A morning stretching routine can be a great way to get going every day. Research shows that stretching has several benefits. It can improve range of motion and help to relieve muscle soreness. Stretching improves blood flow throughout the body and reduces back pain in many adults. A good stretching program can even improve people’s posture. Finally, stretching can be effective in helping people to manage their stress.
So what are the best stretches to start your day? While there are many stretches that can make the body feel good, it’s a good idea to start with lower back stretches and big muscle groups in the morning. Stretching to improve the way the spine, shoulders, and legs feel sets people up for success and natural movement throughout the day.
Start with the lower back, a common problem area for adults. Paying a little bit of extra attention to the lower back is a good idea. Lumbar flexion can be done by anyone in normal health, with no bulging, or herniated discs. Perform this stretch in a seated position with both feet on the floor. Bend forward, reaching for your feet. Then arch your back and hold the position for ten seconds.
The shoulders are a big muscle group that can hold a lot of tension. Starting the day with a shoulder stretch can be a great way to feel refreshed and ready to go. A seated shoulder shrug is a simple and effective stretch. Start in a seated position with feet on the floor. Shrug the shoulders up to the ear and hold for a second or two. Another great shoulder stretch is to lace the fingers together and raise them over the head. The palms should be facing the ceiling. This stretch offers a great release.
Finally, address the legs. The quads, located at the front of the thigh, are the largest muscle group in the body. A standing quad stretch is a great way to loosen any tension at the start of the day. Stand on one leg and hold something stable if needed. Bend one knee, grab the ankle and hold it from behind. Perform this stretch on both sides, for fifteen seconds at a time.