Must do morning stretches. As most of you know I’m a huge fan of stretching. It’s so vital to your well being, both inside and out. This is why I’m a huge believer in performing regular stretches. Even better if you are doing them in the morning, as they are the perfect wake up for your body and mind. In fact, I was travelling recently and it involved walking about 8-9 hours a day. Regular morning stretches saved me from being in a lot of pain.
MUST DO MORNING STRETCHES
Chest. Start this one while you are still in bed and toasty warm under the covers. Reach your arms over your head and stretch out like a little kid would. Make sure you are breathing deeply and then repeat the stretch and slightly arch your back. Your mattress will act like the perfect support for your neck and shoulders.
Shoulder & neck. Sitting up straight on a chair or on the edge of your bed, plant your feet on the floor. Gently tilt just your head to one side and press the opposite hand away from you. Hold for 10 seconds. Then, clasp your hands behind your head and very gently press your chin down toward your chest. In order to target the back of your neck, it’s important to keep your spine as straight as possible.
Side & Spine. Remaining in the same seated position, reach one arm overhead and go into a nice deep side stretch. Hold for about 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. There are many ways to twist your spine, but since it’s still morning, start with lying flat on your back. Bend your knees and let them fall to one side while your torso remains still. You should feel a great release in your lower back.
Hamstring. Since it’s still early, lie down on your back, left leg on the floor and using a belt or a band straighten your right leg toward the ceiling.
Quadriceps. Lying on your side (legs stacked) bend your top knee and gently pull your heel toward your glutes. Don’t arch your back and keep your pelvis in a neutral position. You should also feel this stretch in your hip flexors (the front of your hips).
Hips. I like to finish my morning stretch routine with this one. Lying on your stomach, legs about hip distance apart and hands under your shoulders gently press your torso up while opening your chest toward to the ceiling. Keep your stomach muscles engaged so that you don’t put pressure on your lower back.
Remember that since you aren’t warmed up, these are gentle stretches to get your blood flowing and your body moving. You are waking up your muscles and not performing deep stretches. Hold each one for roughly 10-15 seconds, then get up and have a fabulous day!
Do you stretch first thing in the morning?