We all want to start our day on the right foot. By feeling rested and ready to take on the day, you get the sense that you can tackle anything that comes your way. Stretching can help you get this feeling.
We all have a morning routine that we repeat daily to help get us going. And there are many benefits to stretching. So, why not add it to your daily morning routine?
If you want to know more about the benefits of stretching and what it can do for you, start by reading my post, Why Should I Care About Stretching Everyday?
I know you know what stretching is, but I think it is important to mention. I want you to keep it in mind as you finish reading this post.
Stretching is act of extending your body or a body part. This tightens your muscles in that area.
I want you to keep this in mind because of what it can do for you and the fact that it won’t take much of your time to do it.
Upper Back Release
This stretch works out your upper back and the back of your shoulders.
Start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Clasp your hands together and round your upper back. Make sure to keep your arms straight.
Focus on rounding your upper back. To know if you have your upper back rounded, your should blades should be spread apart.
Hold this stretch for 2-3 deep breaths.
This stretch targets the chest, front of your shoulders, and biceps.
Start by holding onto a wall or door frame with your left arm. Step forward with your left leg and turn your entire body to the right, paying special attention to your hips.
You should hold this stretch for 4-6 deep breaths. You can increase the stretch with how much you pivot at the hips.
Repeat on the other side.
The targets here are the IT band (outer thigh), obliques and shoulders.
Begin by standing with your right hand on the bed or a wall. Then cross your left leg in front of your right leg, with your feet pointing forward.
Shift into the left hip and reach your left arm up and over your head. This will create a long line from your left ankle to your left fingertips.
Hold this position and take 2-3 deep breaths. Repeat with the right side.
Note: There are many variations to this stretch. If you do not have good balance, crossing your feet can be difficult. If that is the case for you, preform the stretch as seen in the picture.
Seated Spinal Twist
With this stretch you will be targeting the spine, neck and shoulders.
Start by sitting on the floor with your legs together straight out in front of you. Sit up straight to lengthen your spine. Bend your right knee and place if over your left leg.
Then rotate at the waist, placing one hand behind you and the other hand on your outer thigh for support.
If you want to deepen the stretch for your neck, turn your gaze to look over your shoulder as well.
You want to hold this pose for 2-3 deep breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.
This stretch targets your lower back muscles.
To perform this stretch, start by getting down on your hands and knees. With your arms stretched out in front of you, push back until your butt is resting on your heels.
Hold this stretch for 4-6 deep breaths. To get more of a stretch, move back to your hands and knees and repeat.
Standing Forward Bend
The target areas here are the hamstrings and lower back.
Begin by standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips. Allow your upper body to hang over your legs and clasp your elbows.
Note: If you have any lower back issues, do not “hang” from elbows. Instead, place your hands on the floor or on your legs for support.
Hold this position for 2-3 deep breaths. To come up, pull in your abs and gently round up one vertebra at a time.
This will target you calf muscles.
Start by putting your hands flat against a wall. Bring your left foot forward so that the tip of your foot is touching the wall.
Extend your right leg back, making sure to keep your whole foot planted on the ground.
Bend your left knee and push on the wall.
Keep this stretch held for 2-3 deep breaths and repeat with the opposite leg.
The target area here is the quadriceps.
You will begin by holding a chair, the wall or a bed for support. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
Bend your right knee so your foot comes up to your butt and your knee is pointed towards the ground.
Keep your hips and back straight with your head facing forward.
Hold this for 4-6 deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
Keep In Mind with Stretching
Stretching can be one of the best ways to get your day going. It will not only help wake you up and to feel refreshed each morning, but you will get to experience the many benefits that stretching offers.
By stretching in the morning, you will be getting your body ready for whatever the day throws at you. If you are stuck at a computer all day, it will help to alleviate any pains from sitting and being hunched over.
If you end up moving, bending, or lifting a lot, your body will be warmed up for it.
When you stretch in the morning, there will be no challenge you can’t tackle.