By Brian Ferret
Thank you Andrew for the chance to write on Zen And Weight Loss! It’s an honour and I really appreciate being one of the first few guest bloggers to contribute to your website. Once again, thank you!
In this article, we look at five major morning stretches everyone can do the moment they hop off their bed. Before we do, let’s make a quick note here on how to best take away from this article.
It’s highly recommended that, as you read through this article, you try the stretches yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but our aim is to familiarize yourself with these motions. You can also skim through the reading first then read the article a second time. However suits you best, definitely give these exercises a whirl right now before you walk away from your computer.
So without further ado, here are 5 morning stretching exercises you should do daily right after waking up:
1. Ankle and wrist rotations
If you’re in front of the computer a lot or jog quite often, then this stretch is perfect for you.
Start by interlocking your fingers together. Rotate your wrists by drawing circles with your wrists. Do this 10 times forward, then 10 times in reverse
Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, lean your weight onto one leg and rotate the ankle of your other leg. Keep the base of your toes touching the floor and rotate one direction 10 times, followed by rotating the opposite direction 10 times. Switch legs and repeat.
For an added bonus, do the exercise again but this time with one ankle and both wrists at the same time. 10 times. Switch to your other ankle and do the same 10 times. Feel the burn? Great! Let’s move on.
2. Neck side-to-side stretches + neck rotations
The neck connects the mind to the body. Let’s take care of this connection, beginning with side-to-side stretches.
Standing with feet shoulder-width and hands to the side, let your neck slowly lean to one shoulder. Don’t force your neck. Avoid raising your shoulders. Let your head hang on the side, with your ears over your shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds. Then slowly lift and lean your head to the other shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds.
Then let your head hang forward, with your chin almost touching your chest. Rotate your head all around, while keeping your upper body still. One rotation 10 times, stop, then 10 times the opposite rotation. Feeling a little light headed? Take a deep breathe, and let’s moving.
3. Shoulder rotations
When we work long hours in front of a computer, sometimes we forget how hunched over we are in front of our keyboard. We will do shoulder rotations to correct that.
While standing comfortably, give your shoulders a big, slow, and circular rotation towards your back. 10 times. Now, do the same but with forward rotations 10 times. Perfect. Next stretch!
4. Standing spinal twists
Your spine gives your body its posture and mobility. Aside from the constant leaning and funny posture, stretching your back gives it a chance to loosen up. So let’s do a few spinal twists.
Stand with feet comfortably apart, shoulder-width apart. Raise your hands and elbow (palms face down), up to your chest level. Slowly rotate your upper body, hands and head at the hips. Twist all the way (safely) to one side. Now bring yourself back to the center and relax. Repeat to the other side. 10 times both directions!
You will hear some cracking, and that’s okay. If you have back pain, please take it very slowly. There is no rush. After you loosen up your back, let’s get your sides stretched out as well.
5. Standing side stretches
Standing with your hands to the side, lift one arm up, hands pointing as high as you can. Place the opposite hand on your hips for support and lean your upper body to the side of the hand on your hips. Don’t over do the lean.
As comfortably as you can, stretch and feel the stretch along the side of your body down to your hips and legs. Hold for 10 seconds. Lower your hand and repeat the steps with the other side of your body.
Ankle and wrist rotations
Neck side-to-side stretches + neck rotation
Standing spinal twists
Standing side stretches Bonus 6. Hamstring and calf stretch
Bonus 6. Hamstring and calf stretch Never skip leg day!
Standing strong on one leg, lift the other and place your heel one feet forward in front of you. While keeping your back straight, lean forward from the lower back and maintain your leg positions. Avoid bending your knees because this’ll make your stretch less effective.
I want you to lean forward as far as you can and try to touch your toes. Hold for 10 seconds. Then switch legs.
Annnddd now you’re actually done! So those are our five morning stretches + one bonus stretch.
These stretches are quite universal and you should see them in all sort of warm up routines. Write them down somewhere, learn to practice them every morning right when you wake up, and you’ll be ready to start your day. Every time. Thanks for reading!
Brian Ferret, contributor to Zen And Weight Loss, aim to help educate people on how to create a more healthy, active lifestyle through home exercising. To learn more, visit his website at My Fitness Ferret.