Stretching in the morning can change your entire day’s dynamic: it helps to relax the muscles, release any tension and stiffness, improve blood circulation and increase energy. All you need is 10-15 minutes in the morning to complete this easy routine of stretches. The only trick to achieving your goal is repeating these exercises every single morning since consistency is always the key to success.
Bright side wants to show you some very simple but highly effective stretching exercises. So tomorrow instead of pressing the “snooze” button or sipping on a fourth cup of coffee, try some of the stretches in this article.
Stretching your neck is a good habit to get into. Keeping your back straight, gently lean your head sideways, then forward and backward. All motions should be slow and gentle, avoiding any pulsing. If it hurts, do not force things. You also can do a neck roll, but be careful not to overextend the neck muscles.
2. Chest, front of shoulders and biceps
While holding a door frame, a wall or a tall chest of drawers with your left arm, lean forward or step with the left leg and rotate your body to the right. Make sure that you turn the whole body, including the hips, not just the back.
3. Upper back and back of shoulders
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or sit on the bed, extending the hands in front of you and slightly rounding your upper back. Be sure to keep your arms straight.
Lift your left arm and drop it behind your head and pull the elbow with your right hand. Make sure that all movements are smooth without any pulsing or bouncing.
Regularly stretching your shoulders and arms is another very good habit to get into. Extend your left arm in front of your chest and pull it close to your body with the other hand. Do not force it if it hurts – all movements have to be gentle and smooth. Repeat with the other arm. Hold for 2-3 slow deep breaths and repeat with the other arm.
Lie down, lift your legs at 90°, reach your right hand over the left knee and rotate the torso to the left. Hold for 5-6 slow deep breaths and repeat with the other side.
While sitting on the floor or bed, extend your right leg straight and cross your left leg over it. Twist the torso to the left and hold for 5-6 slow deep breaths and repeat with the other side.
8. Outer thigh
Using a bed or a wall for support, cross your right leg in front of your left leg and bend your upper body, reaching your right arm up and over your head. Hold for 5-6 slow deep breaths and repeat with the other side.
Use a wall for support if necessary. Place the right leg on a bed, keeping your back leg straight. Keep your entire back straight. If the stretch is too easy to do, increase the height. Hold for 5-6 slow deep breaths and repeat with the other leg.
Use a chair or a wall for support – or nothing if your balance is really good. Keeping the left knee soft, bend the right knee holding it by the foot or ankle. Make sure that your back is straight and avoid bending forward, backward or sideways. Hold for 5-6 slow deep breaths and repeat with the other leg.
Bonus: light massage
If your neck is a bit stiff, a gentle massage will most definitely help. Place your hands where you feel discomfort or pain and massage toward the spine line and then away from it. Keep all movements smooth.
Do you think we failed to mention something that you also find very effective? Write about it in the comments below and share this article with your friends.
Illustrated by Alena Tsarkova for Bright Side