Ah. Everyone loves waking up in the morning. Okay maybe not, but getting a good start to your morning can set the tone for how your whole day will go. A great way to do this is with a morning stretch routine - getting the blood flowing and your muscles feeling good. Throw in a nutritious breakfast and coffee, some reading and journaling, and a workout and you have already crushed the first hour or two of your morning.
Stretching in the morning feels good. The main reason we want to do this is to wake up the body and get some movement in. The question though becomes where do we start? There are thousands of stretches. Honestly, one of the most important things to remember is to do what feels good by moving what feels tight. You have probably noticed you naturally do this some mornings without even thinking about it - whether it's the classic back bend or reaching your arms high overhead.
The point is that there’s not necessarily a wrong answer of where to start. However, in this article, I’ll give you a routine that is a great starting point. Feel free to add what you want and ignore what doesn’t feel good.
Let’s dive in.
- Downward Dog
This is an excellent stretch. It essentially hits all of the muscles on the backside of your body - from your neck and back all the way to your hamstrings and calves. Feel free to move around shifting your weight from side to side or pedaling your feet to stretch out your calves even more. I would recommend holding this stretch for about thirty seconds.
- Upward Dog
In keeping with the yoga trend, we got to hit the upward dog. The upward dog stretch is essentially the exact opposite of the downward dog. It targets almost every muscle on the front of your body - from your chest and abs to your hips and quads. Try looking over your left shoulder and then your right shoulder to get a deeper stretch. You can hold this stretch for about thirty seconds as well.
Also, feel free to alternate between these two stretches - try five of each and spend about ten seconds in each position.
- Child’s Pose
Child’s pose is a great hip opener and back stretch. Stretch those arms out long and keeps your full hand on the ground. To get an even better stretch, walk your hands from side to side and really feel that stretch in your side. Feel free to hold this stretch as long as you like, but about thirty seconds again should do the trick.
- Butterfly Stretch
Take a nice relaxing seat on the ground and stretch out your groin muscles and low back. One of the tightest areas, when we wake up, can be our groin muscles and this stretch is sure to loosen them up. Be sure to take it slow as rushing into this stretch won’t feel great. You can rock side to side to better target each leg. Rock in and out of this stretch or hold it - whichever feels best. You should spend about thirty seconds on this stretch as well.
- Tricep Stretch
This stretch will have your triceps and back muscles feeling nice and flexible. Again, you don’t have to pull extremely hard - just enough pressure to feel a little bit of tension and a stretch. Move the arm being stretched side to side and forward and back to get a deeper stretch. Hold each side for about thirty seconds.
There you have it - a morning stretch routine for men.
If you counted along throughout the list, you can see that this routine will only take you about three minutes. You will essentially have stretched every muscle in your body and be ready to take on the day - with a more limber and flexible you of course. Daily stretching doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Commit to doing three minutes every morning and measure the difference in how you feel. Stretch routines are not a one-size-fits-all so be sure to play around with stretches that work best for you.
Want more mobility in your life? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Mobility.
As always, feel free to reach out or leave a comment with any questions. We would love to hear from you!