Stretching in the morning is not just something you do in bed when you don’t want to get up yet. It is actually a great way to get your body active in many senses, from your mind to your heart and blood, and your overall metabolism. These are some of the best stretches to do in the morning in just a few minutes, giving you a great start to your day and improving your overall health and flexibility.
Best Morning Stretches: Reach Far
The first morning stretch is a very instinctive stretch for many people: reach as far as you can in opposite directions with your fingertips and your toes. This stretch is a great one to do while still in bed, if you have space to reach back above your head (if you don’t, move a foot or two toward the foot of your bed).
To do the “reach far” stretch, just point your toes away from you, and reach your hands above your head. Then stretch simultaneously in both directions and hold for 10 seconds before relaxing again, and repeating 2-3 more times. This stretch will get blood flowing to all of your muscles as they all work to tense up when you stretch.
Best Morning Stretches: Toe Touches
The next stretch works very well in combination with reaching far, as anybody who does Pilates will know. From the “reach far” stretch position, bring your hands slowly up so they are right above your eyes, and keep going down from there to your toes. This stretch should be done very slowly, rolling each vertebrae of the back up.
Once you are touching your toes, or as close as you can get, and have held that position for a few seconds, reverse the motion to go back down. End with a good “reach far” stretch, and then repeat the “toe touches” for a few more rounds.
Best Morning Stretches: Side Bends and Torso Twists
Once you are awake enough to sit on the edge of your bed, you can move on to the next morning stretch: side bends and torso twists. These will get any kinks out of your back before you are standing all the way up.
The first stretch, the “side bends,” will stretch your oblique abdominals and other muscles along your side. From a sitting position, lean sideways, dipping one shoulder toward the ground. Lift the opposite arm up, and reach with it toward that same side. Hold for 10 seconds, and then switch to the other side, and do a couple more full repetitions of that set.
Next, do a few “torso twists,” which are the last step before you are ready to get up and start your day. Still seated on the edge of your bed and your hips stationary, fold your arms across your chest and twist your upper body to one side. Your head and shoulders will be facing the side, while your hips and legs face forward. Hold 5 seconds, and slowly twist to the other side, and then repeat the whole process a couple more times.