There are very few things that come before coffee. These six moves get a pass.
We all wake up achy or stiff from time to time. Sometimes it’s from a serious workout, other times it’s stress, or it can even be a combination of the two. From personal experience: if I spend several hours surfing on Sunday, Monday morning is going to be off to a sluggish start.
In a recent MorningRep poll on Twitter, 59% of respondents indicated they “sometimes” experience aches and pains while 36% responded that they “quite frequently” experience ailments. A follow up poll found that 49% typically experience discomfort in the hips and low back while 28% said it’s their shoulders and neck.
How often do you experience body aches and pains?
— MorningRep (@MorningRep) September 14, 2017
When you ever get “achy” it’s usually…
— MorningRep (@MorningRep) September 15, 2017
While pain is sometimes part of the game, there are supplemental things you can do to help alleviate it.
Instead of slowly rolling out of bed, slowly roll yourself into these positions. They not only act as a physical primer to start your day, but also a mentally relaxing one as well.
1. Forward neck hang
Carefully hang your neck forward off the bed. Gently pull your head down and hold for 5-10 seconds. Rotate your head to each side and hold for 5-10 seconds.
2. Reverse neck hang
Carefully hang your neck backwards off the bed. This counteracts all of the forward leaning we all do day-in and day-out. Just think about all the texting and reading on your phone, being hunched over the computer, etc. The same process for the forward neck hang applies here. When complete, use your hands to assist your neck and head as you sit back up.
3. Child’s pose
From your hands and knees, slowly drop your butt back while spreading and sinking your knees closer to the bed. As you’re doing this, lean your upper body forward and stretch your arms and shoulders out in front as much as you can. This will give your hips and shoulders the wake up call it needs. Hold in your deepest position for 10-20 seconds, release and repeat 5-10 times.
4. Bodyboarder’s pose
Lying on your stomach, plant your hands in front of you and pull your chest up while retracting your shoulder blades. At the same time, lift and cross your legs while gently trying to draw your feet to your shoulders. You’ll feel this in your upper and lower back. Hold this for 5-10 seconds. Rotate your neck to the left for 5-10 seconds, then to the right, hold for 5-10 seconds.
5. Lying hamstring and hip stretch
Lying on your back with your left leg flat on the bed, bend and pull your right knee as close to your head and chest as possible. Grab the outside of your foot with your right hand. You should feel a serious stretch in your hamstring. Slowly rotate your knee outward to the right while continuing to pull in towards your body, this will engage your hips. Hold for 5-10 seconds and release. Then, slowly attempt to straight your knee with your foot to the sky while continuing to hold your foot. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Release and repeat on the opposing side. You’ll feel this in your hamstrings, hips, and glutes at different points in the process. Repeat on each leg 3-5 times.
6. Overhead scap/lat retractions with lung expansion
Sit as upright as possible with your feet off the bed and flat on the floor. Reach your hands and arms as high up as possible. Now, imagine you are holding the bar of a lat pulldown machine. Pull that invisible weight down and back as far as possible. Your lats should be engaged. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Fill your lungs as much as possible as the top and release slowly as you pull down. Completely empty them at the bottom. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Release and repeat 5 times.