There are tips and tricks all over the internet, all claiming to know the best way to start, go about, and finish your day. A lot of these crossover – get a good night’s sleep, drink plenty of water, pet your dog – but if you ask me, nothing feels quite as good as a nice stretch first thing in the morning.
Here are 5 basic moves that won’t strain your muscles, but will get your blood flowing while you wait for that first cup of coffee to finish brewing.
Experts say you should give each stretch 15-60 seconds, so really sink into it!
5. Kneeling hip flexor stretches.
Tight hip flexors can cause back and knee pain, so keeping them loose is a great way to avoid injury and pain.
You should put down a towel or a yoga mat and then kneel on the side you want to stretch, putting the other leg out in front of you. Keep your back neutral and your pelvis tucked in, then slowly lunge forward until you feel a nice stretch.
Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds or pulse into and out of the stretch every few seconds. Repeat on the other side, but stop if you feel any lower back pain or pinching.
4. Neck and shoulder rolls.
Slowly roll your neck one direction, then the other, then move on to rolling your shoulders forward and backward.
It’s a simple but effective way to relax some of your stiffest muscles.
3. Butterfly poses.
This is a great way for yoga beginners to stretch their hip flexors, inner thighs, and back.
Sit on the floor with your feet together and knees apart, and the more comfortable you become, the closer you can bring your feet toward your body.
Make sure your bottom stays grounded and that you’re taking long, deep breaths during the process.
2. Forward folds.
You don’t have to be able to touch your toes for this one; it’s still a great move for loosening up your back.
You can either stand up and dive with your upper body toward the ground or sit down with your legs in front of you and reach toward your heels – you can even bend forward in your office chair.
Just make sure that you’re folding at the crease of your hip and not hunching your back.
1. Chest openers.
This move will release the tension in your shoulders and back, and you can do it seated or standing, too.
All you have to do is bring your arms behind your back, interlace your fingers, and pull your shoulders back to stretch your arms backward.
These seem pretty easy to incorporate. Maybe I’ll try it!
What are your favorite stretches to do first thing? Share them with us in the comments!