Coronavirus Disease (COVID -19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered strain of coronavirus.  The virus that causes Covid-19 attacks the lungs  and the respiratory system. The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from very mild to severe. Some people may have only a few symptoms, and some people may have no symptoms at all. Some people may experience worsened symptoms, such as shortness of breath and pneumonia, about a week after symptoms start. People who are older have a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and the risk increases with age. People who have pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or any other medical conditions that compromises immunity may have a higher risk of serious illness.

In this piece of article I will be talking about various exercises you can do to battle this deadly virus and come out as a winner.  Post covid physiotherapy exercises have been divided into 2 broad categories.
  • Breathing Exercises- these are the most important exercises after covid that will overall help in improving the functioning of your respiratory system and lung capacity
  • Strengthening exercises - this will help you to maintain strength in your body and help in a faster post covid recovery. Anyone can benefit from these post covid exercises, but they play an especially important role in the COVID-19 recovery process. The exercises after covid can be started at home during self-isolation and easily incorporated into your daily routine

 Benefits of Exercise after Covid

  • Restore function of diaphragm and other respiratory muscles
  • Increase lung capacity
  • Reduce anxiety and stress
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Improve joint mobility
  • Improve strength and endurance
  • Avoid secondary infection of the respiratory system


  1. Diaphragmatic breathing technique

This technique of breathing helps you to use diaphragm effectively which is the most important muscle of breathing. Follow the below mentioned steps to perform diaphragmatic breathing. 


  • Lie on your back and bend your knees so that the bottom of your feet are resting on the bed.
  • Place your hands on top of your stomach  so that you can feel the movement of the stomach
  • Breathe in through the nose and pull air down into your stomach. As you breath in the stomach bulges and your hand will be raised up
  • Slowly exhale your breath through the nose.
  • Repeat deep breaths for 1-2 minutes.

  1. Pursed lip breathing technique

Pursed lip breathing is an important exercise for anyone who is suffering from respiratory distress, It gets more oxygen into your lungs than regular breathing can. It also keeps your airways open longer by reducing the number of breaths you take per minute.  Follow the below mentioned steps to perform diaphragmatic breathing. 


  • Relax in a seated position with your neck and shoulder muscles unclenched.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose for 2 counts with your mouth closed.  
  • Before exhaling, purse your lips, as if you were going to blow a whistle or flicker the flame of a candle.
  • Keeping your lips pursed, breathe out all of the air in your lungs slowly for a count of 4.
  • Repeat this for 1-2 minutes.


  1. Chest opener breathing technique

This technique helps you to make use of your accessory muscles of breathing, it works really well when there is severe weakness of the diaphragm and other muscles of respiration. To perform this exercise   





  • Relax in a seated position with your neck and shoulder muscles unclenched and your arms held in front with the palms touching each other.
  •   Breathe in slowly through your nose with your mouth closed and while you breath in, open your arms so that at the end of inhalation your arms are by the side of your body in line with the shoulders.
  • Breath out gently through your mouth(you can also use a purse lip technique mentioned above) and while breathing out bring your arms back to the starting position 
  • Make sure the time taken for inhalation/exhalation and the simultaneous arm movement is the same.
  • Repeat this for 10-12 repetitions.


  1. Prone Breathing technique (Proning)

When we talk about exercise after covid, Prone breathing technique is by far the best exercise. Proning position is now being actively recommended to COVID+ patients under home isolation and fluctuating SPo2 levels to boost their oxygen levels. It is also considered to be a medically approved self-therapy to boost their Spo2 levels. To perform this technique, 


  • Lie on your stomach and rest your head on your hands to allow room to breathe.
  • Breathe in through your nose and pull air down into your stomach. Try to focus on your stomach pushing into the mattress/mat as you breathe.
  • Slowly exhale through your nose.
  • Repeat deep breaths for 1-2 minutes.



Strengthening exercise after covid is a must for all age groups. It helps to bring back the normal function of the musculoskeletal system by improving joint mobility, muscle flexibility and strength. Return to strength exercise post covid should be slow and done at your own comfort level.


  1. Bridging

Bridging mainly focuses on strengthening your gluteus Maximus muscle which stabilises your hips and spine. To perform this exercise,  


  • lie down on your back with your knees bent and foot flat on the ground, make sure the knees and the foot are in line with your hips and your toes are pointed straight.
  • Lift your hips off the ground by squeezing your gluteus and making sure the spine is in a neutral position.
  • You can hold the position for 5-10 secs and repeat 10-12 times


  1. Side lying leg raise

This  exercise mainly works on the side of your hips. To perform this exercise,  


  • Lie down on your left side on a mat or the floor. Your body should be in a straight line with your legs extended and feet stacked on top of each other.
  • Place your left arm straight on the floor under your head or bend your elbow and cradle your head for support. Place your right hand in front for extra support or let it rest on your leg or hip.
  • As you exhale, gently raise your left leg off the lower leg to around 30 degrees.
  • Inhale and lower the leg back down to meet the right leg. Stack your feet again.
  • Repeat 10-12 times, then switch to the other side.

  1. Knee extensions

This exercise helps in maintaining the functionality of the knee joint and strengthening of the quadriceps muscles. To perform this exercise,  






  • Sit up tall with your shoulders back and down and lift the right leg up, extending at the knee.
  • Hold briefly at the top of the movement, squeezing the muscles at the front of the thigh before lowering your leg back down.
  • Ensure the movement is slow and controlled.
  • Repeat the same with the left leg and keep alternating ensuring full knee extension (leg completely straight).
  • Repeat  10-12 repetitions on each side.


  1. Cobra press ups

Cobra Press-Up is a great exercise that incorporates mobility work for your lower back, stretching your abdominals and hip flexors and also adds in strengthening work for the arms and shoulders. To perform this exercise,


  • lay face down on the floor with your thighs and chest flat on the floor.
  • Put your hand's palms down onto the floor under your shoulders.
  • Your lower body is to stay flush on the ground as you breathe out, you extend your elbows to push your upper body off the ground (do not use your torso and hip area to help push-up).
  • Once your arms are fully extended Hold for 3-5 seconds. And then slowly lower down your body
  • Repeat 10-12 repetitions


All the post covid physiotherapy exercises mentioned here can be safely practiced at home and it should help you to overall improve your respiratory function, reduce stress and anxiety and make you stronger. Return to exercise after covid should be  gradual as per your tolerance and carried out multiple times in a day and equal importance should be given to post covid diet. I strongly recommend that you consult your doctor or physiotherapist in case you have difficulty in breathing or show any other cardiac or respiratory symptoms during any of the above mentioned exercises.

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