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Health & Fitness : Stretches You Should Do Each Morning

One of the best ways to start your day in a healthy way is to take a moment to ground your thoughts by stretching and intentionally breathing.

When you stretch deeply, you should always be warm.

These exercises cover all your major muscle groups and can be followed any time of day, including after your workouts.

Upper Back ReleaseTargets the upper back and back of shoulders.

  1. Standing with feet hip-distance apart, clasp hands and round upper back keeping arms straight and active.
  2. Think about the shoulder blades spreading wide across your back.
  3. Hold stretch for 2-3 deep breaths.

Chest ReleaseTargets the chest, front of shoulders and biceps.

  1. Holding a wall, door frame or window ledge with left arm, step forward with left leg and turn entire body to the right especially at the hips.
  2. Hold stretch for 4-6 deep breaths increasing stretch with the pivot at the hips.
  3. Repeat on the other side.

Side StretchTargets the IT band (outer thigh), obliques and shoulders.

  1. Standing with right hand on bed or wall, cross left leg in front of right leg, feet pointing forward.
  2. Shift into the left hip and reach left arm up and over head, creating a long line from the left ankle to the left fingertips.
  3. Hold and take 2-3 deep inhales and exhales.
  4. Repeat on right.

Seated Spinal TwistTargets the spine, neck and shoulders.

  1. Sitting on a chair or edge of bed with legs together, lengthen spine rotate from the waist, placing one hand behind you and the other hand on your outer thigh for support.
  2. For a deeper stretch for the neck, turn your gaze to look over your shoulder as well.
  3. Hold 2-3 deep breaths.
  4. Repeat other side.


Standing Hamstring StretchTargets hamstrings.

  1. Supporting yourself for balance as needed, bring right leg up onto a step or bench, increasing height as flexibility increases.
  2. Keep legs hips distance and parallel and keep back leg straight and front foot flexed.
  3. If you need to increase stretch, hinge at the hips, keeping the spine completely straight.
  4. Don’t round the spine.
  5. Take 4-6 deep breaths.
  6. Repeat other side.


Standing Quad StretchTargets quadriceps.

  1. Holding a chair, wall or bed for support, stand with feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Soften left knee and reach for your right foot or ankle, bending the right knee to point straight down to the floor.
  3. Keep pelvis neutral and spine tall with the crown of your  head reaching to the ceiling.
  4. Hold for 4-6 deep breaths.
  5. Repeat other side.

Standing Forward BendTargets hamstrings and lower back.

  1. Standing with feet hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent, hinge forward at the hips.
  2. Allow your upper body to hang over your legs and clasp elbows.
  3. Hold for 2-3 deep breaths while you gently shake your head no and even more gently nod your head yes.
  4. To come up, pull in abs and gently round up one vertebra at a time.

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