Stretching is something we often forget to do even though it can make such a big impact on our day. A lot of the tension and stress we carry around in our bodies also gets carried to our thoughts, mood, and emotions as well.
Taking just 10 to 20 minutes to stretch each morning before starting our day will make us more prepared to take the day head on without the interference of negative thoughts and emotions. More importantly, it will give us a much better handle on our stress and improve productivity.
If that’s not enough reason to begin stretching, then consider the positive affects stretching has on the body physically. It improves blood flow, range of motion, flexibility, posture, energy, and athleticism, just to name a few. It even reduces risk of injury, muscle soreness, and cholesterol.
Question is, what stretches should we be doing right when we wake up and which body parts should we work on? Don’t worry, because this post has got you covered!
1. NECK & SHOULDERS:
- Neck Stretch – To complete the neck stretch, simply tilt your left ear to your left shoulder and hold it there for 25 seconds. Roll your shoulders back, then forward. Tense your shoulders and lift them up to your ears. Now let them drop completely. Tilt your right to ear your right shoulder for 25 seconds and roll your shoulders once again.
- Standing Wall Stretch – Stand straight about two feet apart from the nearest wall. Straighten hands out in front of you with palms on the wall forming a ninety degree angle with your body. Lean forward at the hips and hold there for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Triceps Stretch – It’s important to stretch the triceps as they help to support the shoulder and upper body. The best way to do this is by lifting your left arm over and behind your head, while holding your left elbow with your right arm. Hold this position for 30 to 45 seconds and repeat with the right arm.
Next up, we have the spine, which I find is always best to stretch and work on in the morning. These should definitely wake you up, help energize your day, and get rid of the tension and stress in your back.
- Spinal Trunk Rotation – This is one of my favorite all-time stretches. To complete a spinal trunk rotation, lay down on your back with your feet together. Bend and bring both knees up in the air together. Keep your palms on the ground and exhale as you bring both knees down to the right side. Hold this position for 45 seconds and then repeat by bringing them down to the left side.
- Simple Spine Stretch – Sit on the floor with your feet spread out in front of you, making space in the middle for you to extend your arms on the ground in front of you and bending your back forward from the hips. Draw your chin inwards and while keeping your face down. Hold position for 40 seconds.
Want to take your stretching even further and melt all that tension and stress in your body? Check out the Trigger Point GRID foam roller, which I use everyday to be in the best possible physical condition 🙂
The hips are such an important body part to stretch on a daily basis since it tends to hold a lot of stress and tension from all the sitting that we do. If there is one body part or muscle group to stretch in the mornings, than it should be the hips!
- Butterfly Stretch – Sit tall and straight with your feet out in front of you. Pull both feet towards you and press them together. Hold your feet together, drop your knees, and lean forward from the hips. Hold this position for 40 seconds.
- Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch – With your right knee on the ground and the left knee out in front of you, tilt your body forward until you feel a stretch in your right hip flexor. Do the same thing with the opposite knee and hold each position for 40 seconds. Need some deeper hip stretches? This post (with included videos) will definitely help you out!
4. LOWER BODY:
- Quad Stretch – Stand tall with both feet together. Lift your right foot up to your right hand and hold for 30 to 45 seconds. Repeat with other leg.
- Calf Stretch – To complete this simple stretch, find a wall that’s closest to you. Lift your foot up at an angle, and press it against the wall for 30 seconds. Repeat stretch with other calf. Check this post out to learn how to tone and strengthen your calves!
These are the stretches I find work best for me in the morning. I know it might feel like a lot, but they’re extremely helpful. Best way to be consistent at stretching each morning is by slowly implementing them into your routine and being aware of the benefits they provide. You could even spread them out, do your neck and shoulders right when you’re awake, and then work on your calves and quads while you’re in the shower.
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Anyway, those are my tips and the next time you’re ready to hit that snooze button, work on these stretches! It could make the world a difference in how you feel through out your day(s)! Have any you’d like to add? Leave ’em in the comments down below 🙂