One of the BEST things you can do for your body is to:
While we sleep, our bodies move into and out of many different positions. But who knows how long it stays that way?.. Until you wake up and something hurts.. like your neck or back.
Here are 5 quick and easy stretches to start off the morning BEFORE you get out of bed.
Below you can watch a quick video of me performing each stretch. Hold each stretch for 8 to 10 breaths. In the video I just went quickly through each stretch.
Also, read detailed descriptions below the video on how to perform each stretch.
1. “Good Morning” – Lying on your back, reach your arms up over your head, arch your back as it lifts away from the sheets, lengthen your legs and take 2 nice, long, deep breaths in… and out. This stretch is used to wake up your body, lengthen your spine, and lets your body know you are getting ready to move.
2. “Knee-d a Hug” – Lying on your back, draw your knees up toward your chest, wrap your arms around the top or behind your knees and give them a hug.. relax your neck and shoulders. Slowly and gently, rock from side to side. Press your lower back into the mattress and take 5 slow, deep breaths, in… and out. This stretch is great for releasing tightness in the lower back.
3. “Supine Spinal Twist” – Lying on your back with legs extended, draw your right knee up toward the chest and hug it in. Use your left hand to help guide your bent right leg across the left side of the body and let the knee relax down. Open the right arm and turn your head to the right, and take 5 slow, deep breaths in… and out. Repeat for the left side. These stretches feel amazing to the hips, lower back, and chest even!
4. “Hamstring Stretch” – Lying on your back with legs extended, draw your right knee up toward the chest. Wrap both hands around the back of the leg (either above or below the knee) and extend the right foot up toward the ceiling. Pull the leg closer to the chest, and begin to rotate the ankle around in big, slow circles. Taking 5 long, slow, deep breaths.. ease deeper into the stretch. Repeat for the left side. These stretches are important to help loosen up your lower back, hamstrings, hips, knees, and ankles.
5. “Nice Neck” – Follow this sequence in a slow, smooth fashion to avoid any injury. First, sit up tall with your legs draped over the side of your bed, and sit on your hands. Then, tuck your chin to your chest and slowly look down, extending one cervical vertebrae at a time. Slowly lift the head back up. Next, lift the chin as you look up to the ceiling, but do NOT let your head fall all the way back. Second, turn your head and look toward the right, aiming to peer behind the right shoulder. Take 5 deep breaths here, and slowly repeat to the left side. These neck stretches will help to relieve the pain from sleeping on pillows either too big or too small.. and will start to improve your range of motion in the cervical spine.
Please, try these stretches to best of your ability, and if you feel any sharp pain.. you may have gone too far. Let your breathing be your guide, and take it slow! The rest of your day may be filled with the rush, so take this time for YOU. And if it is your first time stretching before you get out of bed, let me know how you feel afterward!
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