Stretches To Start Your Day

Stretches are a great way to begin your day. Your body will feel relaxed, limber, and energized. The reason to stretch is to increase and improve your flexibility but it can also help to prevent muscle injuries throughout the day.

These stretches are for the major muscle groups and can be done from a standing or seated position. If you’re feeling tightness in any part of your body, feel free to stretch more often.

4 Daily Stretches

1. Shoulder & Upper Back Stretch

Stretches: Shoulders, upper back, may also feel a stretch through the forearms.

Standing

blog author Jasmine stands and stretches arms out behind her with palms up
  1. Stand tall, face forward, shoulders back.
  2. Bring your arms around towards your back, keep shoulders pressed down.
  3. As your arms are extended back you will squeeze your shoulder blades.
  4. Press up with the palm of your hands.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and release.

Seated

  1. Sit tall in a chair (preferably a chair without arms).
  2. Face forward.
  3. Pull your shoulders back.
  4. Bring arms around towards your back, keep shoulders pressed down.
  5. As your arms are extended back you will squeeze your shoulder blades.
  6. Press up with the palm of your hands.
  7. Hold for 30 seconds and release.

Jasmine’s Tips: For all of these stretches don’t forget to breathe. It’s important not to hold your breath due to tensing up and the possibility of fainting.

2. Oblique Overhead Stretch

Stretches: The core, back, and shoulders.

Standing

blog author Jasmine standing and stretches arms overhead to one side with hands clasped
  1. Stand tall, face forward.
  2. Interlock fingers.
  3. Lean slowly to your right side, bringing your arms up at a diagonal over your head, palms facing out.
  4. Hold stretch for 5- 10 seconds.
  5. Slowly come back to center keeping your arms overhead.
  6. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
  7. Repeat on left side of the body.

Seated

  1. Sit tall in a chair (preferably a chair without arms). Make sure your looking forwards and shoulders are back.
  2. Interlock fingers.
  3. Lean slowly to your right side, bringing your arms up at a diagonal over your head, palms facing out.
  4. Hold stretch for 5-10 seconds.
  5. Slowly come back to center keeping your arms overhead. (if your arms get restless you may bring them down and start at the beginning)
  6. Repeat on left side of the body.
  7. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

3. Hamstring Stretches

Stretches: Top half of the back of the leg.

Standing

blog author Jasmine stretches to touch one out stretched foot with her hands
  1. Finding a stable surface to put your leg up on.
  2. Stretch one leg out in front of you, on the heel with toes pointed up.
  3. Make sure support foot is stable, keep knee soft.
  4. Place one hand on top of the other and hinge forward, reaching the arms down towards your toes.
  5. Hold your stretch for 30 seconds and breathe, no bouncing.
  6. Slowly shift back towards your heels, and come back up.
  7. Repeat with other leg.

Seated

  1. Sit tall in a chair, make sure you sit at the edge of your seat.
  2. Stretch one leg out in front of you, on the heel with toes pointed up.
  3. Place one hand on top of the other and reach your arms down towards your toes.
  4. Hold your stretch for 30 seconds and breathe, no bouncing.
  5. Slowly come back up.
  6. Repeat with other leg.

4. Quadriceps Stretch

Stretches: The front of thigh.

Standing

blog author Jasmine holding the ankle of her leg bent behind her
  1. Stand tall, face forward, shoulders back.
  2. Bend your right leg up behind you, bending at the knee.
  3. If you’re able, grab your ankle. Pay attention to your body alignment, do not lean forward.
  4. After holding the stretch for 30 seconds bring your right leg down.
  5. Repeat with left leg.

Seated

  1. Sit in a chair (preferably a chair without arms).
  2. Sitting tall in your chair make sure your facing forward with shoulders back
  3. Bring your right leg up, bending at the knee and if you’re able, grab your ankle. Knee will be facing floor. Pay attention to your body alignment- shoulders over hips.
  4. During this stretch remember to breath. Also make sure your knee is pointed down
  5. Hold your stretch for 30 seconds.
  6. Carefully bring your leg forward with feet flat.
  7. Repeat with left leg.

Jasmine’s Tip: if you have any balance issues or need extra support, then stand with a chair besides you to hold on to.

Blog author Jasmine Young is a Wellness Specialist who works at The Connection, a fitness center offering a variety of classes and equipment specifically designed for those aged 50+. The Aquatic Center includes a 75-foot heated pool, aquatic bikes, and a whirlpool. The Connection is located in College Hill, Ohio and membership is open to the community. For more information call 513-853-2000.

Confident Living is a continuing care at home program, focused on helping you remain active and independent as you age in your own home. We serve the greater Cincinnati area, for more information, contact us online or call (513) 719-3522.