Looking for ideas for a really easy (like frail-80-year-old level) core workout ideas

As I’ve posted a couple of times before, I’ve been struggling the past few years with severe muscle weakness and wasting (due to some autoimmune disorders). The diseases themselves appear to be in check, so that’s fantastic, but of course the muscles don’t put themselves back once they’ve wasted away. I’m in PT, but I’ve got a lot of issues to work on and we only get so much time. Right now, we’re primarily focusing on the areas most profoundly affected (mostly hips and a bit of shoulders) but my core, well, it just sucks too. Being bedridden for most of a year would be enough to do that even without the disease, I imagine.

My goals are to be able to sit up from lying down on the ground (I can do this on a bed by swinging my legs out), and to be able to get up on my hands and knees. These are both early stages to being able to get off the ground by myself. Right now, if I fall, I can’t get up. I just fell today and I really want to be prepared for next time. (No worries, I’m fine, only damage was a broken pair of cheap glasses, and my pride.)

So, in between PT sessions, I’d like some ideas for extra exercises for my core. My therapist has given me one to work on, but I’d really like more (and he says more exercise is fine).

So, TLDR, does anyone have suggestions for ab/core exercises which:

1 - Can be done standing, in a chair, recliner, or on a bed (I have a Sleep Number so it can be really firm or really soft)
2 - Require no equipment other than dumbbells or resistance bands
3 - Are relatively easy. Think what an average Life Alert customer could manage. :slight_smile:

A bonus would be exercises that are adaptable to some range of difficulty levels, but any suggestions are appreciated. Some things won’t work for me due to range of motion and mobility issues, but it would take forever to try to explain my weird issues, so I just thought I’d pool ideas and see what works best for me.

Thanks all!

Your therapist really should be able to point you to more extra stuff to do and would be in the best position to know what is most realistic for you.

Personally I’d think standing holding on lightly for support and working on trying to stand on one foot even briefly then alternating and trying to work on partially squatting up/down holding on as lightly as possible. You use core to balance yourself on the one foot. Possibly advancing to holding lightly with one hand and a light dumbell in the other at the side that you raise and lower.

Standing support your upper body on your things with your hands and bend forward then back up helping push yourself up with your arms if you need to.

In bed, fully firm, do crunches as best you can. That just means trying to use you belly muscles to make the small of your back go flat and thereby slightly raise up your shoulders. Once you cn do that well add a rotational component - i.e. twist a bit to one side as your shoulder comes

Also in bed try to do single leg raises both straight and pulling your knee towards your chest.

Bottomline: try to break down your process of how you’d get up from the floor into small individual bits and work on the individual bits from positions of safety and then try to tie them together one by one and add whatever balance work you can manage (which will help avoid the falls as well).

Good luck!

You can try sucking in your stomach. It works by sucking in your stomach until you feel the muscles in your back tighten up. Try to hold it in like that for 30 seconds, and for three repetitions.

Once you can do three reps of 30 seconds, then increase by 15 seconds.