The Perfect Morning Stretch Routine

By: Leslie K. Hughes - Aug 17, 2021

Exercise gets all of the credit for being important for your health. And there are good reasons for that. According to the CDC, benefits of exercise include the improvement of:

● Brain health

● Weight management

● Strengthening bones

● Strengthening muscles

● Reducing disease

● Your ability to do daily activities

Exercise is very important to work into your daily life. And exercise doesn’t have to mean spending an hour at the gym. Exercise can be going on a daily walk through the neighborhood, hiking in your favorite place, or doing yoga. Regardless of what exercise you do, however, it is very important that you stretch. Stretching is underrated for being one of the best things you can do for your body. As stated by Harvard Health, “stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight.”

When the muscles are tight, they are unable to do their job, which can put you at risk for all sorts of issues including joint pain and potential muscle damage. It may feel overwhelming to stretch all of the muscles that you have in your body but don’t worry, you don’t need to do that every day. Instead, focus on the most important areas for mobility. Those areas include:

● Hip flexors

● Quadriceps

● Hamstrings

● Calves

● Neck

● Shoulders

●Lower back

If you’re not sure how to stretch these crucial parts of your body, don’t worry – we are here to help. We have the perfect stretching routine to get your day started and to keep your muscles happy and fully functioning. The sooner that you make this stretch routine part of your morning routine, the better. Regardless of whether you exercised the day prior, and regardless of whether you plan to exercise the day of, stretching is something you need to do. We love doing it in the morning because it helps bring energy into the body, get your blood flowing, and give you a mood boost to start your day.

Here is the stretch routine that we do every day:

Child’s Pose

This is a well-known pose in yoga but is used in all sorts of other exercises and practices, and now will be used in your morning stretch routine.This serves as a great way to stretch your hips, your thighs, your pelvis, and your spine all at the same time. These parts of your body tend to be tight first thing in the morning because you’ve been in bed all night and may not have slept in the most ideal positions. This pose is also great for your mental health. It helps to relieve stress and gives your brain a calm way to start the day.

Here’s how to do it:

● Get on your mat on all fours with your knees right under your hips

● Make sure your big toes are touching (if necessary widen your toes to alleviate pressure on your knees)

● Inhale and lengthen your spine

● Exhale and take your rear back to your hear, tucking your chin to your chest

● Sit here with your forehead on the ground and your arms stretched out in front of you

● Take 5 deep breaths here and release

Mountain Pose

Another popular yoga pose, Mountain Pose may feel like you’re not doing anything, but in reality, you are actually doing a lot. This pose is great for your posture, which is key for those of us who spend most of our days hunched over our computers and phones. It also can help boost your confidence, which is our favorite benefit.

Here’s how to do it:

● Stand tall with your big toes lightly touching or with your feet a few inches apart to aid with balance

● Make sure you are standing equally on both feet and not leaning towards one side or the other more

● Relax your arms so they are at your side but face your palms forward and keep them engaged

● Roll your shoulder blades down your back

● Take 5 deep breaths in and release

Supine Twist Stretch

This twist targets multiple places in one move. This stretch helps your back, your hips, and your glutes at the same time. It also works to open your chest, lengthen your waist, and bring your spine back into its natural range of motion after sleeping. On top of that, you’ll enjoy the benefits of toxin release as you twist and massage your internal organs.

Here’s how to do it:

● Lie on your back and turn your pelvis so that one leg goes over the other

● Turn your head in the opposite direction as your body is twisted

● Hold for 5 seconds, breathing deeply

● Release and repeat on the other side

Glute Bridge

You may see this in exercise videos, but it is a great stretch for your hips. It opens up your hips as well as stretches your hip flexors. On top of that, you get the added benefit of it strengthening your glutes and hamstrings (which is why you may have experienced it while exercising).

Here’s how to do it:

● Lie on your back with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle and feet hip-width apart

● Lay your arms flat by your side, palms down

● Press your hands into the mat as well as your feet as you lift your hips up

● Squeeze your glutes

● Take 5 deep breaths then slowly release

Seated Oblique Stretch

A good backstretch after a long night of sleep can feel great. And this oblique stretch gives you a two-for-one deal. In addition to the backstretch, you also get to target your obliques.

Here’s how to do it:

● Sit cross-legged on the floor

● Lace your fingers together, palms facing upwards

● Raise your arms above your head

● Slowly lean to one side, and take 5 deep breaths

● Repeat on the other side

Forward Fold

This is the perfect conclusion to your morning stretch routine.The forward fold is recognized in yoga as a way to rest and relax and is often where yogis set their intentions for the day. It is also a great way to stretch your hamstrings and take any pressure off your lower back.

Here’s how to do it:

● Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent slightly

● Hinge at your hips, allowing your upper body to hang over your legs

● Either put your hands on the floor, on your legs, on your ankles, or grab opposite elbows

● Take 5 deep breaths as you sway back and forth from side to side

● Shake your head “yes” and “no”

● Draw your navel in towards your spine and slowly roll up to return to standing

Be sure to do these stretches slowly and intentionally to keep your body safe and understand your limits. Do recognize that the more you stretch, the more flexible you will become, so don’t be discouraged if the first week is a struggle. However, we guarantee that after putting this stretching routine into your morning practice, you will feel much better. Not only will your body feel better, but you will notice higher energy levels and better moods as well.

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