We all know the feeling. It’s getting later into the evening and you set your alarm early with the intention of working out first thing the following morning. The trouble is, once that alarm sounds and you slowly start to wake-up, you hit snooze because you’re either too tired or sore (or both) to get that early morning workout done. While a morning workout can help you set up for a productive day, sometimes it’s that bit harder to do. With a simple 5-minute morning stretch routine that you can complete in the comfort of your home (and your pyjamas), you’ll be setting yourself up for a productive day one stretch at a time.
Stretching upon waking up helps to get your blood flowing and eases out any stiffness your body may feel after sleeping. Add these simple yoga poses and stretches to your morning routine today to gently get your body moving and set yourself up for a productive day.
Start gently with your stretching by practicing Mountain Pose. Known as Tadasana in yoga, this pose engages your core and helps you practice good posture. To practice this pose, stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly apart or with your feet a short distance apart (if you need more balance). From there, rest your arms by your side but keep them active. Focus on making sure your shoulder blades are tracking down your back, that your neck is elongated, and your palms are engaged and facing forward. Next, inhale and shift your weight forward slightly onto your toes. As you exhale, move your weight back to centre. Repeat for 5 breaths.
Child’s Pose is gentle and restorative making it another great pose to practice in the morning. Start on all fours on a yoga mat. Next, move your knees out to each side of your mat and move your weight back onto your heels with your arms stretched out in front along your mat. Rest with your forehead on the ground between your arms for 5 breaths.
Cat-Cow is an excellent pose for waking up your back muscles and circulating your spinal fluid. Start on all fours on a yoga mat. When you inhale drop your stomach and arch your back. Let your shoulders roll back and your head naturally look up to the ceiling (the Cow). On an exhale, round your upper back and tuck your chin to your chest (the Cat). Repeat this movement for 5 rounds of inhaling and exhaling.
If you spend a lot of your day sitting down, your hip flexors often get tight and hold tension. Release tension in your hips before your day starts with runner’s stretch. Start kneeling on one knee with the other at a 90-degree angle in front. Move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your hip and hold for 30 seconds. After this, straighten the front leg and move your weight into your back leg and hold for 30 seconds. Once complete, repeat this stretch with your other leg in front.
Chest Stretch in Door
To set yourself up with good posture for the day, stretching your chest is vital. Stand in a doorway with your forearms on each side of the doorframe. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
Incorporating morning stretches into your day keeps your body limber and improves your flexibility. This is especially helpful if you’re injury prone or spend your day sitting at a desk. So, if you’re not a morning person or simply don’t enjoy working out in the morning, try this quick stretching routine to get your body moving every morning.
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Livestrong (2017). What are the benefits of stretching in the morning? URL: https://www.livestrong.com/article/430886-what-are-the-benefits-of-stretching-in-the-morning/.
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