When you wake up in the morning, even before you get up to make yourself a cup of coffee, your body’s first instinctual response is to extend your limbs and stretch. You do it without even thinking. This also happens after you’ve been sitting or staying still for extended periods. We may not know the exact reason why, but doing so feels good. That great feeling that comes after a good stretch may be our body’s way of rewarding us for doing something right.
According to a registered yoga teacher, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, and Doctor of Behavioral Health Jessica Matthews, doing dynamic stretches in the morning can be a perfect way to warm up both your mind and body after a full night’s sleep. Regular static stretches, the ones where you do a pose and hold for a certain amount of time, are great - but according to Dr. Matthews, dynamic stretching is more beneficial for your body in the morning.
What is Dynamic Stretching?
Unlike static stretching, dynamic stretches are the type of stretching exercises that allow your joints and muscles to go through a full range of motion. This type of stretching exercise can mimic whatever repetitive movement you’re about to perform. For example, an ideal dynamic stretch for a swimmer can be moving his arms in circular motions as a warm-up before diving into the water. It can also be a series of movements that aren’t held for a particular amount of time. The best examples of dynamic stretches are walking lunges or trunk twists.
While you can do this type of stretching exercise any time you wish, it’s best done right before playing sports such as soccer, basketball, running, and weight lifting. It can also serve as a warm-up before doing cardio exercises. And if you feel the need for a boost of energy, it’s also great as a morning exercise. It’s easy enough and you can do it even while you’re half asleep yet effective enough to wake you up.
Best Stretching Exercises to Do in the Morning
Apart from energizing your body, this popular yoga pose is known to be helpful in relieving fatigue and sciatica. This is also ideal for mornings when you wake up with back pain due to sleeping in an awkward position. In general, it works your arms, shoulders, wrists, and core. It can also give your spine, hamstrings, and calves a good stretch.
How to do:
- Start by assuming a position that allows you to support your entire weight on all fours.
- Straighten your arms as you push into your hands.
- Raise your hips and make sure your legs aren’t bent.
- Press into your hands as you exhale.
- Roll your shoulders down and back. Keep your shoulders away from your ears.
- Keep a neutral spine and your core contracted.
- Bend one knee after another.
In yoga, this pose is also known as the Virabhadrasana I. It’s a simple stretching exercise that energizes your whole body. It also works a variety of muscles as well. It can strengthen your back, shoulders, arms, legs, and ankles while opening your chest and hips. And by improving circulation, it effectively wakes you up in a jiffy.
How to do:
- Start by doing the Downward Dog position.
- Slowly lift one foot while bending the knee towards the direction of your nose.
- Place the lifted foot in between your hands.
- Once your foot is stable, lift your torso as you inhale.
- Both of your toes should be pointing forward.
- Once you’ve found your balance, make sure that your front leg is bent and the hind leg straight.
- Lift your arms over your head with both palms facing each other.
- Go back to the downward dog position once you’re ready and switch legs.
Lunge with a Twist
How to do:
- Lunge forward with your left leg. Position your knee directly above your ankle, forming a 45-degree angle.
- Reach your right arm towards the opposite side, bending your torso.
- Bring your left leg back and return to a standing position.
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
Mornings can be hard for most people. Even the best of us find it hard to get out of bed sometimes. If you find yourself waking up to one of those mornings, try these easy to do exercises to help you get your blood pumping and ready for the day. Purisure’s Caffeine + L-Theanine Capsules are also great to have in the morning when you’re strapped for both time and energy. It gives you instant energy without the jitters.