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Friday Fitness: Stretching in Bed

From Ariel Wynne, Program Intern

Whether you’re sore or just want to put off the inevitable getting out of bed, stretching in the morning is a good habit to have. Stretching in the morning will bring blood to your muscles and decrease the stiffness and soreness some people have in the morning. Do your stretches slowly since your muscles are cold. You can also do these stretches immediately before bed to relax and unwind from a busy day. Stretching in the evening is a great way to slow down and get your body ready for bed. You might find that you can stretch a bit deeper in the evening since your muscles are warm from moving around all day. Try these five stretches that you can do while still in bed to get a healthy start or end to your day. 

1. Banana Stretch – Lie on your back with you arms overhead and bring both your arms and both your legs over to the left side. You will feel a good stretch along your right side. Hold for 5 deep breaths then return to start. Repeat on your other side.

2. Spinal Twist (Lower back and Hips) – Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides. Bend your right knee and cross it over your left leg. Twist your lower body to the left as you look right and keep your right shoulder on the bed. You will feel a good stretch in your right hip and back. Hold for 5 deep breaths then return to start. Repeat on the other side.

3. Number 4 Stretch (Glutes, Hip extensors, and Hamstrings) – Lie on your back with knees bent. Cross your left ankle over your right knee. Hold your right hamstring and slowly pull it into your chest. You will feel a stretch in your left glute and your right hamstring. Hold for 5 deep breaths then return to start. Repeat on the other side.

4. Quadriceps Stretch (Quadriceps) – Lie on your left side with hips and shoulders stacked. Hold onto your right foot with your hand or with a strap and pull it towards your glute until you feel tension in your thigh muscles. You can also use a strap or a towel if you have trouble reaching your foot. Hold for 5 deep breaths then repeat on the other side.

5. Nighttime Goddess Stretch (Inner thigh and Groin) – Lie on your back with the bottoms of your feet together. Hold your arms out to the side. Breathe deeply and let your knees fall to the bed. You will feel a stretch along your inner thigh and groin area. Hold for 5 deep breaths or longer.

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