Stretching is something so important that people often forget to do. Many of us wake up feeling stiffer than usual sometimes, so stretching first thing in the morning is beneficial to help wake up those tired muscles. It helps with blood circulation, maintaining better posture, and even stress relief. Even if you are always on the go, this routine can be quick, easy, and will have you feeling refreshed and ready to start your day!
- Place your hands on the ground beneath your shoulders, palms down.
- Slowly lift your chest off the ground by straightening your arms.
- Gaze upwards, breathing through the stretch and keeping your abdominals engaged.
- Hold for 10 seconds, then come back down towards the floor. Repeat this 5-10 times.
Engaging your abs in this pose is key to help support and protect your lower back. Since this stretch is a backbend, it stretches many muscles in the front of the body. You can decide the intensity of this stretch by doing it on your elbows or your hands.
2. Prayer Stretch/Child’s Pose
- On the floor, start out by kneeling with your feet relaxed back towards the wall behind you.
- Bend forward letting your glutes sink back into your heels, curving the spine as you go back. Bring your forehead towards the ground. You can either extend the arms out in front of you palms facing down or bring them to your sides with your palms facing up.
- Stay here for 10 deep breaths.
3. Butterfly Stretch Hip Opener
- Start out on the floor lying on your back.
- Bring your legs together and bend your knees so that your feet lay flat on the floor in front of you. Slowly open your legs bringing your knees down towards the floor. The bottoms of your feet should naturally come together.
- Bring your arms out at your sides and just relax into the stretch. You should feel it most in your hips and inner thighs. Stay here for 10 deep breaths.
- Start on the floor by lying on your back, legs straight out in front of you.
- Bending your knee, bring one leg up to your chest. Gently grab and hold at the front of the knee, and slowly pull it closer into your chest. Do this for 10 seconds, then release and do the other leg. You can repeat this three times.
5. Seated Forward Fold
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you
- Fold forward at your hips and grab onto the arches of your feet with each hand.
- Lower your chest toward your legs and try to keep your knees as straight as you can. If your hamstrings are super tight, bending your knees a bit will help you lower your chest further.
- Hold for at least five slow deep breaths.
6. Wall Down Dog
- Place your hands on a wall shoulder-width apart, with your wrists at least at hip height.
- Straighten your arms and walk your feet back until your heels are under your sitting bones. Lower your head between your upper arms and keep pressing your hands into the wall.
- Lift your sitting bones and engage your quadriceps. Breathe freely through your nose for 10–15 breaths.
7. Legs Up the Wall
- Lie on your back with your bottom up against the wall.
- Extend your legs straight up on the wall.
- You can stay in this pose for up to 15 minutes!