What are the Best Morning Stretches?

What are the Best Morning Stretches?

For most people, a morning routine is critical to starting the day. Drinking a cup of coffee, eating a balanced breakfast, and watching television is a great start to the day. While this tradition is enjoyable, adding in a few morning stretches will reinvigorate your entire body. Not only will stretching energize you, but it will also help protect you from encountering injuries. As Long Island physical therapists, we consistently recommend morning stretches as a great way to start the day and prevent injury.

Why Do I Need to Stretch in the Morning?

With tons of Long Island physical therapy patients, we have notice that sleeping habits are different for everyone. Some people spend the entire night lying on their back. Others shift from the side of their body to their back. Regardless of your particular sleeping position, keeping your muscles immobile for an extended period of time causes them to be sore.

Stretching in the morning aims to relieve the uncomfortable feelings that sleeping may cause on your body. Whether you are physically active during the day or lead a sedentary office lifestyle, stretching can yield many positive benefits.

Best Morning Stretches

There are proper stretches for every occasion, and as Long Island physical therapy specialists, we recommend researching proper stretches before different activities.. In most cases, one would not perform the same stretches before an endurance workout as a strength training workout. These are the best stretches to do after waking up to eliminate pain during the day. These particular stretches are similar to static stretches.

Note: If any of these stretches cause pain, contact a Long Island physical therapy professional. Continuing to perform these exercises after they cause pain may worsen the pain.

1. Shoulder Stretch

This stretch will not only help to ease shoulder pain, but also help you to strengthen your flexibility.

Raise your right arm to shoulder height, and point it across the front of your body. Then, with your left hand, pull your right arm closer to the body and hold it. Do this for both arms.

Stretch the shoulders 3-5 times for 30 seconds each.

man doing shoulder stretch in park

2. Triceps Stretch

man doing triceps stretch

Like the other shoulder-focused stretch, the triceps stretch will improve your overall level of flexibility.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and raise your right arm over your head. Then, bend your elbow, placing your right hand on (or near) your left shoulder. Finally, pull the right elbow with your left hand. After you do this, switch arms.

Do this 3-5 times for 30 seconds each.

3. Calf Stretch

To ease any sleeping pains in your feet, hips and knees, the calf stretch is a great place to start. At our Long Island physical therapy office, we emphasize the importance of this stretch.

With your feet planted into the ground shoulder-length apart, stand with your hands against the wall or a chair. Slowly, lean into the wall or chair, keeping your knees straight.

Do this 3-5 times for 30 seconds each.

woman stretching calf

4. Runner’s Stretch

old couple runner's stretch

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be a runner to benefit from the runner’s stretch. Not only will it create more flexibility, but it will also aid in preventing knee pain and hip pain.

While sitting, keep the right leg fully extended straight out and the left tucked in. Leaning in, try to grab your right foot, or stretch until you feel the stretch in your hamstring. Do this with both arms and legs.

Do this 3-5 times for 30 seconds each with both legs.

5. Quads Stretch

In addition to easing bodily stress, stretching the quads may also lessen stress and improve circulation.

Standing with your feet together, bend your right knee and place your right foot backward. Using your right hand, grab your foot, keeping your knee even and your hips straight. Then, switch to the left side of your body.

Do this 3-5 times for 30 seconds each.

middle aged couple quad stretch

6. Butterfly Stretch

butterfly stretch

This stretch is great for opening the thigh and hips, while also increasing flexibility.

In a seated position, bring your feet together out in front of you, keeping them fully aligned with each other. Then, lean forward with your elbows on your thighs.

Do this 305 times for 30 seconds.

7. Standing Side Stretch

This stretch is crucial in protecting your core, spine and lower back from harm. It may also reduce stomach issues for people with regular gastrointestinal issues.

In a standing position, raise both hands over your head and grab the other. Then, lean over to one side while pulling, which will help to loosen the muscles between your core.

Do this 3-5 times for 30 seconds each.

standing side stretch

Change Your Life By Stretching Today

By implementing a regular morning stretching routine, you can experience many benefits. Not only will it help you to feel more comfortable throughout the day, but stretching may also boost your productivity. As Long Island physical therapy specialists, we can attest to the importance of routine, healthy stretching. Contact us for more information about how you can adopt a healthy lifestyle.

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