There’s no better way to start your day than with a good stretch (no, not even a cup of coffee). It wakes you up, gets your blood flowing, and preps your muscles for the long day ahead. Even just five minutes of stretching early in the morning has found to be beneficial for one’s health.
Here are five simple stretches that are sure to enhance any wakeup routine. Give them a try, and don’t forget to practice safe and proper stretching practices.
- Start out laying flat on your stomach with your arms folded in front of you and your hands flat between your shoulders and the floor.
- Push down while slowly raising your head and chest, while keeping your hips and legs against the ground. Keep going until you’re looking at the ceiling.
- Hold this position for about 20 seconds. Try to relax your neck and shoulders throughout.
- Lower yourself back down to a prone position. Repeat five times.
- Get down on all fours, positioning your shoulders directly above your wrists, your hips directly above your knees, and the tops of your feet flat against the floor.
- Slowly inhale while raising your head towards the ceiling and letting your stomach drop and your back arch inward. Keep your shoulders rolled back and down throughout.
- Slowly exhale while pushing down against the floor with your hands, pulling your stomach back up, and curving your back out. Repeat five times.
- While on all fours, push your hands against the floor and tighten your arms while raising your hips and straightening your legs so that your butt is in the air and your head is close to the floor
- At the same time, inch your hands and feet farther apart until your heels are no longer touching the ground and your weight is on the balls of your feet. Push back against your feet.
- Slowly exhale and roll your shoulders down and back while keeping your back straight.
- Take several deep breaths. For slightly more of a workout, you may want to raise one leg and bend the knee at a time, doing this five times for the length of two deep breaths each bend.
- Lay flat on your back staring straight ahead at the ceiling.
- Reach down with both hands and clasp your fingers behind one leg just above the knee.
- Slowly exhale while pulling your leg up until it is out in front of you with the bottom of your foot looking at the ceiling. Make sure to keep your leg as straight as possible.
- After the length of two deep breaths, slowly lower your leg back down.
- Repeat with each leg five times.
Standing Forward Bend
- Stand at attention with your back straight, shoulder back, chin up, feet side by side, and toes pointed straight ahead.
- Slowly inhale while lifting your hands straight out in front of you, then up above your head.
- Slowly exhale while bending at the hip (not the waist) until your head is close to the floor, keeping your back as straight as possible as you do. Relax your head and neck, but keep your legs straight. Fold your arms while keeping your hands on your elbows.
- Stay there for the length of five deep breaths.
- Release your arms and let them dangle while slowly bending back upward.
- Repeat five times.