The fit-for-work workout for nurses

Prone cobra

Strengthens the muscles of the upper back and the back of the shoulders while stretching the front of the shoulders and chest

  • Before getting out of bed, position yourself comfortably on your stomach with your arms by your side, palms up. Take a deep breath exhale as you count to four and squeeze your shoulder blades together as tightly as possible, lifting your face away from the mattress. Inhale and lower your face gently back down to the mattress. Repeat five or more times as tolerated.

Pelvic tilt

Strengthens the lower abdominals while stretching the spinal erector muscles and other pelvic stabilization muscles

  • On the floor or your bed, lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and hip-width apart. Place your arms by your side, palms up. Take a deep breath, then as you exhale, squeeze your buttocks tightly and tilt your pelvis up slightly. (It’s a small move.) Hold for a count of four, then on an inhale, relax your buttocks and slowly lower down. Repeat as many times as you can without strain, working up to 20 repetitions.

Hip press

Strengthens the spinal erector muscles, buttocks and hamstrings while stretching the abdominals, hip flexors and quadriceps

  • On the floor or your bed, lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and hip-width apart. Place your arms by your side, palms up. Take a deep breath, then as you exhale, squeeze the muscles in your buttocks, press your feet into the mattress or floor and raise your hips up until you feel a good stretch in the front of your legs and pelvis. Hold the position for a count of 10, breathing slowly, then on an inhale, slowly lower your hips. Repeat as many times as you can without strain, working up to 20 repetitions.

One-leg glute press

Strengthens the muscles in the backs of the legs, buttocks and lower back; stabilizes the sacrum and pelvis

  • On the floor or your bed, lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and hip-width apart, arms along your side. Extend your right leg straight out, take a deep breath, then as you exhale, squeeze the muscles in your buttocks and raise your hips up so they form a straight line from your upper back to your knees. Hold the position for a count of five to 10, breathing. On an inhale, slowly lower your hips. Repeat as many times as you can without strain, working up to 20 repetitions; switch sides.

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