In sleep, many of us tend to flip from the stomach to the back, keep flailing from side to side, keep doubling flat pillows, etc. In the morning, often we wake up a bit discombobulated and dizzy as well. Some of us who sleep for a peaceful stretch of 7 to 9 hours also wake up with our muscles creaking a bit. To avoid feeling weird in our bodies after a good night’s sleep, a 5-minute stretching routine will help us start off with our day on a positive note.
The stretching exercises mentioned below need to be performed in a set of a certain number of repetitions. While exercises 1 and 2 should be performed 20 repetitions each, exercises 3 and 4 must be held for 20 seconds on each side. Exercise 5 must be performed 10 repetitions. Once all of them are done, take a long, deep breath and greet yourself a good morning!
1. Good Morning
In the Good Morning stretch, you need to perform 20 repetitions. Place your hands behind your head and keep your elbows wide open in a wedged manner. Bend at your hips with a slight bend on the knee and reach your butt back as far as possible. Do not go lower than your butt. As you bend, allow your body to move a bit forward. Engage yourself in core and tip forward at the torso by avoiding any rounding back. Hold for a moment and then, draw your hips forward. Raise your body and stand upright into the starting position. This exercise stretches the lower back and the hamstrings.
Reach your arms out straight towards the front and slightly below your shoulders. Walk forward across the length of the room and kick one leg straight up with a flexed foot by drawing your shin towards your hand. If you are not able to kick so high and it causes the rounding of the back, lower your arms simply and kick to a height that stops the posture from arching forward. Keep your hips squared and walk in this motion. This “Frankenstein” motion helps you get a good stretch at your hamstrings. Perform 20 repetitions of this exercise.
3. Child’s Pose With Rotation
You need to sit on the shins with the knees out and keep your heels under your butt. Reach one arm across the center of your torso and take the other arm upward towards the roof. Hold in this position for 20 seconds. You will feel a stretch in your chest, back, shoulders, and hips. Repeat the same on the opposite side as well.
Optional tip: Bind your other arm around the back to the opposite hip and hold that pose. This gives you a deeper stretch.
4. Supine Twists
This exercise will require you to lie flat on your back. Once you lie down, bring one knee towards your belly and cradle it with your opposite hand. Apply pressure lightly, and pull that knee across the body and then, to the floor. Always try to keep both the shoulders on the ground. Try to gently twist the spine, and if the knee does not touch the floor, let it be. Stop it when you start to feel resistance from your lower back. Feel this stretch in the glutes as well and repeat the exercise on the opposite side.
5. Long Stretch
Inhale deeply and reach your arms high up over the head. Exhale slowly and return to the standing position in the start. Match the patterns of your movement to the rhythm of your breath. Feel your back, shoulders, and torso getting stretched. Repeat this exercise 10 times and feel better already.
With these stretches in the morning, you will feel more energized and refreshed to start your day.