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Do you know the feeling when you wake up in the morning and you stretch out your arms and your back as you get up? Of course you do. It is one of my favorite feelings. It didn’t take me long to realize that I could expand that same feeling to my entire body. Therefore, instead of focusing just on the arms, I incorporated full-body stretching in my morning routine. And now I am ready to let you in on my 10 minutes morning stretching routine. Let’s find out!
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A little context…
I have started dancing ballet at the age of 5. Then, when I became a teenager, my family had to move to another city, which sadly had me interrupt dancing. I came back to ballet at 18 years old, after a 6 years hiatus. However, 6 years without dancing and without a body conditioning routine is a lot and once I got back, I wasn’t able to dance like I used to, because all my flexibility was lost. That is when I realized I needed a daily stretching routine to try and get most of it back.
As an adult, you no longer have the time to properly warm up your muscles, get some cardio done and then get to stretching. Life gets in the way and, whether you want to admit it or not, at the end of the day if we have to let something go, we will let go of exercising. I know how it goes… Which is why I thought of a quick 10 minutes stretching routine that I am able to do every morning. It is super easy and beginner-friendly. Nothing fancy or oriented to super flexible people, just a simple routine you can do every morning as you get off your bed. Let’s go!
Before we begin, please remember that these are gentle stretches and that you should not force any movement or feel any kind of pain. If you do, please stop what you are doing immediately and get medical help.
In a sitting position, with a straight back, I start by doing a simple “up and down” vertical neck stretch to get my muscles going. While sitting with your back straight, all you have to do is just tilt your head as if you are looking up, as far as you can go, then do it all the way down. As you tilt your head down, put your hands on the back of your head for added weight and try to really feel every neck vertebra stretching before moving to the next one. Repeat 3 times.
After that, I do side, horizontal, neck stretches. Switch looking left and right, slowly, while moving as far as you can go without hurting yourself. Do 5 times on each side.
Then I move to side neck stretches. Tilt your head to the right, gently place your right hand on your head and slowly push your head towards your shoulder without crunching. The goal is not to touch your ear to your shoulder, but to feel the stretch on the left side of your neck. Hold for 5 seconds, then do the same on the left. Repeat 2 times.
Sitting on your feet with your knees together, stretch your arms in front of you and touch your hands to the ground. Stretch as far as you can go without feeling any pain or discomfort. Hold this position for 20 seconds, come up, take a deep breath and repeat for another 20 seconds.
Laying on your back, grab your bent legs and push your knees towards your chest. Hold for 20 seconds, let go, relax, take a deep breath and repeat for another 20 seconds.
With your right arm stretched, rotate at the shoulder to the left and push with your left hand. Hold for 10 seconds, and switch to the left arm. Repeat three times.
Bend at the elbow and try to reach the center of your scapulas with your hand. Gently push with the other hand on the elbow. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch sides. Repeat three times.
Arm and wrist stretches
With your arm stretched in front of you, palm facing upwards, the other hand grabs your fingers and pushes them downwards. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch arms. Repeat three times.
With your arms stretched in front of you, interlace your fingers and push forward. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat to the back.
While sitting with your legs crossed, with a straight back, lift your left hand up and tilt your body to the right, while bending the right arm. The purpose is to imagine you are reaching the wall with your left arm. Hold for 20 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat 4 times.
Try sitting in a butterfly position. That means you legs crossed, but the palms of your feet touching. With a straight back, try reaching forward, touching your chest to your feet. Hold for 20 seconds. Come back up, breathe and repeat.
While sitting with a straight back, bring your knees to your chest, grab your feet and slowly stretch your legs along the floor. Hold for 5 seconds, come back up and repeat. Do this 5 times.
Sit with your legs crossed, one knee above the other. Bending forward, touch the floor with your elbows and relax your neck. You should feel this stretch in the glute belonging to the leg on top. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs and hold for another 30 seconds.
While sitting on your bed, in a demi-pointe position, try to force your foot forward. Do one foot at a time. Hold for 10 seconds and switch feet. Repeat 3 times. You should feel this stretch in your metatarsal area.
While sitting on your bed, straighten your foot to the ground and force your toes down. Do one foot at a time. Hold for 10 seconds and switch feet. Repeat 3 times. You should feel this stretch in the upper part of your feet.
To sum up, in just 10 minutes a day, right after you wake up, you can boost your overall wellbeing for the rest of the day, just by stretching a few major muscle groups. You don’t have to be flexible. You don’t even have to be the sporty type to benefit from this morning stretching routine. It is easy enough for the tightest of us all and all it takes is 10 minutes a day. A stretching routine I can do on my bed, in my PJs? Sign me up!!
Finally, take a look at these articles that I believe will be a great match with your new morning stretching routine:
- 16 Quick and Easy Breakfast Recipes to Kickstart Your Day
- 15 Tips and Tricks for Stress-free Mornings.
Let me know how your stretching is coming along.
Until next time.