Stretching in the morning is such an important part of my daily routine. Sitting in front of a computer all day, I have noticed that consistent stretching in the morning has drastically helped to improve my posture, provide me with more energy for the day and relieves many aches in pains in my body. Additionally, after sleeping for 7-8 hours I love to get my blood flow circulating and feel great for the day ahead. The best part about stretching in the morning is that you only need a few minutes to do it and you can be on your way in no time! Here are five stretches you should incorporate into your morning routine:
1) Side Stretch – Place your feet about one fist distance apart. Place your Right Arm Straight up to the air and grab on to your right arm wrist with your left hand. Gently pull your right arm towards your left side until you feel your deepest stretch. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat with left Arm. This stretch is great for elongating the body and stretching the sides.
2) Forward Bend – Standing with feet hip with apart and parallel bend from your waist slow to ultimately place your hands on your feet, in front of your feet, or on your ankles depending on where you are most comfortable. Hold for 15 seconds then repeat again challenging yourself to go further down! This exercise is amazing for a deep hamstring stretch and for lengthening your torso.
3) Quad Stretch – Hold on to a sturdy object or you can free stand without anything (depending on balance). Bend your right leg back until the top of your foot/ankle meets your right hand. Hold here for 15 seconds and repeat with left leg.
4) Chest Stretch – Interlace your fingertips behind your head. Once there, extend your arms straight back (slightly upward) until you feel your comfortable deep stretch. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat one more time.
TIP: As you extend arms back try to keep your abs pulled in tight for a deeper stretch and core strengthening.
5) Forward Lunge Stretch – Standing with your feet together both facing forward, step forward with your right leg and extend your left leg straight back. Sink low into the stretch until your right leg is in a 90 degree angle, never allowing your knee to extend over your ankle. Place your hands on your hip or top of your right thigh. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat with left leg. This stretch is amazing for your hip flexors!
Two important things to remember when performing these stretches are to take deep inhales and exhales as you are stretching and only pushing your body to its comfortable point of stretching. What are some of your favorite morning stretches??
AUTHOR: Melissa Eckman
img source: republicofyou.com.au