Morning Routine

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10 Stretches You Should Do As Soon As You Wake Up

Reach, twist, breathe, and repeat.

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Greet the morning with intentional stretches that will get your blood flowing, your muscles warm, and your joints in prime position for an active day. Your body will thank you.

1. Small Joint Flexes

Warm your body up a bit before more intense stretching by flexing the joints in your wrists and ankles back and forth. As Harvard Health noted, start with small back and forth movements and then move to rolling your ankle and wrist joints before sitting up.
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2. Neck Stretch

Lean your head forward and slightly to one side and use your hand to pull downward. Hold the stretch for approximately 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side for a gentle neck stretch, The Mayo Clinic recommended.

3. Full Body Stretch

Laying down, inhale and reach both arms overhead with palms flipped up while extending the legs straight with pointed toes. This stretch can release morning tightness, explained yoga teacher Randi Ragan in Prevention.

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4. Knee Pull

While laying on your back, extend one leg out straight and pull the opposite knee up to your chest. Harvard Health recommended grasping your thigh and keeping the foot of your extended leg flexed as you stretch.

5. Supine Twist

Laying on your back, draw your knees into a hug and then let them fall to one side with arms outstretched while looking away from your knees. This gentle move can stretch the spine’s muscles, as yoga teacher Brooke Blocker told Prevention.
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6. Toe Touch

To do this gym class throwback stretch, reach toward your toes in a seated position with legs extended straight out. You may not actually be able to touch your toes, but in time you could gain increased hamstring flexibility from this stretch.
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7. Side Reach

In a seated position, reach one arm overhead and lean to the opposite side without twisting. This type of side-bend stretch can help strengthen and stretch the intercostal muscles to support the ribs, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.

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8. Child’s Pose

Yogis may recognize this relaxing stretch with extended arms and knees tucked in. Begin on all fours and lower your bottom toward the heels, allowing your forehead to touch the bed. Harvard Health recommended keeping the neck in a neutral position.

9. Arm Extension

Open up your chest and shoulders with seated arm extensions when you first wake up. You can also reach one arm across the body and hold it steady with the other arm for 30 seconds to release shoulder tension, according to The Mayo Clinic.
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10. Bed To Floor Stretch

With your feet on the floor, reach your arms overhead and then lower your top half forward toward to reach toward your toes. This stretch will help you reap the benefit of increased blood flow, according to the American Council on Exercise Fitness.
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