It’s safe to say we’ve all woken up on the wrong side of the bed at some point, and there are few things worse than having to go through a full day of work, chores, and socializing when you’d much rather stay in bed and try again tomorrow. How you start your day can make all the difference in how the rest of it goes—after all, the law of attraction is very real, and chances are good if you start your day grumpy, what’s to follow won’t be much different.
Aside from a cup of coffee and perhaps a breakfast smoothie to kick start your day, a few morning stretches can make all the difference in your daily outlook. A stretching routine will not only allow you to reap the physical benefits of stretching like increased flexibility, but it’ll also make you feel good that you took a few extra minutes for yourself in the a.m. Ready to bend, twist, and reach? Below, we’re sharing 10 morning stretches (including a few yoga poses) to start your day off right.
#1. CHILD’S POSE
Let’s start with some yoga, shall we? One of the best lower back stretches around, child’s pose has a way of instantly leaving you relaxed and feeling good. Start by sitting on your knees. Then, bend forward and stretch your arms in front of you with your palms on the ground. Bow your head and stretch as far as you can! Hold for 10 to 20 seconds (or longer if you wish), then return to sitting.
#2. NECK STRETCH
Neck tension is no fun! So, spend a few minutes stretching your neck each morning with a few simple motions. Bend your head to one side so that it’s fully extended—you can use your arm on the coordinating side to help! Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Wondering how to stretch your hips? This is one of our favorite ways to do so. First, lay down flat on your back. Then, bend and bring one knee toward your chest. Wrap your arms around the knee to pull it close so you’re hugging it. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch legs.
Here’s another yoga pose we can’t get enough of, not to mention, it’s also a great lower back stretch. First, lay down on your belly with your legs stretched out straight behind you and your arms along your sides. Then, place your hands at your shoulders as if you were going to do a pushup. Lift your upper body off the ground and look toward the ceiling, curving your back in the process. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then release.
#5. QUAD STRETCH
Let’s focus on your quads. You use your legs every day, so it’s important to make sure your morning stretches don’t skip them! This is especially true if you’re a frequent runner. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, bend one leg so that your foot touches your butt, use the hand on the same side to hold your foot in place. Stay in that position for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch legs!
Two yoga poses for the price of one? Sign us up! This yoga sequence is one of our favorite lower back stretches. First, you’ll want to get on all fours with your knees and palms on the ground. Then, arch your back toward the ceiling, looking down as you do so. This is known as cat pose! After holding for 10 to 20 seconds, curve your back inward and look toward the ceiling, transitioning into cow pose. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. We bet you’re feeling amazing already!
#7. SHOULDER STRETCH
Let’s stretch those shoulders! First, reach one arm across your body so that it points toward the opposite side. Gently hold it against your body using your other arm. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then repeat on the opposite arm.
#8. ANKLE FLEX
If you’re searching for ankle stretches, look no further. Sit down with your legs out straight in front of you. Wrap a towel around the base of one foot, holding each end in one hand. Gently pull the towel toward you to bend and stretch your ankle. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then repeat on your other ankle.
#9. SIDE STRETCH
Obliques feeling tight? This is the perfect stretch for you. Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms above your head, place your palms against each other. Lean your body to one side as far as you can. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then lean to the opposite side, holding for another 10 to 20 seconds.
#10. MIDRIFF TWIST
Complete your stretching routine by laying on your back and raising one of your knees so that it’s parallel to your body. Roll your legs toward one side, then stretch your arm on the opposite side outward, keeping it flat on the floor. Look in the same direction as your arm. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, then switch your twist.