Five mobility moves for a better morning
How often do you wake up in the morning feeling stiff, sore, or just generally sub-par?
Maybe you’re like me, and you drag yourself out from under the covers, maybe lose your balance a little bit, and as you fumble around in the dark for your clothes, you become aware of half a dozen areas on your body that feel painful or tight.
I used to just ignore these distress signals from my body, blame it on the early hour, and get on with my day. But I found that often, these areas that were yelling at me as I got out of bed only caused me more problems throughout the day. Whenever I squatted down to pick something up, sat at a computer for a couple hours, or jerked my neck around quickly to talk to someone, my body would protest.
Many of us start our days with a workout a couple times a week – and that’s great. A ten-minute warm-up followed by a forty-minute workout and by the time the sun comes up, you’re feeling pretty mobile and strong. But on the days you don’t go to the gym first thing, how do you start your morning, and how do you feel a couple hours into your day?
Instead of pulling out your phone in the darkness and scrolling through the news or social media for five minutes, set a one minute timer, go through this five-movement flow and see if it makes a difference in how you feel throughout the day.
- Childs Pose Breathing with Lateral Reaches: Sink into flexion, breathe deeply into your stomach, and slowly walk your hands around to one side, then the other.
- Modified Windshield Wipers: everyone’s favorite lower back exercise! Start with your knees in the air, drop them to one side while turning your neck to the opposite side. Then, slowly bring your hands together as in the picture below, reaching as far as you can.
- Frog rockbacks: A spin on the regular rockback to loosen up your hips and shoulders. Start on your elbows with your knees wide and toes pointed out. Rock your weight forward as much as possible to get a little bit of core activation.
- Plank to Downward Dog transitions: Reach through the shoulders as much as you can in the top position. Your T-spine will thank you. Slowly pedal out your legs one at a time for a great calf/hamstring stretch.
- Side to Side Grinder Squat: AKA the lateral lunge. Shift your weight back and forth without coming all the way up.