Waking up to that morning alarm can be tough for the best of us! Luckily, we’ve got some quick and easy morning stretches that can energise both your body and mind. We recommend squeezing in these simple exercises after a warm shower so that the blood is pumping and your muscles are looser – the perfect way to begin your day!
Let’s start off easy. Take a deep breath. Reach upwards with both arms as high as you can, feeling the stretch pull through your back, shoulders and torso as you slowly breathe out again. Repeat this movement 10 times to loosen your muscles and help the blood flow across your whole body so you’re fired up for the day ahead!
Have you ever woken up feeling a little achy from an uncomfortable night’s sleep? This back stretching exercise is the perfect antidote! Clasp your hands together and keep your arms straight. Stretch them out in front of you until you can feel the pull in your back and shoulders. Hold this position and take 2-3 deep breaths, then release. Now doesn’t that feel good!
This energising morning stretch definitely gets the blood flowing to the brain, and particularly targets hamstrings and lower back. Stand with feet hip-distance apart and slightly bend your knees. Then, putting your hands on your elbows, allow your upper body to hang down over your legs, so you are facing your knees. Take 2-3 deep breaths and gently turn your head from side to side, then up and down. Pull yourself back up slowly and gently.
We’re sure you’ve done a standing quad stretch many times before exercising. But this well known stretch is also great for waking those legs up before you go out and about. Simply stand on one leg, supporting yourself on a wall if needs be, then grab your other leg and hold it by the ankle for at least 15 seconds (or however long you can balance). Swap legs and do the same again. Repeat at least 3 times and you’re good to go!
The butterfly stretch requires you to be in a seated position – perfect if you’re still in bed! Make sure you are sitting up nice and tall, then bring your feet together so that the soles are touching. Hold onto your feet and begin leaning forward with your spine straight at all times. Only go as far as you can – we’re all at different levels after all! If you’re a stretching master then you can make this move a little harder by using your elbows to push your knees closer to the floor which will extend the stretch even further.
Stepping it up a little, this stretch requires you to kneel down so you might want to find a soft surface or use a yoga mat. Kneel on the floor, and sit back on your feet. Next, take a deep breath and place your palms on the floor in front of you, and move them forward as far as you can whilst slowly breathing out. Rest here for 5 deep breaths, with your forehead touching the ground, and then pull back up to starting position and repeat as necessary. This morning stretch is commonly used in yoga, and helps you to calm down and release stress ahead of the working day
Keep your yoga mat out and release your inner feline. You’ve probably heard of the cat-cow stretch – one of the best back stretches that can help you de-stress before a busy day. Start on all fours with your hands and knees on the yoga mat. Tilt your pelvis back so that your tailbone sticks up in the air. Drop your belly down, but keep your abs activated, then slowly lift your neck upwards. Continue for 5-10 breaths every morning.
Last but not least, try the pigeon pose. This stretch helps to open the hip flexor and prepares your body for long periods of sitting – especially if you’re working all day. Kneel down on the mat with both hands on the floor. Stretch your left leg behind you, making sure all five toes are face down on the mat. Lower yourself to sit on the mat and bring your right foot towards your left hip as if you were sitting crossed legs. Bring your torso to the floor, stretching both arms forward like the child’s pose. Hold this pose for 4-5 breaths.
Yoga poses and stretching go hand in hand. To discover how yoga can be great for both your physical and mental wellbeing, checkout our article on the ‘Benefits of Yoga’.
There we have it! 8 simple stretches for you to try in the morning. Starting the day with this type of release will not only ease tensions in your muscles, but from your mind. A positive mindset will put you in a great mood for the rest of the day ahead! For even more Nakd blogs on health and wellbeing read our handy guides to Manifestations, Breathing Exercises, Mindfulness and Essential Oils.