing The Bed Workout every day.

How many you do of each exercise is up to you – you’re the one that knows what your body can handle.

If doing all of them at once is too much then space them out over the day.

If spacing the exercises throughout the day is too much then do them every second day.

Slowly you will build up your strength, your stability and your energy.  Just remember there is no rush – find your Goldilocks!

Click here for a printable download.

If you have any questions please comment below and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

I hope you’ll check out my free Resource Library for lots of  information on how to use exercise as a tool to improve your health, improve symptoms with nutrition and how to manage stress.

This resource page is generally only available to my clients but I figure you’re here because you’re looking for an alternative to traditional medicine and trying to take some control over your health – just the kind of person I like to help!

So I’d like to share it with you and hope that it will help with your health and your healing.

All you need to do is pop in your details below and I’ll send you the link to the private page.

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Author: Dr James Robber

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