The best morning stretches

Here are four stretches to add to your morning routine to feel strong, flexible and grounded. These exercises cover all your major muscles groups and can be completed at any time of day, including after your workouts.

What are the best stretches to do in the morning?

Spending time specifically moving the body when you first wake up is invaluable for warming up muscles, getting blood flowing and increasing overall energy.  Like a car, we need a bit of time to allow the engine to warm up!  

1. Waist Twist

A good one for warming up the spine and promoting good posture throughout your day. Sit with your legs in front of you or it can be done standing. Rotate to one side starting from the head. Keep you pelvic facing forward and balanced with the use of your pelvic floor & core as you rotate. Hold for a breath and on the exhale return to the start position.  Repeat on the other side.

2. Mermaid

Kneel on the mat sitting on heels. Lower the pelvis off the heels onto one side and adjust the legs appropriately by opening the knees. Place the hand on your ankle and the other arm out to the side of your body. Inhale as you lift one arm up directly to the side of your head. Exhale as you reach up and over bending your spine to the side.  The other arm will slide along the mat as a support. Straighten the arm and return the spine back to its vertical position. Lower the arm. Raise the other arm and repeat the same movement on the other side. Keep your abdominals connected and prevent lifting the ribcage as this will avoid extension of the spine.

3. Roll Downs

With your legs shoulder width apart (standing), activating from your head, start to roll forward towards the floor, with a small tuck of the head. Connect your pelvic floor and core as you scoop up your tummy and send your tailbone down towards your heels, lengthening your spine. Keep rolling forward so your head is almost hanging in front of your knees whilst keeping connection of your deep abdominals with a tuck of the pelvis creating an arch in your spine. Really feel each vertebra peeling downwards as you roll down sequentially. On the next exhale, re-stack the spine one vertebra at a time until you are back to neutral standing.

4. Cat/down Dog

Starting on all fours initiate the exercise with a tilt of your pelvis sending your coccyx towards your heels. Flex the entire spine moving one vertebra at a time. Allow only a slight flexion in the mid and upper spine and finish the move with a nod of the head forward. Maintain a c-curve position for a few breaths. On the next breath, lengthen the legs so they are fully extended whilst lengthening your spine into extension. Send your chest towards the floor dropping your body through the arms. On the next breath come back to all fours and the start position.

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