In last week’s newsletter, we talked about a few key recovery tips to reset your mind and body to alleviate what are likely less than ergonomically perfect conditions in your home. I could have also simply written, “WINE,” but I felt that surely this would have already preceded breathing and shoulder rolls.
In our second week of this series, I’d like to discuss not how we can recover, but instead how we can better start our day. No, you do not have to change out of your pajamas, nor are “real pants” required. You should, however, think about how you can regularly integrate movements like these to better wake up from head to toe on a daily basis.
Top tips to keep in mind:
Start slow and shallow:
Begin with a comfortable range of motion to safely start your day. No one wants to pop a hammie over their morning coffee.
Keep it short and specific:
5mins is plenty! Focus on key joints and muscles specific to “what you typically do.” If you plan to hike? Spend a few extra moments on your lower body and hips. If you plan to sit? Definitely spend a few extra moments on your hips, core, and upper back.
Always make it move:
Progression of movement should be prominent through this warm-up to your day. I’m not personally a huge fan of static stretching but save it for the end of a walk or hike (when you’re warm) if it feels good to you.
Let’s go! Ready, Set… Move:
1 – HIP SWINGS
WHAT: Wake up stiff hips, lower to mid-back, and core!
HOW: Lean against a wall with straight arms and extend one leg out in front of you. Swing your leg back and forth in front of your body laterally – like a golf swing with your leg.
2 – PASS THROUGHS
WHAT: Say “Good Morning!” to your postural muscles – from the waist up!
HOW: Grasp a stretch rope, band, belt or long towel with a wide grip. With straight arms, reach as high as you can as you pass the object from your stomach over your head to your lower back. Slowly walk your hands closer together as mobility increases. If you have challenged shoulders, walk over one arm at a time with a gentle bend in your elbow OR see last week’s newsletter for a door frame chest stretch.
3 – INCHWORMS
WHAT: You’re more likely to use your core throughout the day if it’s effectively engaged at the beginning!
HOW (Basic): From standing, place your hands on a table or countertop. Squeeze your glutes and engage your core and you slowly walk backwards into a plank position (incline). Hold 3-5 seconds focusing on your breath before walking back to standing. Repeat 3-5 times.
HOW (Advanced): From standing, fold at the hips until your hands reach the floor in front of you. Walk forward on your hands until you reach plank position, keeping your legs straight in both the walk out and back as you return to standing. Repeat 3-5 times.