Start off each day on a positive note and take just 10 minutes each morning and stretch it out! Not only will these easy morning stretches get your blood pumping but they will also help to reduce muscle tension, increase your flexibility and range of motion, and help you strengthen your mind-body connection. Through each of these stretches, stay mindful and concentrate on your breathing. This will help calm your mind as your energize your body for the day ahead!
Foot Arch Stretch with a Tennis Ball
While sitting, place a tennis ball under the arch of your right foot. Slowly move your foot back and forth, front and back and side to side, massaging the arch, the toes, and the ball of the foot. This will stretch out the tendons, muscles, and ligaments in your feet and legs. You’ll increase circulation, improve alignment, and even stimulate organ function! After a minute switch to your left foot!
Modified Sun Salutation
Stand up, feet on the floor. Inhale in raise your arms up to the side and then up over your head. Reach up, with your fingertips pointed to the ceiling, slightly lean back, gently arching your back, and look up allowing your gaze to meet your hands. Slowly bring your gaze and hands back down, folding your body forward, touching your toes. Slowly roll your body up and repeat the sequence 5x.
Child’s pose is a great way to lengthen your back and alleviate lower back tension and pain. Lower your body to the ground, bend your knees and fold your legs under your body, sitting on your heels. Fold over, reaching your hands above your head, palms down. Once you feel like you’re reaching as far as you can, try to lengthen your back and crawl your fingers to reach out further, going deeper into the stretch.
From child’s pose, move your whole body forward, legs lengthened behind you arms at sides, elbows bent, palms down. Let your whole body fall to the ground, then slowly, lengthen your arms, lifting your chest up, arching your back, gently arching back the neck looking up toward the ceiling. Hold this position, then move your body into downward dog.
Downward Facing Dog
Straighten your neck and bring your hips up, arms straight, knees on the ground so that your body resembles a table. Then, lift your hips into the air, straightening your legs so that you are on your toes, your body should be in an upside-down v-shape. Press your heels into the floor, feeling a deep hamstring stretch. Alternate between bringing your heel up and down into the floor.
Lift your body up into a sun salutation and then repeat the sequence 3-5 times!
Want more stretches? Check out these full-body stretches from our fitness expert Kara Thomas!