Isabella went to physical therapy to get some stretching tips for her lower back and hips to fight back the tightness that is caused by sitting down all day! Here are Isabella’s top stretches to get her body more flexible when she wakes up in the morning.
Before Isabella gets out of bed in the morning she will stretch her hamstrings, glutes and paraspinal muscles by doing knee hugs. This stretch is an easy way to loosen muscle tension in the lower back.
Start on the right knee bringing your knee to your chest, placing hands across your knee or shins. Breath deeply and hold for a few seconds, then repeat with the other knee. Isabella does 5 on each side.
This is an advanced knee hug. Starting on your back with your knees up and your feet flat on the floor or bed, cross one leg over the thigh of the other. Then lift the uncrossed leg towards your chest until you feel a slight pull. Isabella will hold this stretch for 3 seconds. Relax and return. Repeat on the other side.
Aim to do 5 on each side and make sure your head is also flat on the floor or pillow, we don’t want to put stress on that neck!
This is one of Isabella’s favorite stretches to help prevent lower back pain and is a great lower back stretch after a long night’s sleep. It helps Isabella wake up and creates more flexibility in her spine, which prevents lower back pain.
To begin with, lie on your back with knees up and your feet to the floor. Start rotating your knees side to side in a slow and controlled manner. Make sure to keep your shoulders on the floor so that you do not over stretch! Like the other stretches it’s recommended to do 5 on each side. This stretch is great for loosening your paraspinals and hip muscles.
Cat and Cow Stretch
This exercise stretches your back, hips and neck to strengthen the muscles and improve posture, flexibility and balance.
Firstly, bring your body into a tabletop position, placing your palms directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Make sure to keep your back straight. Relax that head and allow it to drop down, round your back up towards the ceiling (this is the cat position), breathe out and hold for a few seconds. Return to the flat spine, press your stomach towards the floor and tilt your head back slightly (this is the cow position). Make sure you are constantly breathing! Continue to rotate from cat to cow 5 times. A great morning exercise to wake your body up for the day.
How often should you stretch?
Every day, if you can. It is so important to stretch in the morning to wake up your muscles and prepare for the day. Additionally, take the time to leave your desk every hour and complete these stretches to ensure your muscles get the break that they deserve.