The 'log roll' is a simple technique to make it easier to get in and out of bed, and is useful for those who have back pain or decreased balance and strength.
Lying flat on the bed, bend the knee farther away from the edge of bed. Push off that foot, rolling the body as one unit, keeping shoulders and hips in line. Bring knees together.
Use the elbow of the bottom arm and the hand of the top arm to push the upper body upright while legs drop off the bed. Aim to have your head and feet land at the same time as you do the same motion in reverse to lie back down, and then roll as one unit onto your back again.
You can also do the log roll with both knees bent if you find that easier. Again, keep the shoulders and hips in line with each other and exhale as you push yourself upright. Use your arms to support you as you come back down, and then roll as one unit, like a log, to lie on your back.
We’ll now see both versions of the log roll again. Notice that it is the combination of the weight of your legs coming off the bed along with pushing through your arms at the same that is helps you sit upright.
Don’t hold your breath as you come up, and always take a moment after sitting up to check in on your breathing. Make sure you feel steady before you stand up or move again.
If you are struggling with this, or if you are a caregiver or loved one trying to help someone perform a log roll, please see the Resources section for outsourced videos on how to perform this and other assisted transfers safely.
Supine Absolute Basics – "The Bare Minimum"
Some of the absolute basic exercises that should be performed if you are bed-bound include ankle pumps, heel slides and rolling from side to side to change position. Doing these exercises regularly several times a day will help from developing blood clots, pressure ulcers or bedsores, and contractures (shortened, tight muscles).