Getting out of bed in the morning can be rough, but instead of hitting the snooze button, ease into your day with this gentle morning stretch routine.
Using gentle stretches in the morning can help you to loosen up stiff muscles and joints. This helps to improve your posture, allowing your body and mind to feel better and function more efficiently as you start your day. Stretching also improves circulation, pushing fresh, oxygenated blood throughout your body and into your brain, making you energized, mentally focused, and ready to take on the day. (1)
So skip the snooze button and gently energize your body with this easy stretch routine you can do in bed.
Gentle Supine Twists | 60 sec
Gently wake up achy bones and muscles with this easy twist.
- Lie down facing up and hug your knees into your chest.
- Cactus your arms and parallel your shins to your bed.
- Take an inhale, then exhale to lower your knees to the left to come into a twist. You can turn your head to the right if it feels good in your neck.
- Close your eyes and relax here for 60 seconds, then inhale your knees back to center and switch sides.
Child’s Pose Side Stretch | 30 sec per side
Shake off morning stiffness in the hips, lower back, and in the sides of your body to create space in your torso for deeper breathing.
- Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees.
- Separate your knees out wide and bring your big toes together.
- Lower your hips down to your heels and walk your hands forward to lower your forehead onto the bed.
- Slowly walk your hands over to the right. Stack your left palm on top of your right hand and gently press your hips to the left. Breathe deeply and feel a stretch through the left side of your body. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Wide-Legged Forward Fold | 60 sec
This relaxing stretch releases tightness in your lower back, hips, and hamstrings. Use two pillows for this stretch if your hamstrings and lower back are tight.
- Sit on the bed and straddle your legs out wide with a small bend in your knees. Flex your toes up towards the sky and place a pillow (or two) going lengthwise between your legs.
- Place your hands down on either side of the pillow. Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale and crawl your hands forward, lowering your torso onto the pillow.
- Lower one cheek to the pillow and come down to your forearms. Close your eyes and relax here for 60 seconds. Switch to the other cheek halfway through.
Around the World | 30 sec per side
Relieve stiffness in the lower back and hips with this feel-good stretch.
- Start sitting in a cross-legged seat on the bed with your left ankle in front of your right.
- Sweep your left leg out and back so that there are 45- to 90-degree angles in both knees. Flex your feet.
- Place a pillow on top of your right shin and slowly lower your torso down onto it. Lower down to your forearms and relax your forehead or one cheek down. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch sides.
Kneeling Neck Stretches | 30 sec
We all know what it’s like to wake up with a stiff neck. Release the tension with this stretch.
- Come to a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Place a pillow between your heels and bring your knees together. Sit your hips back on the pillow and upright your chest.
- Interlace your hands behind your lower back to feel an opening in your chest and shoulders.
- Inhale to lower your right ear towards your right shoulder. On your exhale, lower your chest to your chin.
- Inhale to roll your left ear up to your left shoulder. Then, reverse the direction. Continue rolling from ear-to-ear for 30 seconds.
Puppy Pose | 30 sec
Open your chest and energize your body and mind with this yoga pose.
- Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
- Keep your hips stacked over your knees and crawl your hands forward to lower your forehead to the bed.
- Continue walking your hands forward until your arms are straight. Close your eyes and hold for 30 seconds; feel your chest opening and the blood circulating towards your brain.
(For more gentle routines, try 8 Stretches To Release Low Back SI Joint Pain)