1. Your cycle
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Fitness and exercise

Flo Fact-Checking Standards

Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

5 Morning Stretches You Can Do at Home

It can be hard to wake up every morning and enthusiastically get ready for your day. Most people don’t automatically wake up fully alert and in a good mood. It takes time to get your body and mind ready for a good day. If you’re looking for some morning stretches, yoga can help. Morning yoga stretches are designed to help your body wake up and get prepared for the day ahead.

Doing daily stretches before your cup of coffee can do wonders for your alertness, mood, and general wellness. Have you ever gotten out of bed and done some morning back stretches? Have you ever wanted to take your stretching further? You can even do some of these daily morning stretches in bed. Read on to find the best stretches to do in the morning.

It can be hard to start a new routine. Try taking 10 minutes after you wake up to do these morning yoga stretches:

  • Plank to downward dog
  • Knees to chest stretch
  • Spinal twist
  • Hip and heart opener
  • Forward fold stretch

If you have a hard time getting up in the morning, you’ll be pleased to learn you can do some of these morning stretches in bed. This list includes morning stretches for back pain, which many people experience first thing in the morning. There are many benefits to morning yoga stretches, including:

  • Better circulation
  • Decreased muscle pain
  • Increased energy

When your body is at rest for long periods, like during sleep, you may feel stiff and sore in the morning. These morning stretches can help your muscles boost your blood circulation, which flushes the muscles and warms them up. If you’re training for an athletic event, morning yoga stretches can reduce your pain and increase your energy for the day ahead. 

Morning yoga stretches don’t just help you feel loose and limber. They can help your mental alertness and get you into a positive frame of mind so you’re ready to face the day. The morning yoga stretches outlined below are easy and intended to be done slowly. Go at your own pace and repeat as much as you want until you feel relaxed and ready for your day.

Start your morning yoga stretches with a two-part move that brings attention to your core muscles and spine. Begin with a high plank.

  • Begin with your hands and toes on the floor, back straight down to your heels.
  • Hold your body weight over your wrists.
  • Pull your belly button inwards toward your spine.
  • Keep your spine straight from the back of your neck to your feet.
  • Hold this position and breathe with your belly, expanding on inhales, contracting on exhales. 

Then move into a downward dog.

  • Flatten your feet onto the ground and push your hips up and back towards the ceiling. 
  • Let your head fall so the crown is facing the ground.
  • Keep your ears even with your inner arms as you stretch.
  • Let your spine straighten from the back of your head to your butt.

Morning back stretches like this increase circulation, stretch your muscles and tendons, and help prevent back pain throughout the day. Use the belly breathing technique during your morning yoga stretches. Belly breathing is great for developing deep breathing. It ensures you’re filling your lungs with air and holding the stretch as best you can. Don’t push or strain yourself through these morning stretches. Take your time and let your body grow into your new morning yoga routine. 

This is one of the best morning stretches. It’s slow, relaxing, and very simple to do. This is one of the daily morning stretches you can do in bed before even getting up. To do this stretch:

  • Begin by lying on your back.
  • Pull your knees up and toward your chest. 
  • Hold the position and breathe with your belly.

Morning back stretches are very gentle on your body and address some sensitive areas. The many benefits include:

  • Gently stretching the lower back
  • Stabilizing the pelvis
  • Reducing low back pain
  • Encouraging blood flow to vital organs
  • Reducing bloating
  • Stimulating digestion

This is one of the most vital yoga stretches to do in the morning. If you are pressed for time or unable to perform lots of stretches back to back, this is the one with which you should start. These morning back stretches can increase your ability to do more stretches in the future.

Target multiple areas of your body at once with this stretch. The best part of this stretch is that once you are in position, you can just rest and breathe deeply. To round out a solid routine of morning stretches in bed, start with the knees to chest stretch described above and finish with this one.

  • Begin by lying on the floor on your back.
  • Rotate your pelvis so one leg is draped over the other.
  • Turn your head in the opposite direction as your top leg.

When you’re done with this stretch on one side, shift your hips and twist to the other side, with your other leg on top. This spinal stretch targets your back, hips, and glutes. This stretch does wonders for your organs and spine as well, including:

  • Opening your chest
  • Restoring your spine’s natural range of motion
  • Stretching your waist
  • Strengthening your abdominal muscles

When performing morning stretches, yoga practitioners often recommend meditation. The best morning stretches help balance your body and mind to prepare you for the day. 

This is a slightly more-challenging two-part stretch that you can do from a high plank position. For a gentler stretch, keep the knee of your extended leg on the ground. Start with the hip opener:

  • Begin in a high plank position (knees on or off the ground).
  • Draw your right foot up and plant it flat on the ground just outside your right hand.
  • Relax your hips by moving slowly back and forth and side to side.

Then move into the heart opener:

  • Extend your right hand up into the air, pointing at the ceiling.
  • Turn your neck to stay in line with your chest, facing the right side of your body.
  • Breathe deeply and let your chest expand and stretch. 

Once you feel relaxed and stretched in this position, do this stretch on the other side with your opposite leg. This helps your body develop better balance, opens up your chest muscles, and relieves tension in your hips.

Some yoga practitioners suggest ending your routine with a couple of forward folds, which target the spine and hamstrings. All of these morning stretches help alleviate soreness and pain. To do a forward fold:

  • Stand with your feet flat on the ground, shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep a slight bend in your knees.
  • Bend at the hips and let your upper body drape over your lower body.
  • Let your hands fall wherever is comfortable — on the floor, on top of your shins or knees, etc.
  • Breathe from your belly and shake your head gently, back and forth, up and down.
  • Slowly bring yourself out of the forward fold by rising up, straightening one vertebra at a time.

Not only does this stretch help align your back and neck, but it increases flexibility. Watch how far your hands extend as you do this stretch over time. With gentle practice and repetition, you’ll see your hands get closer and closer to the floor as your back stretches and your hamstrings relax. 

Give your routine a makeover with these morning stretches. Do these stretches immediately after waking up and let your body stretch and breathe into a positive and relaxed frame of mind. Begin with some stretches in bed to help you wake up. Start your day with an alert mind and your blood pumping. This morning yoga routine can help you turn bad mornings into good ones.




Read this next