Man stretches his arms in front of the window.

In a world where most people work from home, developing aches and pains from lack of movement is no challenge. The tightness around your hips? It could get worse if you don’t adjust your everyday routine. Doing morning stretches can get you started. 

Stretching Exercises for a Better Day

Many guys downplay the importance of stretching and skip it at the gym, but did you know it has numerous health benefits? These include increased blood flow to the muscles and joints, alleviating muscle tension, increasing flexibility, and . Aside from these, stretching can get you pumped for the day by limbering up your body and mind.

Mornings are the best time to do stretching exercises because they can relieve tension from sleeping the night before and prepare your body for the day ahead. Try these morning stretches, regardless of your fitness level. 

For better flexibility, do a cobra stretch.

Lie flat on your stomach with your legs pressed together and your hands tucked under your shoulders. From here, slowly raise your head and chest, keeping your elbows against your body and pointing backward (not out!). Avoid lifting your hips. If it feels comfortable, stretch a bit further by lifting your stomach. Relax your neck and shoulders and hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. When you’re ready, lower your body one vertebrae at a time.

Prep your hips and lower back with the “knees-to-chest" stretch.

Reduce bloating, improve circulation, and rebalance your energy when you do this basic stretch. Lie flat on your back and bring your knee to your chest. Hold this position with your arms or hands. You can feel the stretch in your lower back. If you can, you can do both knees at the same time.

Relieve back pains with the spinal twist.

Your back will love the spinal twist. Lie on your back, raise one of your knees, and gently roll over to the opposite side. Your shoulders should always stay in contact with the bed. Stretch out one arm to the side and slowly turn your head to face your outstretched arm. You’ll feel it on the sides of your abdomen and lower back.

Loosen tight muscles with the upper back stretch.

Start by sitting on the edge of the bed, couch, or chair with your feet planted on the floor. Interlock your fingers and stretch forward, bending from your lower back. Keep your hands at the same level as your shoulders. The stretch should come from between the shoulder blades. Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds.

Reduce pain within your neck and shoulders with the neck stretch. 

Relax your shoulders before gently moving your neck towards one side of your body. You can use your arm for a deeper stretch. Hold for around 15 to 20 seconds before doing the same to the other side. This trick is a simple yet effective way to relieve pain in your neck. 

Release tension by doing shoulder stretches. 

Stretch your shoulders regularly to loosen and strengthen the muscles. Start by relaxing your shoulder blades before stretching one arm across the body. Use the other arm to deepen the stretch. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds before repeating the move on the other side. 

Strengthen the muscles on your ribs with the side stretch.

A satisfying side stretch makes you feel taller, longer, and lighter. Do this by standing with your feet wide open and aligned to your hips. Clasp your hands above your head and gently lean your body to one side. Reach down with your other arm and bend your upper body down. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds. You should feel a deep stretch along the side of your body. Repeat on the other side.

Improve flexibility in your thighs with the standing quad stretch.

The muscles found in front of the thigh are large and require major stretching. Start by standing straight, shifting your weight to one leg while lifting the other and grasping it with one hand. Pull your foot towards your buttocks and stretch. Keep your thighs parallel. You should feel the stretch in your thighs and hips. Hold this position for 30 seconds before you repeat it with your other leg. For added support, you can hold on to a chair or table.

Relieve cramps with a calf stretch.

Provide relief to your calves by doing calf stretches. Begin by putting your hands on the wall for support. Step back on one leg, slowly bend forward with your other leg, move forward, and breathe. The stretch will be along the back of your calf. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat on the opposite leg.

Stretching Tips and Techniques

When doing any , listen to your body, pace yourself, and control your breathing. With regular practice, your body should become more relaxed and less stressed. Doing these morning stretches daily will .

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Kickstart a habit by doing morning stretches daily. It is a simple way to maintain or boost flexibility and manage pain. And it can also help wake up the body and improve your overall mood.