Morning Stretching Routine


Ten minutes is all you need to wake up your muscles and limber your joints with this morning stretching routine. It’s easy to add it to your new year fitness regime…

We all know we should stretch more. Whether you’re focusing on hip stretches during your morning routine or directing your attention toward your upper body, regular mobility work can improve post-exercise recovery, flexibility and injury prevention. However, there’s limited time to work out and chances are you want to spend all that time getting your sweat on.

The solution? This short morning stretching routine to prime and protect your body in ten minutes or less.

Morning stretching routine

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds on each side.

  1. Low lunge (targets hip flexors)
  2. Kneeling lunge (targets quads)
  3. Half kneeling hamstring stretch (targets hamstrings)
  4. Pigeon pose (targets hips and glutes)
  5. Twisted cross (targets chest and shoulders)
  6. Thread the needle (targets upper back)

Keep reading for full instructions on how to get the most out of your morning stretching routine.

low lunge stretch demonstration

1. Low lunge

Targets: Hip flexors

  • Start by kneeling tall, then step one foot forward.
  • Keeping your chest proud, tuck your pelvis under and squeeze your glutes, dropping your hips forward and down,
  • Keep your weight in your front heel and don’t let your glutes relax.

quad stretch, morning stretching routine

2. Kneeling lunge

Targets: Quads

  • Start by kneeling on one knee.
  • Keeping your core and glutes engaged and pelvis neutral, grab your back foot and pull it up toward your bum – be sure to keep your chest tall and allow your hips to press forward.
  • If you feel comfortable, grab your foot with your other hand as well.

After your morning stretching routine, try this home dumbbell HIIT workout

half kneeling hamstring stretch demonstration

3. Half kneeling hamstring stretch

Targets: Hamstrings

  • Again, kneeling on one knee, extend one leg out and place your heel on the floor.
  • Pull your toes back toward your shin and drop your chest toward your knee.

pigeon pose, morning stretching routine

4. Pigeon pose

Targets: Hips and glutes

  • Start sitting on your hip with both your knees at 90-degree angles.
  • Raise your hips and make them square with your front leg, then drop them down onto the floor and take your chest forward over your front leg.
  • This is quite an advanced stretch – if you feel any pain in your knee, allow your leg to bend further.

Achy muscles after your morning stretching routine? Check out the best massage guns

twisted cross stretch demonstration, morning stretching routine

5. Twisted cross

Targets: chest and shoulders

  • Start by lying on your front with your arms out to form a T shape.
  • Crawl your right hand a couple of inches higher than the line of your shoulder and bring your left arm in under your chest.
  • Now press with your left arm and reach your left leg up and over your right – try to place it flat on the floor.
  • If you are very flexible you can continue to rotate your body until both feet are flat on the floor.

thread the needle stretch demonstration

6. Thread the needle

Targets: Upper back

  • Start on all fours, with your hips stacked over your knees and feet apart so they remain in line with the knees.
  • Keeping your knees and hips exactly where they are, walk your hands further out in front of you.
  • Once you have reached a comfortable stretch, slide your right arm, palm up, along the floor under your left arm, allowing your shoulder and temple to rest on the floor.
  • Remember to breathe.

Morning stretching routine exercises courtesy of

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