This twisting exercise stretches any areas of tension at the mid and lower back and even the sidebody and muscles between the ribcage. When done more quickly from side-to-side, it can act as an abdominal strengthening exercise.
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat. Drop the knees to one side, going only as far as you can while keeping the shoulders flat on the ground. Notice the ribcage expanding with every inhale as you breathe into the belly. If you can tolerate it, hold this position for a few seconds on each side. This will help stretch the mid and low back, though of course, stop if you feel any sharp discomfort. You can hold onto the bed if needed as you see here.
As this gets easier and your mobility improves, you can windshield wiper the legs from side to side more quickly, which will be more challenging for your abdominal muscles. Remember to exhale as you bring the legs to center; don’t hold your breath.
Introduction to Supine (On Your Back) Exercises
Exercise is an important part of COVID-19 recovery in order to regain your strength, endurance, flexibility, and ability to fully take part in all aspects of your daily life. Even if you cannot yet tolerate exercise in positions other than on your back or in bed, it is still very important to keep yourself as active as possible.
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).