Rise and shine… and stretch.
Whether you’re an super active athlete or spend the majority of your time tethered to an office desk, stretching is crucial and beneficial—helping you prevent injuries and also relaxing tight muscles. Plus, kickstarting your morning with a few deep stretches before your commute can put you in the right headspace to take on a crazy-hectic day.
Jeff Brannigan from Stretch*d, a New York recovery center that teaches dynamic stretching, demonstrates three easy stretches that target your neck, shoulders, hamstrings, hips and glutes in just a few minutes. Do them as soon as you wake up; all you need is a resistance band and a little morning motivation to not hit that snooze button.
Yes, maybe, no
Sitting up straight with your legs crossed, place your right hand on the back of your head and push your head forward in a “yes” motion. Bring your head back to center and repeat.
Next, drape your hand over the top of your head with your palm resting on the left side (behind your ear) and pull your head down towards your right shoulder. Return to center and repeat.
Finally, hold your chin with your left thumb and forefinger and turn your head to look over your right shoulder, as if shaking your head “no.” Bring your head back to center and repeat.
Lying flat on your back, bend one knee and place your foot firmly on the floor. Loop a resistance band around the opposite foot and keep this leg straight. Stretch the leg with the band out away from your body, opening up your hips, before returning to center. Tip: Let the leg fall as close to the ground as possible while still controlling it with the band. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat, then switch sides.
Lie flat on your back with your legs together. Loop one foot through a resistance band. Stretch the leg with the bad across your body to the opposite side, stretching your outer thigh and butt. Maintaining control, lower your leg back to the floor, hold for 30 seconds and then repeat, then switch sides.
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