In my last post, I talked about the importance of creating a strong morning routine. Stretching is a perfect addition to any morning because it helps to increase your alertness and blood flow, decrease aches and pains, increase your energy, and it’s even been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease by making your blood arteries more flexible.
These are my top 3 morning stretches.
FORWARD FOLD. Your lower back, hips and hamstrings will thank you for this yoga-inspired stretch.
DO IT: If your back is healthy, stand with your feet hip width apart then engage your glutes and abs as you slowly reach for the ground. Bend your knees as necessary. If you need more support and control, sit on the floor and reach forward towards your shins or feet. You can also sit with your back against a wall or use a strap if you need more assistance maintaining the position. Be sure to hinge from your waist instead of simply rounding your back over.
CAT/COW. Just about everything we do is in front of us so it’s good to include movements that open and stretch the front of the body, too.
DO IT: Kneel on all fours, or stand and place your hands on your bed or dresser. Keeping your shoulders down away from your ears, gently alternate rounding and then swaying your back to open your chest. Extend the movement all the way from your head to your tailbone to mobilize your spine as possible.
SIDE BENDS. Stretching the sides of your body can help to bring balance by lengthening the muscles between your ribs (intercostals), as well as your abs, hips and thighs. This can improve your breathing and your digestion, as well as relieve muscle tension in your neck and improve your posture.
DO IT: Sit comfortably on the side of the bed or on the floor. Inhale and raise one arm up above your head beside your ear. As you exhale, keep that arm up as you slide the opposite hand out along the floor or bed and gently lean to to side. Don’t let your buttocks come up as you lean.
Our signature WFF Mobility Drill is a great way to get your morning going, or to add to your exercise warm up. Check it out here .
Tami is the owner of Wildfire Fitness
in Portland, OR. When she’s not helping people live fit, she enjoys sci-fi, growing orchids and doing burpees.