5 morning stretches to help start your day.
We should all take a leaf out of a dog’s book and start stretching more. Have you ever noticed how every time your dog or cat stand up, they do that suuuuper dramatic stretch? Well, it turns out they might be onto something…. the need we all have of stretching!
Introducing some simple stretches into your morning routine can benefit you in a number of ways, including boosting your energy – which means you can skip that morning coffee and simply stretch it out instead! Not only do stretches clear your mind, but they can also improve your posture, which is ideal for those of us who opt to work from the sofa instead of a work desk (like me).
Child’s Pose Stretch
Child’s pose is great for gently stretching out your spine, pelvis, thighs, and hips – all of which can be a bit stiff when you wake up in the morning.
This pose can feel really great if you’ve slept weird or in an uncomfortable position. Child’s pose stretch also relaxes the brain and is a great stress and fatigue reliever! I honestly can’t think of a better way to start the day!
- Begin kneeling down with your big toes touching one another and your knees hip-width apart.
- As you breathe out, lower your torso between your knees, extending your arms alongside your torso with the palms facing down.
- Relax your shoulders towards the ground.
- You will feel a nice stretch down your spine.
- Rest for as long as you’d like.
This is a nice stretch to do after Child’s Pose, as it will help increase the circulation of your spinal fluid when paired together – and let’s face it, you’re down there anyway so you might as well just do it!
Cat-Cow is also such a satisfying stretch to do, as you can feel the tension in your spine being worked out.
- Start on all fours, while keeping your feet flat.
- Keep your knees directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders.
- As you take a breath in, drop your stomach, let your back arch and look slightly up.
- As you exhale, push your hands into the ground and round your back up (like a cat).
- Continue arching with inhales and rounding with exhales.
Okay, you’ve done some pretty tough ones for first thing in the morning. How about we mix a nice and easy one in here? Upward stretch is a great way to get the blood flowing in the morning!
- Sit on a mat with your legs crossed.
- Inhale and reach your interlocked fingers above your head and to the ceiling.
- Extend your spine and feel the stretch in your ribcage and your arms.
- Hold your stretch for 10 seconds.
- You can incorporate some side stretches if you’re feeling fancy!
Neck and Shoulder Stretch
You probably know this already, but craning your neck all day while looking at a screen is definitely not ideal. So to help release some of that built-up tension in your neck, try working in some neck stretches in the morning.
- Turn your left ear over to your left shoulder and hold for 20 seconds, repeat on the other side.
- Relax for a moment and then roll your shoulders back, then roll them to the front.
- Lift your shoulders up to your ears, then drop them down gently.
- Repeat this exercise 5 times.
You can probably skip this step if you wanted to, but I think jumping jacks are a great way to jump into your morning, get your adrenaline pumping, and get the blood flowing!
- Stand upright with your legs together and your arms by your side.
- Bending your knees, jump into the air.
- As you jump, spread your legs shoulder-width apart and stretch your arms out and over your head.
- Jump back to starting position.