How do I know what kind of stretching to do when I wake up?
After a restful night sleep your body may feel tight from the previous day’s activities, from aches and pains, or even from injuries.
Stretching can be a good way to help release muscle tension, regain mobility, and range of motion that seems to be lost while sleeping or even sitting for long periods of time.
One of the things we should keep in mind while performing morning stretching is that stretching your muscles while they are cold or haven’t been active for hours might feel good, but dynamically stretching a warm muscle allows for a deeper and more effective stretch, and has greater benefits.
I would recommend 3-5 minutes of “Dynamic Stretching” in the morning rather then classic “Static Stretching”. Remember:
Dynamic = you’re continually moving
Static = you’re holding positions
Dynamic Stretches are stretches that take your muscles through a full range of motion. For example: try lifting your arm overhead. The goal is to get to a place where this action becomes easy to perform. When you reach that point, you have a more complete range of motion in your shoulder / arm in this direction.
Some of my favourite Dynamic Stretches that I use for myself and some of my personal training clients are hamstring walkouts/inchworms, wipers, and lateral lunges or cossack squats. You can see the video here: https://youtu.be/7M_Ff2tb22I
Give these 3 Dynamic Stretches a try next time you feel tight in the morning and you can feel the benefits throughout your entire day.