Morning stretches make us feel relaxed and more energetic. After waking up, muscles become sore and inflexible. One lacks freshness in the morning due to sore muscles. So to make it flexible, stretches are very important. It not only helps to make the body more flexible but also helps in improving alertness and enhances the energy level thus making us feel fresh.
It is necessary, especially for those people who have to work while sitting for 8 hours or more. Due to long sitting, the risk of stroke, heart disease, and hypertension rises in them. It also leads to back pain and causes strain in the shoulder and neck. This makes it essential to have a healthy morning routine.
Benefits of Morning Stretches
- The flexibility of muscles: It helps in relaxing the muscles and thus enhances their flexibility.
- Boost energy level: It enhances our energy level and thus reduces tiredness and fatigue.
- Increases confidence: It helps in correcting the body posture and hence boosting confidence.
- Improves blood circulation: It relaxes our muscles and improves blood circulation throughout the body and thus improving the body’s metabolism.
- Improves alertness: It enhances the power of our senses and thus improves alertness.
- Reduces anxiety and depression: It enhances blood circulation and makes us feel calm and thus reducing anxiety and depression.
- Improves sleep quality: It enhances blood circulation and thus makes us feel calm which helps us in getting deep sleep and hence improving sleep quality.
- Prevents injuries: As it maintains flexibility in the body, hence it helps us in preventing injuries like hamstring injuries.
When to Perform Stretching Exercises?
The best time depends upon the type of stretch we need to do.
Dynamic stretching makes our body ready for the workout and these include movements like cat-cow or thread to the needle. When done before the workout helps increase flexibility and blood circulation.
Static stretching helps in calming down our body after the workout. Performing these after a workout helps in relaxing our minds.
Morning Stretches For Men
- Half-kneeling hip flexor stretch: It engages our glutes and stretches our psoas muscles. It is crucial for those who have to sit for a longer duration or for people having back pain. The right time to do this is when our muscles are warm which means after the workout or after taking shower.
- Hamstring walkout: It helps in relaxing the hamstring muscles, improving flexibility and blood circulation. The best time to do this is before starting the workout.
- Standing sideband: It warms the serratus muscles which helps in dynamic actions. If doing this on a regular basis helps in standing taller and increases breathing rate.
- Happy baby pose: It helps in stretching the inner groin, opening the hips, and calming the mind. It also helps in getting relief from stress. This can be done after waking up as a pre-workout.
- Bench Chest stretch: It helps in maintaining proper blood circulation throughout the chest and arms. It also helps in loosening the pecs. It can be done as a pre-workout or post-workout as it opens the chest and alleviates the soreness.
- Triceps stretch: It improves the flexibility of our muscles and increases their range of motion. It also prevents the tightening of muscles, boosting blood circulation and loosening of connective tissues. It helps in building the triceps.
- Calf stretch: It helps in activating the calf muscles. It also enhances the short-term range of motion and flexibility. It provides relief to the soreness of the muscles.
Morning Stretches For Women
Cat cow: It is also called chakravakasana helps improve body posture and balance. It helps reduce back pain and stress and provides a calming effect.
Shoulder stretch: It loosens and strengthens the muscles and helps in relaxing thus making us feels better. It improves body flexibility and range of motion.
Spinal Twist: It enhances digestibility and spinal movement. Twisting massages our internal organ and help in getting relief from lower back pain.
Frog stretch: It is a dynamic exercise. It helps us maintain the proper coordination and digestibility of our body. It relaxes the muscles of the inner thigh, groin, hip flexors, and rotators. It is performed by athletes.
Butterfly stretch: It maintains the flexibility of muscles of the hips, groin, inner thighs, and knees and strengthens the back muscles that correct the body posture.
Quad stretch: It increases the activity of our muscles enhances the blood flow rate, maintains flexibility, and increases the range of motion. It can be done either as a warmup exercise or after the lower-body workout to cool down the body.
Seated side stretch: It helps in reducing back and shoulder pain. It also reduces back tightness by stretching the muscles of the lower back. intercostal muscles, which are in between the ribs and support them are strengthened by this exercise.
Tips For Safe Stretching
Morning stretches have many benefits but only when it is done properly. Doing it in the wrong way can impact us negatively instead of providing benefits. Some key points to keep in mind while performing these exercises:
Listen to your body: Overstretching can cause many injuries to our bodies. So do it only as per our body requirements.
Watch your posture: Instead of going deep, try to prioritize the posture correctly while doing it.
Breathing Rate: As it already enhances blood circulation, the breathing rate also rises. Hence, proper breathing while stretching helps in relaxing the body.
Talk with a Pro: If while doing the exercise, someone gets injured or is not sure where to start or at a beginner level, it is advisable to talk with a doctor or a physical therapist as they can suggest better how to perform these exercises. Otherwise doing it in the wrong way or doing it in an extreme can lead to serious injuries to our bodies.
We have seen that morning stretches are an essential thing to perform after waking up. After waking up, our muscles get sore and we felt tired and lazy, so doing it will help us in relaxing our muscles and make us feel energetic. But care should be taken while performing it as doing it in the wrong way impact us negatively. For beginners, it is always better to either consult a doctor or a physical therapist before performing it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why stretching is essential before and after doing a workout at the gym?
It helps us in increasing mobility, body temperature, and blood circulation when done before the workout. After the workout, it helps in cooling down our body and reducing the pain and tightness of tissue.
What happens if we stretch incorrectly?
It can cause injuries like strain or pull of muscles. It can reduce muscular production and can cause pain in different parts of the body like lower back pain, shoulder pain, etc.
Is it ok for a pregnant lady to perform stretching exercises?
Yes, it can help pregnant women to stay relaxed and can ease their pain. However, care should be taken while doing it as performing it incorrectly or doing extremely can harm both pregnant women as well as the baby.