When the Gym is closed and you don’t have time to do a full blown work-out at home. There are many stretches you can do in the comfort of your bed. Little to no sweat involved so you don’t have to worry about smelling like an old gym sock when you are done. These are 13 stretches you can do before starting your day.
1. Single Knee To Chest
The single knee-to-chest exercise is an easy way to stretch your lower back, hamstrings and glutes. Stretching can help you become more flexible and increase the range of motion in your joints. You can use this exercise to ease any muscle tension or pain in these muscle groups. To perform the single knee-to-chest exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. Leaving one foot in place, bring one knee toward your chest while pressing your lower back flat onto the surface. Hold the raised knee with both hands and then hug it toward your chest. Hold the leg in place for between 15 and 20 seconds. Physical therapists recommend the single knee-to-chest exercise for people recovering from lower-back injuries as well as suffering from lower-back pain. These stretches you can do on your bed, but a harder surface works best.
2. Lying Twist
Lie on your back with arms horizontally stretched out in line with the shoulders. Bend your knees and bring your feet close to your hips. The soles of the feet are fully on the ground. Swing the knees to the left until the left knee touches the ground (the right knee and thigh are resting on the left knee and thigh). Simultaneously, turn the head to the right and look at your right palm. Your shoulder blades must touch the ground. While the body is twisted, there is a tendency for one of the shoulder blades to get lifted off the ground. One must work against this tendency for the stretch to be effective. Feel the stretch in the thighs, groin, arms, neck, stomach and back as you hold the pose. With each exhalation, relax deeper into the pose. After a few minutes, you may slowly turn the head back to the center and straighten the torso and legs. Mirror the pose on the other side. This is the most common stretches you can do in bed.
3. Hamstring Stretch
Sit on the ground with your legs extended and hands planted on the bed just behind your hips with a slight bend in the elbows. Bend one knee and bring the heel toward the opposite inner thigh. This is your starting position. Lean forward and grab the toe of your extended leg, feeling the stretch in your hamstring. Hold, then return to starting position to repeat on the other side. There are many other stretches you can do to workout your hamstrings, but this one is best when in bed.
4. Seated Forward Fold
Seated Forward Fold is a yoga pose that stretches the hamstrings and low back. Unlike a standing forward fold, the seated forward fold takes the pressure off of the spine that comes along with the unsupported forward flexion of the standing forward bend and lets the hamstrings find a deeper stretch and the back find release without pressure. If you are looking for relief from a tight low back or tight hamstrings you should learn how to do Seated Forward Fold.
5. Crossed Leg Forward Fold
In Easy Seated Forward Bend (or cross-legged forward bend) you sit with your legs crossed and tilt your pelvis forwards so that your ribcage moves towards the floor. If you want to work at stretching your hamstrings (which generally involves tilting your pelvis forwards relative to your thigh bones) you can use this posture to practice tilting your pelvis forwards. However, prior to bending forwards, you may find it helpful to first practice tilting your pelvis forwards and backwards while sitting upright.
6. Puppy Pose
Extended Puppy Pose is like the perfect combination of Downward Dog and Child’s Pose and can be used as a variation of either. Also referred to as Melting Heart Pose, this posture quite literally invites the heart to melt down toward the ground, stretching the spine in both directions. Extended Puppy stretches the spine, shoulders, upper back, and arms, making this pose great (or challenging, depending on how you look at it!) for those who tend to hold tension in their shoulders and upper back.
7. Pigeon Pose
The Pigeon Pose, also known as One-Legged-King Pigeon Pose, is a forward bending pose that stretches the muscles of the legs, hips, and back. The Sanskrit name of Pigeon Pose. It provides a way to open up and stretch stiff hips, chronically shortened by excessive sitting. The pose may be difficult for beginners to perform, especially if hip flexibility is limited. However, it is one of the best stretches you can do when feeling cramped up.
8. Reclining Bound Angle
This pose feels so good and is so comfortable, you could fall asleep in it . . . literally. Relax and lie down into this simple stretch to release your inner hips and thighs. Begin lying on your back with your feet hip-distance apart on the floor. Relax your knees toward the outer edges of your mat as you draw the soles of your feet to touch. Slide your heels as close toward your groin as feels comfortable for you. Relax your arms anywhere that feels comfortable. Breathe and hold for up to 2 minutes.
9. Frog Stretch
One of the most intense stretches you can do for your inner hip and thigh opener will make you realize just how tight your hips can get. Begin on all fours in Tabletop Pose. Keep your hips in the same line as your knees as you slowly glide your knees apart from each other (only go as far as feels comfortable). Turn your toes toward the outer edges of your mat (so the arch of your footrests on your mat). Keep your core engaged to protect your low back and gently relax the weight of your hips toward the floor. Option to stay as you are or lower your forearms to blocks or to the floor. Breathe and hold for up to 1 minute.
10. Eagle Arms
Seated Eagle Pose opens up the joints in the arms and shoulders. In the seated eagle pose, the two arms are brought together and the two fore-arms are twisted together. It gives a good stretch to the arms and the shoulder muscles. Sit in a comfortable position on the floor with arms resting on the thighs. This stretch can be assumed by sitting cross legged on the mat. If there is difficulty sitting on the floor, you may also do this sitting on your bed. Bring the two hands together with the elbows close to each other. Take the right arm around the left arm and make the right palm touch the left palm. At this point the two arms are inter-twined together like two snakes. Keep the spine straight and relax the shoulders. Gaze straight ahead. Breathe normally in this final position. Maintain the position for as long as you are comfortable. To release the position, un-twine the arms and bring the arms back to the thighs. One can also practice with the left arm twisting around the right arm.
11. Side Leg Lifts
Side leg raises involve abducting, or pushing away, the leg from your midline. It’s a great and simple way to build strength in the outer thighs and the hip abductors, which includes the gluteus medius and minimus. You can do it lying down or standing using just your body weight. Stretches you can do like this make it easier to do them anywhere, not just on the floor.
12. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch With Rotation
Changing the angle on the lunging hip flexor stretch adds more of a hip rotation and lets you tap into different parts of your hips, Atkins says. “This option gives you a deeper hip extensor stretch.” Kneel on your left knee. Place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent. Lean forward, stretching your left hip toward the floor. Squeeze your butt; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more. Then, rotate your torso open to the left. If you can, reach your hands down to the ground, keeping your chest lifted, to deepen the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Switch sides and repeat.
The Superman’s Exercise engages your abs and also strengthens your back. Beginners may not have much back strength, making this a good exercise to incorporate into your routine. In order to have a strong core, you need exercises like this that engage your back. This exercise has you lift your arms and legs off the ground, as if you were flying. Hence, the name Superman’s.
Will you try any of these stretches? Let us know in the comments!
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