It's important to stretch your muscles in the morning and at night to help relax and loosen the muscle fibers that may have become stiff while you were asleep. Often times people try doing static stretches to wake up those muscles which can possibly do more harm than good. There are different stretching techniques that are actually used for very different purposes.
The most common stretching technique that most people do is static stretching. This is when you hold a stretch in one position for a specific amount of time, usually 10 -20 seconds. Static stretching is actually most beneficial after you have already worked your muscles. This helps to lessen soreness and prevents injury.
Dynamic stretching, however, is the most beneficial type of stretching to do when you want to wake up the muscles before you start activities. This is also the best type of stretching to do when you wake up in the morning. In dynamic stretching you are constantly moving the muscles to increase blood flow while loosening the muscle tissue at the same time.
Here are 4 dynamic stretches that you can do before you even get out of bed.
1. SUPINE FETAL HUGE
While laying on your back in bed with bent knees and feet flat on the bed. Take a slow and steady inhale for a 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 count, then exhale hugging your knees into your chest and lifting your head towards your knees with the same 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 count. Inhale 1 - 2 - 3 -4 back to the start position and repeat 10 times.
2. LEG SCOOPS
While lying on your back in bed. Point your feet and lift your right leg straight up into the air, bend the knee into your chest, then extend the leg back out to the start position. Scoop the leg right back up continuing to move your leg in this motion 10 times. Repeat same sequence on the left leg.
3. NOD & TILT
Sit on the edge of the bed with your feet flat on the floor. Sit tall with your abs pulled in, back flat and shoulders pulled back and down. Look straight ahead. Slowly lower your chin to your chest, slowly lift your head to the start position, slowly drop your right ear towards your right shoulder, slowly lift your head to the start position, slowly drop your right ear towards your left shoulder and slowly lift your head to the start position. Repeat this entire sequence 10 times. Make sure that you inhale and exhale with each move. Do not hold your breath.
4. DROP & ROLL
Sit on the edge of your bed with feet and knees wider than shoulder width apart and feet flat on the floor and arms relaxed in front of you between your legs. Take a slow deep breath (1 -2- 3-4), exhale slowly (1-2-3-4) while tucking your chin to your chest and taking your hands towards the floor. As you inhale slowly (1-2-3-4) roll up, one vertebrae at a time with your head being the last thing to come up. Repeat 10 times.
It's important not to force any of the stretches or movements while doing dynamic stretching. This type of slow steady movement helps to loosen the muscles, improve circulation, wakes up the body and can even improve your mood.
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