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Planning Retirement Online

Exercises in bed in later life

KELSEY SPRINTALL Senior Fitness Co-ordinator, Ragdale Hall, offers a special set of new year resolutions

Start the new year with a new set of exercises. No excuses -  exercising in bed increases mobility and is much easier than doing it on the floor. These stretches will help energise the body in the morning and relax and calm at night. If you have any medical condition affecting joints or mobility, discuss with your doctor first.   

First stretch:

Stretch out fingers and toes 5 – 10 times

Gently bounce the legs onto the bed 30 seconds

Circle the shoulders 10 times    


Mobility exercises for the neck and back  

Basic position: remove pillow, bend up knees, have feet flat on mattress. Hold arms close to the body, remember to breath normally.


  1. Pelvic tilt 8 – 10 times

    • Gently press the lower back down into the bed

    • Lengthen your tail bone away from you

    • Keep the rest of the body relaxed


  2. Scalpular Retraction 8 – 10 times

    • Gently squeeze the shoulder blades together

    • Press them into the bed

    • Keep the rest of the body relaxed

    • Don’t arch your lower back


  3. Shoulder Elevation 8 – 10 times

    • Draw your shoulders up towards your ears

    • As you relax them down feel as if you are sliding the shoulder blades down the spine

    • Lengthen through your neck


  4. Head Retraction 8 - 10 times

    • Pull your chin in towards you

    • Try to decrease the space between the neck and the bed

    • As you do so lengthen through your head and neck.



If you are doing the following before you actually get out of bed, be careful not to over stretch as your body won’t be sufficiently warmed. Only hold each stretch to slight tension. Alternatively, if you have a hot bath or shower, and then go through the stretches, this will help to put warmth into the muscles and you can extend further.


Basic position: lying on back

Hold each stretch for 15 – 20 seconds

Remember to breath normally throughout

Don’t bounce your stretches

  1. Lower Back

    • Draw the knees towards the chest

    • Hold onto legs

    • Relax head and shoulders down


  2. Lower Back and Hips  

    • Lay on back, legs straight, arms stretched out horizontally at shoulder level

    • Bend left leg and cross left foot over right knee

    • Roll over to left side taking bent leg towards the mattress

    • Try to keep the shoulders down

    • Repeat other side


  3. Spine and Waist  

    • Reach arms above the head

    • Lengthen the body, try not to arch the back

    • Reach opposite arm and leg away from body, stretching diagonally

If you have any concerns regarding your current health status please see your GP prior to embarking on an exercise regime.

Why not visit Ragdale Hall?

Ragdale are continuing there amazing special offers to laterlife visitorsduring 2002. Take a look at the Special Offers page.


To view previous articles in this series - see the laterlife healthwiseindex page



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