Here we are mid week already and I don’t know about you but I wish I could hit pause for a quick sec and get ahead of my to-do list. When I have a couple of busy weeks back to back there is always a day where it hits me and I need a reset.
Yesterday was one of those for me and I found myself just needing to slow down, incorporate some stretching and self-care. I felt so much better after just a five minute break on my mat stretching. It gave me the idea to share with you my top ‘must’ stretches that will give you not only a little energy boost but some great blood flow and circulation.
Stretching is SO important and something we often neglect if we’re pressed for time because we don’t think of how something is affecting us if we’re not getting that immediate feedback. Sure you will feel sorer tomorrow or less flexible in a week, but not instantly so why bother?
Well for one, it does prevent muscle soreness caused by working out or long stints of immobility, but it also improves flexibility, blood flow and circulation so we don’t get stagnant or stuck and suffer from side affects such as inflammation and varicose veins.
I love it for the sheer fact that it makes me feel better, both physically and mentally. I am a much happier person after a yoga session or after taking a few minutes to stretch it out than I am if I skipped any lengthening practice.
So without stretching this out any further 😉 lets get to my top stretches that you should aim to do daily. For something that will take you minutes you will feel longer, leaner and happier I promise!
Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds (ideally a minute or two if you can spare the time) so your muscles really loosen and relax into each stretch. Don’t forget to breathe!
My Simply Fit 5 Daily Stretches
- Spinal twist-lay in corpse pose (laying flat on your back, legs extended straight and arms by your sides) pull one knee in and wrap both arms around your bent knee. Using the opposite arm of the knee pulled in, turn your knee to the opposite hip using your other arm to brace yourself against the floor. Look over your shoulder (away from where your knee is being pulled). Switch sides.
- Rag doll-standing in an upright position with hands by your sides, feet hip width apart, start by reaching both arms up the sky, reaching as high as you can without lifting feet off the ground. Slowly bend forward and reach arms towards the ground. Grab opposite elbows and slightly sway side to side, releasing your lower back and neck.
- Hip opener-in kneeling position (use padded mat if you have sore knees) lunge one leg forward being mindful knee is tracking over ankle. Keep other leg and foot flat on the ground and lean into the bent leg with hands clasped on top of your thigh or on hips. Rock back and forth a few times until you find the depth you can feel it the most and breathe into the stretch. Switch sides.
- Shoulder opener-to help undo all the rounding forward we do all day (driving, sitting at a desk, eating at a table, texting, etc.) it is great to open the front of the chest and shoulders. Stand with feet hip width apart and roll shoulders back while clasping hands behind back. Pull hands up towards the middle of your back until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders, upper back and across your chest.
- Hamstring stretch-sitting on the floor with legs together stretched long in front of you, reach up to the ceiling with both arms and try to touch your toes with a straight back, only bending forward at the last possible second. Once your arms are reaching for your toes, flex your feet and pull your toes if you can reach them or anything you can grab until you feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Continue a few times until you get the deepest stretch you can handle.
I hope you find some time in your day to do a few stretches; it doesn’t take long to improve your flexibility and add self-care into your routine and the benefits are endless. Be kind to yourself, remember your body is always changing and may not be at the same flexibility every day, so just stretch to where you feel a release and never any pain.
After talking about it I feel like I may take a few minutes to myself and get some lengthening going on. I have a long day of work and then Pilates at night so I will need all the energy I can get! Have a FANTASTIC rest of your week everyone <3