Rise and Shine: 8 Stretches You Should Do Each Morning

By , Suzanne Bowen
One of the best ways to start your day in a healthy way is to take a moment to ground your thoughts by stretching and intentionally breathing.  It's amazing what you can accomplish in less than seven minutes to set your day on the right path.  
When you stretch deeply, you should always be warm.  So performing this series after a morning workout or after a hot shower is optimal. If you do it right out of bed, make sure you stretch more gently.  

Here are eight stretches to add to your morning routine to feel strong, flexible and grounded. These exercises cover all your major muscle groups and can be followed any time of day, including after your workouts.
Upper Back Release
Targets the upper back and back of shoulders.
Standing with feet hip-distance apart, clasp hands and round upper back keeping arms straight and active.

Think about the shoulder blades spreading wide across your back.

Hold stretch for 2-3 deep breaths.

Chest Release
Targets the chest, front of shoulders and biceps.
Holding a wall, door frame or window ledge with left arm, step forward with left leg and turn entire body to the right especially at the hips.  

Hold stretch for 4-6 deep breaths increasing stretch with the pivot at the hips.  Repeat on the other side.

Side Stretch
Targets the IT band (outer thigh), obliques and shoulders.
Standing with right hand on bed or wall, cross left leg in front of right leg, feet pointing forward.

Shift into the left hip and reach left arm up and over head, creating a long line from the left ankle to the left fingertips.  

Hold and take 2-3 deep inhales and exhales.  Repeat on right.

Seated Spinal Twist
Targets the spine, neck and shoulders.
Sitting on a chair or edge of bed with legs together, lengthen spine rotate from the waist, placing one hand behind you and the other hand on your outer thigh for support.

For a deeper stretch for the neck, turn your gaze to look over your shoulder as well.

Hold 2-3 deep breaths.  Repeat other side.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Targets hamstrings.

Supporting yourself for balance as needed, bring right leg up onto a step or bench, increasing height as flexibility increases.  Keep legs hips distance and parallel and keep back leg straight (if possible) and front foot flexed.  

If you need to increase stretch, hinge at the hips (not the waist or back), keeping the spine completely straight.  Don't round the spine.

Take 4-6 deep breaths. Repeat other side.  
Standing Quad Stretch
Targets quadriceps.
Holding a chair, wall or bed for support, stand with feet hip-distance apart. Soften left knee and reach for your right foot or ankle, bending the right knee to point straight down to the floor.

Keep pelvis neutral and spine tall with the crown of your  head reaching to the ceiling.  

Hold for 4-6 deep breaths.  Repeat other side.

Outer Hip Stretch
Targets hips and outer thighs.

Lift left leg, knee bent, onto bed. Square off hips and make sure front knee is outside of front shoulder.

Keeping tailbone untucked and spine straight, hinge forward at the hips, placing hands on the bed for support.

Hold for 4-6 deep breaths then change sides.

Standing Forward Bend
Targets hamstrings and lower back.
Standing with feet hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent, hinge forward at the hips.  Allow your upper body to hang over your legs and clasp elbows.  

(Note: Do not "hang" from elbows if you have any lower back issues. Instead, place hands on floor or legs for support.)

Hold for 2-3 deep breaths while you gently shake your head no and even more gently nod your head yes.   To come up, pull in abs and gently round up one vertebra at a time.

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SNUZYQ2 10/9/2019
Simple, well explained stretches to start the day off right! Thank you so much for sharing this! Report
ALVIN99 9/26/2019
Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts.
WHITEANGEL4 9/1/2019
Thanks for the great suggestions Report
IPERZEUS 8/20/2019
Amazing esercizes!

if you want fight your back problem with stretching, try this:


is amazing! Report
ALVIN991 8/8/2019
Thank you for sharing with us. I really appreciate for this great information.
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LEANJEAN6 8/7/2019
Yes-inspiring! Report
Bookmarking. I decided I wanted to go with a morning stretch to start my day before breakfast and my morning walk. This is perfect. Report
WHITEANGEL4 7/5/2019
I make an effort to do some of these every morning Report
Great ideas! Report
KHALIA2 5/13/2019
Great ideas! Thanks! Report
MKCHANN 5/11/2019
Going to give it a try, thanks Report
Helps me wake up. Report
RO2BENT 5/11/2019
Love these simple and easy basic stretches! Report
USMAWIFE 2/21/2019
thank you Report
RCLYKE 2/17/2019
Great article Report
Best resource ever for morning stretch! Thank you! Report
CZECHRN 1/4/2019
I plan to try these. I would like to suggest that when giving instructions PLEASE make sure the pictures match the directions ! Some pics are ok but others say right (leg/side) but show left. That makes it harder to understand how to position body! Thanks! Report
USMAWIFE 12/18/2018
thanks Report
ALVIN991 12/14/2018

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ALVIN991 12/14/2018

I found a lot of useful information here, very informative article. I appreciate your useful information.
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ALVIN991 12/14/2018

I found a lot of useful information here, very informative article. I appreciate your useful information.

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97MONTY 12/7/2018
Great ideas for a rest day Report
EVILCECIL 11/24/2018
I need to do more stretching. Report
USMAWIFE 11/17/2018
thank you Report
KACEYSW 11/13/2018
I need to do these more regularly! Report
MARYGOLD5 11/7/2018
Great stretches. Thanks. Report
MUVFASTA 11/7/2018
Thank you so much! I saved these and plan to do them every morning! Report
MBPP50 11/6/2018
Great- thank you Report
MIYAMO 11/6/2018
I am going to try these. Thanks. Report
MSROZZIE 11/5/2018
Good read. Thanks! Report
NIKKI.1111 11/5/2018
Great article! Definitely will try these Report
SPINECCO 11/5/2018
Great information. Thanks for sharing. Report
Thank you! I plan to do these everyday! Report
TOMORROW-C 11/5/2018
Something I always need but forget to do. Report
HEDSTS58 11/5/2018
Those are great stretches Report
AKELAZ 11/5/2018
Love stretches in the morning - always make me ready to face the day - particularly if I've woken feeling creaky which happens too often now I'm in my 70s. Adding these to my collection. Thank you. Report
MUSTAF2 10/29/2018
Stretching exercise will help you relax after workouts.
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Thanks, saved yhem so I can do them in the morning! Report
I’ve been stretching before I get out if bed for many years. With fibromyalgia, it’s often the only reason I get upright. Report
Thanks for the ideas! Report
Bend and stretch, reach for the stars. Here comes Jupiter, there goes Mars. Report
All great "looseners" to help us start our day! Thank you! Report
great stretches Report
Feels good to stretch. Report
Thanks for shariing Report
Excellent share! Report
Stretching makes a BIG difference in thew ay I feel throughout the day. THANKS for the tips. Report
Great stretches! Report
Awesome...thanks. for sharing.... Report