Whether your morning stiff back comes from sleeping on an old or uncomfortable mattress, postural misalignments, too much sitting, or the aftermath of a vigorous workout, there are some simple stretches you can do to loosen up and relieve pain and stiffness naturally.
Instead of reaching for pain killers or a back brace, do this quick stretch first thing in the morning to start your day feeling like a brand new person. This quick, 3-minute routine can also be done again later in the afternoon or any time that you feel back pain.
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You won’t need any special equipment or complicated instructions. All you need is your bed and about three minutes of your time. Do it at home, in a hotel room, or anywhere you need!
I recommend following this first thing every morning, but you can do it any time of day to nip back stiffness in the bud. Using these stretches regularly will help your back stay mobile and prevent stiffness from occurring.
Directions: Follow the instructions for each of the four stretches of this 3-minute stretch routine, and complete the given number of reps and/or breaths. Focus on deep breathing, relaxation and feeling the stretch in the right place. If any of these feel too intense, simply modify the form.
NOTE: If you have a herniated disc or any spinal injury, please consult your doctor before starting a new stretch routine.
Side Stretch | 3 reps per side
- Sit in any position that’s comfortable for you.
- Grab onto your right knee with your left hand as you reach your right hand up and over to the left.
- Gaze towards the right and lean to the left to extend your side long.
- Take two deep breaths, then switch and do the other side.
- Complete three total rounds of stretching on both sides.
Rocking Hip Wag | 5 reps per side, alternating
- Stand at the side of your bed and fold forward, so that your spine is parallel to the ground.
- Reach your arms out long and place your hands on the bed for support.
- Bend one knee at a time and sway your hips like you’re wagging your tail.
- Hold each knee bend for one deep breath, and alternate sides for 10 reps total.
Seated Cat Cow | 3 reps
- Get in a kneeling position and place your fingertips lightly behind your head.
- On an inhale, stretch your elbows back and open as you lift your chest into a modified cat pose.
- Exhale to round your spine and drop your chin towards your chest to come into cow pose.
- Continue breathing deeply to alternate between kneeling cat and cow side stretches until you’ve done three full rounds.
Child’s Pose | 10 breaths
- Kneel on the bed in an all-fours position with knees wide.
- Sit your butt back onto your heels and walk your hands out in front of you until your arms are straight.
- Rest your forehead down on the mattress, and relax your back.
- Take ten deep breaths, focusing on relaxing and lengthening your spine.