Optimized progression of Full-Body In-Bed Gym workout: an educational case report

Published: 23 June 2023
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People suffering from fatigue syndromes spend less time exercising each day, thus aggravating their motor difficulties. Indeed, muscles and mobility deteriorate with age, while exercising muscles is the only sure countermeasure. It is useful to offer a safe and toll-free rehabilitation training: Full-Body In-Bed Gym, easy to learn and performe at home. We suggest a 10–20 min daily routine of easy and safe physical exercises that may improve the main 200 skeletal muscles used for every-day activities. Many of the exercises can be performed in bed (Full-Body In-Bed Gym), so hospital patients can learn this light workout before leaving the hospital. The routine consists of series of repetitions of 15 bodyweight exercises to be performed one after the other without time breaks in between. Alternating sequences of arm and leg exercises are followed by moving body parts in lying and sitting positions in bed. These are followed by series of tiptoeing off the bed. Progressive improvements can be tested by a series of push-ups on the floor. Starting from 3-5, number of repetitions are increased by adding 3 more every week. To maintain or even shorten total daily time of workout each movement is weekly speeded up. The devoted time every morning (or at least five days a week) to train all the major muscles of the body can remain under 10 minutes. Because there are no breaks during and between sets, the final push-ups become very challenging: at the end of the daily workout heart rate, depth and number of ventilations and frontal perspiration increase for a few minutes. We here provide an example of how to implement the progression of the Full-Body In-Bed Gym presenting an educational Case Report of a trained 80-year old person in stable pharmacological managements. In addition to strengthening the main muscles, including the ventilatory muscles, Although performed in bed, Full-Body In-Bed Gym is a resistance training equivalent to a short jog.. Started in early winter and continued regularly throughout spring and summer, Full-Body In-Bed Gym can help maintain independence of frail people, including those younger persons suffering with the fatigue syndrome related to the viral infection of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.



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Ugo Carraro, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Padua, Italy; CIR-Myo-Interdepartmental Research Center of Myology, University of Padova, Padua, Italy; A&C M-C Foundation for Translational Myology, Padua


ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0924-4998

Prof. Ugo Carraro, M.D.,

Senior Scholar of the University of Padova, Italy

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Italy

phone: +39 338 1575745

E-mail: ugo.carraro@unipd.it


Born:                      February 23, 1943, Abano Terme (Padova), Italy

Citizenship:           Italy

Degree and Academic Positions

-       M.D. (Laurea in Medicina e Chirurgia), University of Padua, Italy -1968

-       Associate Professor of General Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Padova,1983-2013

-       Principal Investigator of the Laboratory of Applied Myology of the C.N.R Institute of Neuroscience, 1983-2000

-       Acting-director of the Department of Biomedical Science -1998 to 2003;

-       Principal Investigator of the Translational Myology Lab, Department of Biomedical Science -1998 to 2013

-       Interdepartmental Research Center of Myology (cirMYO), Founder and Head 2005 - 2011

Other Professional Activities

-       1991-2019 – Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Basic Applied Myology: 1991 to date

-       Consultant of I.R.C.C.S. Ospedale San Camillo di Venezia-Lido, Italy

-        Referee for International Journals and Granting Agencies: J Cell Biol, Muscle&Nerve, Artificial Organs, J Muscle Res Cell Motility, Artificial Organs, Cell Death & Differentiation, Annals Thoracic Surgery, Acta Physiologica, The Open Rehabilitation Journal, Association Française contre les Myopathies

-       Organizer of International Conferences and Courses

-       Invited speaker and chairman in International Conferences

Main Research Interests

-       Translational Myology: Basics of muscle plasticity and their applications to medical research, in particular:

  • Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) of denervated human muscle
  • Role of regenerative myogenesis in exercise-induced muscle damage and denervation
  • Reconstruction, neurotization and artificial synaptogenesis of ablated skeletal muscle
  • Analyses in muscle atrophy and apoptosis of role of Cytokines and Myokines by invasive and non-invasive samplings


Achievments and expertises

Prof. Ugo Carraro is a world-class leader in molecular and structural analyses of skeletal muscle. He developed bi-dimensional gel electrophoresis for myosin light chains, in particular the embryonic isoform, and was the first to separate human myosin heavy chain isoforms.

He discovered the long-term potential of denervated muscle to survive denervation by non-compensatory myofiber regeneration.

Prof. Carraro was Associate Professor of General Pathology at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Padova, from 1983 to 2013. Editor-in-Chief of The European Journal of Translational Myology since 1991, he founded and chaired from 2005 to 2011 Interdepartmental Research Center of Myology (CIR-Myo) of the University of Padova. CIR-Myo continue to join scientists and clinicians of the Departments of Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience, Medicine and Surgical Sciences, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Experimental & Clinical Veterinary Sciences.

In collaboration with international partners, in particular the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Electrostimulation and Physical Rehabilitation of the Wilheminenspital, Vienna, Austria, CIR-Myo scientists and clinicians developed and implemented the expertise and facilities to maintain and extend in Interreg IVa a world-unique BIO-BANK of human skeletal muscle biopsies harvested from upper motor neuron and lower motor neuron denervated patients and related animal research, young and senior sportsmen, healthy and diseased elderly persons before and during recovery by new therapies and rehabilitation strategies. In particular, muscle biopsies were harvested from patients affected with spinal cord injury and severe leg trauma, osteoarthropathies and rheumatic autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

CIR-Myo is developing also new imaging methods for functional monitoring of human skeletal muscles from patients suffering with permanent and transient muscle denervation. The collaboration with the Dr. Kern’s Vienna Group resulted in new knowledge and clinical validation of rehabilitation strategies for permanently denervated human muscles using home-based Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES). Thus, a world unique human muscle biopsies DATA-BASE of structural and molecular data obtained by histology, histo- and immuno-chemistry, electron microscopy and genomic/proteomic approaches is available to compare new rehabilitation strategies against standard clinical methods.

Carraro’s Lab matured expertises working on different aspects of muscle biology and pathology, including spinal cord injuries, aging, apoptosis, and muscle regeneration. This full set of methods and expertise are uniquely present at the CIR-Myo of Padova University, and well documented by a list of original results published in leading Journals of the different research fields.

Now Professor Carraro is validating NON-INVASIVE BLOOD ANALYSES to monitor Cytokines (anti- and pro- Inflammatory) and Myokines by saliva and sweat samplings, a very promising approach that will increase acceptability of sampling by volunteering persons and frequency of sampling, a key factor to evaluate the many very transient effects of trainings and rehabilitations in early aging and aging.


PUBMED April 12, 2020: Ugo Carraro 1973 - 2019 - References: 156 - Citations > 3000 –

h-index 44;  h-index 37, excluding self-citations

List of 10 recent publications 2020-2016

  1. Ricciardi C, Edmunds KJ, Recenti M, Sigurdsson S, Gudnason V, Carraro U, Gargiulo P. Assessing cardiovascular risks from a mid-thigh CT image: a tree-based machine learning approach using radiodensitometric distributions. Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 18;10(1):2863. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-59873-9. PMID: 32071412
  2. Carraro U. 2020PMD, 30-years of Translational Mobility Medicine at the time of COVID-19 outbreak: Last-minute forewords from the editor. Eur J Transl Myol 2020;30:8966. Doi 10.4081/ejtm.2019.8966.
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How to Cite

Ravara, B., Giuriati, W., Maccarone, M. C., Kern, H., Masiero, S., & Carraro, U. (2023). Optimized progression of Full-Body In-Bed Gym workout: an educational case report. European Journal of Translational Myology, 33(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/ejtm.2023.11525

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