Stretching – start your day the easy way

Waking up feeling sluggish? Tough to get going when that alarm sounds off?

Maybe you need to spend 10 minutes every morning giving your body a shake out before the day shakes you. Maybe you need a morning stretching routine.

A morning stretching routine can provide you with the best start to the day, boosting energy, getting you set with all these positive effects on your body:

  • It increases flexibility in muscles and joints
    • hold stretches for at least 30 seconds, helping wake muscles that may be stiff from lack of movement
  • It improves circulation, kick starting your energy level.
    • stretch to get your body back into action after sitting for an hour or more. Picture a cat or dog getting up after a nap – they’re onto it.
  • It removes tension and prevents stress
    • stretching in the morning helps remove uncomfortable tension in your body, which may actually be the cause of the stress you feel

Here’s seven top stretches that can start your day or get you ready to play:

  1. Calf Stretch 
    Stand shoulder-length apart, with your hands on a wall. Keep your heels on the ground and knees straight while you lean into the wall.
    Try: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
    “This stretch helps relieves foot, hip, knee and shin pain, and can strengthen/guard your Achilles tendon.”
  2. Quadriceps Stretch
    Stand feet together and keeping your hips straight, bend your right knee back and take the front of your right foot in your right hand. Keep your knees even as you bend your right knee back. Continue to keep your body straight as you hold this stretch, feeling it on the top of the quadriceps.
    Try: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
    “Stretching the quads can help calm knee and back pain as well as improving circulation and even help reduce stress. You can also do this lying face down.”
  3. Shoulder Stretch
    Stand shoulder-width apart, raise your right arm to shoulder height, and move it across the front of your body. With your left arm pull the right arm as close to the chest as possible and hold. Switch arms and repeat.
    Try: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
    “All rowers know your shoulder is one of the most delicate joints in the body, and this shoulder stretch helps improve flexibility and mobility.”
  4. Triceps Stretch
    With feet shoulder-width apart, raise your right arm over your head. Bend your elbow so that your right hand is reaching for your left shoulder. Use your left hand to pull back on your right elbow. Hold and switch arms.
    Try: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
    “Your triceps help support your shoulder and biceps. Maintaining mobility and flexibility is critical for athletic longevity.”
  5. Runner’s Stretch
    Sit down with one foot tucked in while the other is facing straight forward. Lean forward with your arm extended trying to grab your foot. If you cannot grab your foot, lean forward until you feel your hamstring stretching.
    Try: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
    “Lots of runners get hip and knee pain, and this stretch is a great way to try and alleviate this problem.”
  6. Butterfly Stretch
    Sitting down, align your heels and feet so that they’re touching, and then gently push down on your thighs with your elbows until you feel your groin area being stretched out.
    Try: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
    “This stretch helps you open up your hips and thighs to improve your flexibility.”
  7. Standing Side
    Stretch Standing straight, grab one hand over your head with the other and gently lean to each side while pulling on your hand slightly to engage your muscles between the ribs.
    Try: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.
    “The standing side stretch works your core, lower back, and spine, and can even assist with stimulating your digestive tract”