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10 simple stretching exercises you can do in the morning (without warming up)

Getting up in the morning and moving around is not always easy. Right now, many of us have to stay home because of the coronavirus pandemic . Some days you may wake up feeling sluggish, achy, and tense, possibly due to having moved less during the day or worked long hours at your PC. Have you considered doing stretches in the morning to gently ease yourself into the day? Some studies suggest that stretching, along with other forms of regular exercise, can help you relax, increase your flexibility, reduce lower back pain and manage other health problems.

morning stretching without warm up

So start your day off right by taking a few minutes each morning to stretch your major muscle groups. The following morning routine consists of 10 simple stretches. You’ll start lying in bed and end with your feet firmly planted on the floor – so you’re ready for the day ahead. Hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds and repeat two to three times, especially if your muscles and joints feel tight.

Stretching exercises in bed

1. knee to chest

stretching exercises in the morning in bed knee to chest

While lying on your back, pull one knee to your chest and hold it with your arms or hands for about 10 seconds. You should feel a pleasant stretch in your lower back. After that, switch legs. If it feels comfortable, you can also do this stretching exercise by pulling both knees toward you at the same time.

2. spinal rotation

stretching exercise morning or evening spine rotation

In yoga, this pose is called “Supta Matsyendrasana.” While lying on your back, lift one of your knees and gently roll it to the opposite side. Make sure that both of your shoulders are always touching the bed. When the stretch feels comfortable, extend one arm out to the side, keeping it in line with your shoulders, and slowly turn your head toward the extended arm. With the other hand, push the bent knee toward the bed. You should feel the stretch on the sides of your torso and lower back. Take a deep breath and repeat on the other side.

3. cobra stretch

stretching exercise yoga pose cobra


Lie on your stomach and position your hands directly under your shoulders. Your legs are long stretched on the bed. Support your elbows at your sides and gently lift your head and chest, keeping your hips and groin on the bed. If it feels comfortable, you can increase the stretch slightly by lifting your abdomen off the bed as well. Remember to relax your neck and shoulders. Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds and when you are ready, gently lower yourself back down.

Sitting Stretching Exercises

Once you feel more awake, you need to slowly get out of bed a little further.

4. stretch the upper back

stretching upper back after standing up

Sit on the edge of the bed and place your feet on the floor. Interlace your fingers and extend your hands forward, bending from your mid-back. Stretch forward with your hands at shoulder level. Let your head hang down in front so that your chin pulls toward your sternum. You should feel the stretch between your shoulder blades. Then move your arms back, stretched through, at shoulder level. Do 6-10 repetitions.

5. stretch the neck

stretching exercises for neck stretching in the morning


Relax your shoulders and gently lower your left ear toward your left shoulder, using your left arm to help you. Stretch only as far as feels comfortable. Hold the position for 15-20 seconds and slowly repeat on the other side.

6. stretch the shoulders

simple stretching exercise for shoulder

Relax the shoulder blades back and down and stretch one arm across the body. Gently reinforce the stretch by bending the other arm at the elbow and pulling it across the stretched one. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Standing Stretching Exercises

Hopefully by now you are feeling a little more awake and your eyelids are starting to open. When you are ready, stand up and perform the final stretching exercises.

7. lateral stretch

stretching exercises in the morning while standing

Stand hip-width apart and interlace your hands above your head. Gently tilt your body to one side so that you feel a deep stretch along the side of your body. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other side.

8. quadriceps stretch while standing

stretching exercises every morning legs

Stand upright and hold onto the wall or a chair if needed. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Reach back with your left hand and grasp your left foot. Keep your thighs side by side and your left leg in line with your hip. Feel the stretch in your left thigh and hip. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right leg.

9. stretching the hamstring

stretching program morning exercise for calves

Stand upright and slightly bend one knee as if to sit on the bed. Stand the other leg upright with the toes pointing to the ceiling. Bend forward from the hips to feel a comfortable stretch along the back of the extended leg. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

10. Achilles tendon and calf stretch.

stretching exercises for legs and feet in the morning

Support yourself against a wall with your hands. The front leg is bent, the back leg is pushed through. Gently press the heel toward the floor to feel a comfortable stretch in the back of the calf. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds and repeat the exercise with the other leg.

It is important to listen to your body every day and do these stretches at your own pace. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t very flexible at first. With regular practice, your body should become more relaxed and you will be able to stretch the muscles a little more each day.

The important thing is that you only feel a comfortable stretch without pain. If you notice a sharp or stabbing pain while doing an exercise, it needs to be stopped momentarily.

If you have an injury, talk to your doctor or physical therapist first so they can recommend a stretching routine tailored to you.

And here is the morning routine again with all the exercises at a glance:

morning exercise stretching exercises