After a good night’s sleep, there’s nothing like a morning stretch session to get you jazzed for the day.
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Instead of hitting your alarm and lumbering out of bed like Frankenstein, try waking up with a few of these feel-good moves — you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the day with gusto.
1. Relaxed Yoga Fish Pose
Start stretching before you even get out of bed! Awaken your spine, legs and stomach gently but firmly with the Yoga Fish Pose. Simply tuck your hands, palms down, under your buttocks. Arch your back, thrusting your chest upward. You’ll start to feel the muscles running through your back expanding and tightening to hold the position.
Meanwhile, stretch your legs and toes as far as you can. Tilt your head back so your upper half is curved and your bottom half is taut. Your whole body will feel energized as you stretch your main muscles as far as they can go.
2. Simple Supine Twist
To give your digestive system a healthy, “good morning” squeeze, perform a simple supine twist. You’ll work your muscles while also putting light pressure on organs like your kidneys and intestines, helping kickoff their daily functions.
Start by lying flat on your back and lifting your knees together to your chest. With your knees tucked up, twist your legs to one side. Hold the knee closest to the ceiling in place and stretch the opposite leg out straight, as if standing on your tiptoes. Spread your arms out. After 30 seconds, extend both legs. Repeat all steps in the opposite direction, holding the opposite knee bent while the other is extended.
3. Forward-Backward Kicks
It’s time to kick off the covers! While still lying down, focus on stretching your legs. Begin by lying on your back and kicking, one leg at a time, straight up. Kick slowly, trying to make each kick last for 30 seconds.
Next, flip onto your stomach. Point both legs straight, and then alternate lifting one leg at a time toward your buttocks. Again, make each kick last for 30 seconds. If possible, grab each leg as it nears the buttocks and hold it in position there, for an additional 15 seconds.
4. Side Stretch
Now that your legs are primed and ready for the day, the sides of your body need to join in. This stretch is basic, and it preps the many muscles of your torso – and the connective tissues that reach your shoulders and legs – for twisting, bending and reaching.
Stand up straight and cross one ankle over the other. With one hand on your hip, reach the other arm up towards the ceiling and over, until you feel a stretch in your side. After 30 seconds, repeat on the opposite side.
5. Doorway Chest Stretch
Face an open doorway and place your palms at shoulder height, one on each side of the doorway. Lean your body forward, thrusting your chest through the doorway as much as possible while leaving your palms flat against the jamb. This simple doorway stretch gives your chest muscles a slight workout while also gently stretching your shoulder blades and arm muscles.
6. Basic Neck Bends
Before you get dressed and get ready for the day, do this quick and easy neck stretch. Standing straight with your shoulders relaxed, reach up with one arm and gently pull your head toward your shoulder. Count to 15 and then let go, rolling your head around in a circle slowly until upright again. While standing straight, repeat the stretch with your other arm. Perform just a few repetitions.