What we do when we first wake up sets the tone for the whole day. Grumbling and crawling out of bed and then rushing off to work is less than ideal. What if we could make our day better by starting out with a few off the best morning stretches? It seems silly at first, but it might just create a more positive outlook. It’s like a shot of espresso, almost.
Maybe you’re one of those that enjoy mornings, but I know you can benefit from a few stretches. The body is tight when you first wake up because of whatever position you laid in. Typically the chest, shoulders, and hips are tight and the lower back is sore. Stretching will help increase energy and decrease pain.
Did I mention you can definitely do these in your very own bed?? I can’t think of any other excuses. If you are feeling extra motivated, a yoga mat or the plain old floor will do.
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Best Morning Stretches
Here is a collection of 5 stretches that will start your day right. People sleep in all kinds of weird ways and it makes bodies tight and wonky. The focus areas are the chest, back and hips. The chest and hips tighten for the side sleepers. Back and stomach sleepers may find their back is tight upon waking.
The best way is to do each stretch for both sides and for about 30 seconds. Kudos to you for doing more than that. With that logic, it only takes 2.5 minutes to do this. Brew your coffee in the mean time.
The supine twist is great for lower back tightness. It also opens up the chest and stretches the outside of the legs as well. Feel this in your lower back. Stop if you have any pain other than normal tightness.
- Lay on your back
- Bend the right leg in at 90 degrees, keeping left leg out straight
- Cross the right leg over the left
- Look the opposite way and use the left hand to hold the right leg, if needed
This popular yoga pose is great for anyone to do. It opens the low back and the shoulders. You should feel it in the front of your shoulders and lower back. If you can’t sit down completely, that is totally fine.
- Start on your knees, set a bit wider than the hips are
- Reach arms out forward
- Sit back and let the forehead rest
- BONUS: reach to the right and left sides, it is pretty amazing for the side body
- Start on your knees, though this can be done in any position
- Reach the arms behind and clasp the hands
- Open the chest
- If you cannot get the arms to touch use a towel or just grab opposite elbows
Figure Four Stretch
The figure four stretch can be done sitting or laying on the back. The sitting version is better for those who are very tight in the hips. Bring the legs further away from the body for less of a stretch.
- Start sitting with knees bent and arms placed behind for support
- Bring the left ankle over the right knee, feel a stretch in the hips
The forward fold is good for the hamstrings (back of legs) and calves along with the back for some people. It is important to not slouch over too much in this posture. If it is easier, use a towel around the feet.
- Start sitting with legs straight out
- Reach for the toes, but if you cannot reach, use a towel around the feet
Fresh Fitness: These 5 poses are the best morning stretches for a more positive day.