Greatest Morning Stretches You Can Do in Mattress

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Best Morning Stretches You Can Do in Bed

When you wake up – after clicking snooze too many times, but before you grab your phone to scour email – take the time to do something good for your body. Morning stretches are usually never high on the list, but what if we say you don't have to get up? These morning stretches can all be done lying down … and still half asleep.

Such a program can serve as a warm-up exercise before a workout or as a wake-up ritual to prepare your body for a day at your desk. Stretching sets a positive tone for the day by resetting posture, getting the blood flowing, and making you feel like you've accomplished something. Even on your busiest days, when exercising may not be possible, knowing that you have at least taken steps to prevent long-term injury and deterioration can make you feel better.

Note: A firmer mattress makes it easier to stretch. A softer mattress works similarly to a Physioball or a BOSU ball in that it increases the difficulty of an unstable surface.

7 Morning Stretches You Can Do Without Leaving Bed

1. Toe circles

On your back, grasp one leg with two hands below the knee and lift it up at a 90-degree angle. Twist your foot clockwise 10 times, then counterclockwise 10 times. Make sure to move from your ankle, not your toes. This helps with ankle mobility, which is key to moving fluidly and avoiding falls. The ankles are beaten in everyday life and this keeps the joints open and works properly.

Do 2 x 10 repetitions per side

2. Glute bridges

Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet on the mattress. Squeeze your glutes together and bridge your hips towards the ceiling. Only your shoulders and hips should remain on the bed. Hold for two seconds, then lower your hips towards the bed, stopping an inch above it. This movement activates your gluteus muscles, which tend to stop sitting all day.

Do 2 x 10 repetitions

3. Lowering the straight leg

Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs straight above your hips. Keep one leg straight and slowly lower the other until it is just above the bed. Return to the starting position and repeat. The key is to keep your toes flat on the bed toward your shins and back. This stretches the hamstrings while challenging the muscles of the chest and torso.

Do 2 x 10 repetitions per side

4. Knee hugs

Lie on your back, lift your right knee toward your chest, and put your hands under your knee. Pull your right knee towards your chest while squeezing your left gluteus muscle. Return to the starting position and repeat on the left side. Keep switching sides. This simple movement stretches the hamstring and glutes of your foreleg, as well as the hip flexor of your hind leg.

Do 2 x 10 repetitions per side

5. Rib opener

Lie on a folded pillow on your left side with your left (lower) leg straight and your right (upper) leg at a 90-degree angle. Your left hand is on your right knee. Reach over your chest with your right arm as if you were pinning a newspaper to your chest. Pull your chest to the right for a good stretch. Hold down for two seconds. This movement lengthens and strengthens the muscles of the chest and back and creates mobility in the thoracic spine.

Do 2 x 10 repetitions per side

6. V-Sit Crunch

Start on your back with your hands above your head. Raise your legs and grind at the same time so that your body is shaped like a "V". (If you do one in front of the other, you lose much of the effectiveness of the movement.) Exhale as you raise and crunch your legs, and then inhale as you return to the starting position. This will challenge your abs and help build core strength.

Do 2 x 10 reps between sets with a 30-second pause

7. Child pose

From a kneeling position, touch your big toes and sit on your heels. Separate your knees about hip-width apart and place your torso between your thighs. Place your hands along your torso on the bed, raise your palms, and let go of the front of your shoulders toward the floor. You should feel the weight of the front of your shoulders pulling the shoulder blades far across your back. The well-known yoga resting pose is effective for straightening shoulders that contract from sitting too much.

Pete Williams is a NASM certified personal trainer and author and co-author of several books on performance and training.

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