Waking up in the morning and moving around is not always easy. Some days you may wake up feeling sluggish, achy, and tense, possibly due to having moved less during the day or worked long hours at your PC.
Have you considered doing stretches in the morning to gently ease yourself into the day? Some studies suggest that stretching, along with other forms of regular exercise, can help you relax, increase your flexibility, reduce lower back pain, and manage other health problems.
Therefore, to start your day off right, take a few minutes each morning to stretch your essential muscle groups. Here’s a morning exercise routine that consists of 10 easy stretching. You’ll start lying in bed and end with your feet firmly on the floor – so you’re ready for the day ahead. Hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds and repeat 2-3 times, especially if your muscles and joints feel tight.
Stretching exercises in bed
1. Knee to chest
While lying on your back, pull one knee toward your chest and hold it with your arms or hands for about 10 seconds. You should feel a pleasant stretch in your lower back. After that, switch legs. If it feels comfortable, you can also do this stretching exercise by pulling both knees toward you at the same time.
2. Supine spinal twist
This pose is called “Supta Matsyendrasana” in yoga. While lying on your back, lift one of your knees and gently roll it to the opposite side. Make sure that both of your shoulders are always touching the bed. When the stretch feels comfortable, extend one arm out to the side, keeping it in line with your shoulders, and slowly turn your head toward the extended arm. With the other hand, push the bent knee toward the bed. You should feel the stretch on the sides of your torso and lower back. Take a deep breath and repeat on the other side.
3. Cobra stretch
Lie on your stomach and position your hands directly under your shoulders. The legs lie stretched out on the bed. Support your elbows at your sides and gently lift your head and chest, keeping your hips and groin on the bed. If it feels comfortable, you can increase the stretch slightly by lifting your abdomen off the bed as well. Remember to relax your neck and shoulders. Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds and when you are ready, gently lower yourself back down.
Sitting stretching exercises
As soon as you feel more awake, you need to slowly get out of bed a little further.
4. Upper back stretching
Sit on the edge of the bed and place your feet on the floor. Interlace your fingers and extend your hands forward, bending from your mid-back. Stretch forward with your hands at shoulder level. Let your head hang down in front so that your chin pulls toward your sternum. You should feel the stretch between your shoulder blades. Then move your arms back, stretched through, at shoulder level. Do 6-10 repetitions.
5. Stretch the neck
Relax your shoulders and gently lower your left ear toward your left shoulder, using your left arm to help you. Stretch only as far as feels comfortable. Hold the position for 15-20 seconds and slowly repeat on the other side.
6. Stretch the shoulders
Stretch the shoulder blades back and down and stretch one arm across the body. Gently reinforce the stretch by bending the other arm at the elbow and pulling it across the stretched one. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Stretching exercises while standing
You will hopefully feel a bit more awake by now and your eyelids will slowly start to open. When you are ready, stand up and perform the final stretching exercises.
7. Lateral stretch
Stand hip-width apart and interlace your hands above your head. Gently tilt your body to one side so that you feel a deep stretch along the side of your body. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
8. quadriceps stretch while standing
Stand upright and hold onto the wall or a chair if needed. The feet are hip-width apart. Reach back with your left hand and grasp your left foot. Keep your thighs side by side and your left leg in line with your hip. Feel the stretch in your left thigh and hip. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right leg.
9. Hamstring stretch
Stand upright and slightly bend one knee as if to sit on the bed. Stand the other leg upright with the toes pointing toward the ceiling. Bend forward from the hips to feel a comfortable stretch along the back of the extended leg. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
10. Achilles tendon and calf stretching
Stand with your hands against a wall. Bend the front leg and push the back leg through. Gently press the heel towards the floor to feel a pleasant stretch in the back of the calf. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds and repeat the exercise with the other leg.
Its important to listen to your body every day and do these stretches at your own pace. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel very flexible at first. With regular practice, your body should become more relaxed, and you can stretch the muscles a little more each day.
All you need to do is feel a comfortable stretch without pain. If you feel a sharp or stabbing pain during an exercise, you need to stop the exercise for a short time.
Finally, if you have an injury, talk to your doctor or physical therapist first so they can recommend a stretching program tailored to you.