Many of us are aware of the morning struggle to feel alert and ready to seize the day. The desire of a warm cup of coffee might not be enough to keep you from snoozing in your comfy bed for another five to thirty minutes. While taking ten minutes to tune up your body after a restful night’s sleep might not be your first choice after mustering the motivation to start your day, you might be surprised at how little it takes to give your body a boost. Increasing blood circulation throughout your body is a great way to help you feel more alert without waiting for your caffeinated beverage to kick in. Getting your body moving early also gives your muscles a chance to warm up so they can be ready for the physical demands of the morning. Perform a minute of each of the following movements to help give your body a tune up each morning.
Good Mornings with Back Extension
Start your morning off with this movement to activate your hips and stimulate good posture through your chest, shoulders, and spine. Start by standing up out of bed and putting both hands behind your head with your fingers interlocked. With a slight bend in your knees, push your hips back while keeping your back straight. Once you feel a light stretch through your hamstrings, drive your hips forward until you are back to a standing position. Continue to push your hips forward while arching your back and looking up towards the ceiling. Make sure your take smooth deep breathes as you perform each rep.
Wide Squats with Y-Raises
Shoulder and hip mobility are a critical component to healthy posture and muscular performance. To perform this movement set your feet about shoulder width apart with your feet slightly rotated outward. Try to maintain an upright posture while reaching down to the floor with both arms. Once you reach a comfortable squat depth, raise your arms up over your head in a Y position. It’s important not to force the depth of your squat to low or force your arms overhead if your flexibility is limited. As your flexibility improves, your range of motion should increase.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch with Lateral Reach
Make sure you have a soft surface to rest your knee on before starting this exercise. Start in a lunge position with one knee on the ground. Push your hips forward while maintaining an upright posture through your spine and neck. As you push your hips forward, take one arm and reach up and over your body to stretch your lats and obliques while simultaneously feeling a stretch in your hip flexor. Switch legs and arms at 30 seconds.
Press Up Back Extension
Perform this exercise by lying on your stomach facing down and slowly press with your hands while keeping your hips and legs in contact with the floor. Your lower back should remain relaxed during this exercise. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds and repeat every 5 seconds for the whole minute. As you get more comfortable with the movement you can work to hold it for the whole minute. As with any of these movements, if you feel pain, you should stop the movement and move on to the next.
The core muscles surrounding your spine are critical in maintaining a healthy posture. Strengthening these muscles will also help avoid any injuries associated with a weak core. To perform this movement begin by assuming an all fours position with your hands and knees on the floor. While keeping you back straight, raise one arm straight in front of you while lifting and extending the opposite leg. Your arm, head, back, and leg should all be in line with each other. Hold the position for a couple seconds before slowly lowering your arm and leg back into the starting position. Repeat the movement and hold with the opposite arms and leg.
After performing each of these exercises for a minute, repeat each one to finish the 10-minute body tune up routine. Over time, your flexibility should improve if you continue to perform this routine. As with any exercise program or activity, you should consult with your doctor before giving this routine a try.