Stretching is one of the easiest ways to better your health, yet SO many people rarely stretch, if at all. I’ll admit it. I am one of those people who has always thought stretching was overrated, skipped past articles about it, and rarely stretched before or after exercise. But by stretching every morning, you can improve your posture, have fewer aches and pains, increase blood flow, and have a greater amount of energy. Do these 10 stretches every morning and you will start to see a difference.
Now commence the awkward stretching pictures.
How To Do It: Sit on the ground with both legs straight out in front of you, slowly move your arms parallel to your legs, and reach for your toes while rounding your back. Look down at your legs and keep your neck relaxed. If you can reach your feet, grab the top of your feet, being careful not to pull on them. Don’t stress if you aren’t as flexible as the dude below. It takes time.
Where You Should Feel It: Hamstrings, Lower Back, Shoulders, Calves, Feet
How To Do It: Stand with your feet together and your arms straight overhead. Clasp your hands together, with your fingers interlaced and pointer fingers extended and slowly bend your upper body to the right, back to center, and to the left.
Where You Should Feel It: Spine, Arms, Rib Cage, Obliques
How To Do It: Holding a chair or some other object for support, stand with feet hip-distance apart. Reach for your right foot or ankle, bending the right knee to point straight down to the floor. Extending your arm will help for balance too.
Where You Should Feel It: Quads all day everyday
4. Child’s Pose
How To Do It: Begin by kneeling on the floor. Bring your knees together and your butt to your feet. Slowly rest your torso over your thighs so that your forehead touches the mat and stretch your arms in front of you. Channel your inner baby, people.
Where You Should Feel It: Lower Back, Hips, Shoulders, Neck
How To Do It: Lie face down with your legs spread a few inches apart, the tops of your feet resting on the mat, and your arms along side your body. Then, press through your hands and straighten your arms, lifting your torso and legs off the ground. Draw your shoulders back and lift your chest to the ceiling. Maybe even your dog will join you on this one.
Where You Should Feel It: Chest, Arms, Spine, Quadriceps
How To Do It: Sit on the floor in a cross-legged position and extend your right arm next to your right knee, then place your left hand on the top of your head and slowly tilt your head to the left.
Where You Should Feel It: Neck and Arm
How To Do It: Sit on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you and bring the soles of your feet together, bringing your heels as close to your body as you can. Lean forward.
Where You Should Feel It: Back, Shoulders, Hips
How To Do It: Bring the right arm across the body and use the left hand or forearm to hold the right arm against the chest.
Where You Should Feel It: Triceps and Deltoids
How To Do It: Sitting on the floor, extend your legs in front of you. Bend one knee and bring the other leg to rest on that knee in roughly a 90 degree angle. Lean forward and use your arms behind you for balance.
Where You Should Feel It: Hips and Butt
How To Do It: Stand upright with your inner feet parallel and about six inches apart. Slowly fold your upper body down, being sure not to bed your knees. Let your neck and head hang loosely and you can either grab for your toes or grab behind your legs as pictured below.
Where You Should Feel It: Hamstrings, Back, Neck
Your body will thank you later, trust me.