Sharing some benefits of stretching in the morning + my favorite morning stretches.
Hi friends! Happy Monday! How was the weekend? Ours was a busy and fun one! Liv’s team crushed it in their last dance competition of the season, and she placed 7th overall for her solo! It was very exciting 🙂
Today, I’m going to chat a bit about stretching. While the research is mixed on stretching, I feel like it can be extremely beneficial. When you stretch, you’re taking your muscles and joints through full range of motion. When you have full range of motion, you’re less likely to compensate during your activities. Compensation can lead to muscle imbalances, altered movement patterns, and injury. Also, stretching feels good!!
Morning is a great time to get in a gentle stretch; it’s just important to remember to move slowly, especially since you’ve been (mostly) still all night.
(Top here // sports bra // shorts)
In today’s post, I’m going to share some of the benefits of stretching in the morning, some of my favorite stretches, and offer tips on how to incorporate it into your daily routine.
5 Benefits of stretching in the morning
Regular stretching can help improve your flexibility and range of motion. This can help you perform daily activities with ease and reduce the risk of injury.
Can reduce stress and tension:
Stretching can help release tension in your muscles, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. It also promotes relaxation and can help you feel more calm and centered throughout the day.
Can improve circulation:
Stretching can help improve circulation by increasing blood flow to your muscles. This can help improve energy levels and reduce fatigue.
Regular stretching can help improve your posture by lengthening tight muscles and reducing tension in your neck, shoulders, and back. This can help reduce the risk of chronic pain and injury.
Stretching releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. Starting your day with a quick stretch can help you feel more energized and positive throughout the day.
So, how can you incorporate stretching into your morning routine?
Here are a few tips:
Start small: If you’re new to stretching, start with just a few basic stretches and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time.
Be gentle: Don’t push yourself too hard when stretching. Stretch to the point of mild tension, but not pain.
Breathe: Focus on your breath while stretching. Inhale deeply as you stretch, and exhale as you release the stretch.Listen to your body: If a stretch feels uncomfortable or painful, stop and try a different stretch or modify the stretch.
Best Morning Stretches
Some of my favorite morning stretches:
Seated forward fold:
bend your knees as much as you need to, and make sure that the stretch is coming from your hamstrings and not your low back. Think about tilting your pelvis forward to really feel the stretch in the back of your legs.
do this one very gently, especially if you’re just waking up! Think about creating length in the spine and exhale to twist.
Side body stretch:
this is a great stretch for the side of your core and your intercostal muscles between your ribs. Every time you exhale, try to reach just a little bit farther.
(it was hard to get a good pic of this one but it feels GLORIOUS):
prop up some pillow to that they’re in line with your spine (vertical) and lie down on top of the pillows. Open your arms wide, either bent at the elbows, or almost straight. Enjoy the stretch in the chest and shoulders; these muscles tend to be tight for a lot of us!
Place your hand gently on the top of your head as you let it fall towards one shoulder. Make sure to keep your shoulders down and breathe deeply. The hand shouldn’t be actively pressing down; just some extra resistance.
Incorporate stretching into your daily routine:
Try to make stretching a habit by incorporating it into your daily routine. You can do a few stretches while waiting for your coffee to brew, while brushing your teeth, or while waiting for your computer to start up.In conclusion, stretching in the morning offers a variety of benefits for both the body and mind.
By incorporating a few simple stretches into your morning routine, you can increase flexibility, reduce stress and tension, and improve overall health and well-being. So, set aside a few minutes each morning to stretch and start your day off on the right foot!
So, tell me, friends: are you going to take a 5-minute stretch break?? Let me know if you try the stretches above!
Check out this post on bedtime stretches
Total body stretching video