Morning Stretching Exercises are a Must: Here’s Why

Stretching in the morning is a natural activity that is necessary to relieve the tension and stiffness in our muscles and joints that develops overnight. That big yawn and stretch you do in bed every day not only feels good, but also lengthens your muscles and kicks your brain into gear. But generally we leave it at that. By taking this further and doing morning stretching exercises for a few minutes every day, you can increase your flexibility, improve your mood, ease back pain, and more. 

Here are some important benefits of stretching in the morning and some recommended stretches for you to incorporate into your daily routine.

Stress relief and a calm mind

If you live a busy life, or have a stressful job, you may wake up feeling immediately stressed and anxious about the day ahead. Stress causes tension to build up in your muscles which can lead to stiffness. Setting aside just 5-10 minutes in the morning to focus on stretching can help you feel calmer and relieve tension - a much better way to start your day.

Practicing yoga is a great way to stretch, as it combines movement with controlled breathwork. By breathing in slower rhythmic patterns, you can draw more oxygen into the brain and body, helping lower feelings of stress and calm the mind. Yoga practice is often also used in conjunction with mindfulness, which is a great way for you to focus on your body and take you out of your head.

Increased mobility and flexibility

Muscles will feel particularly tight when you first wake up in the morning. Carrying out activities with tight or stiff muscles puts you at greater risk of injury or damage to muscles. It also makes simple daily activities, such as putting your socks on, more difficult.

Flexibility and mobility are essential for our health and ability to carry out our everyday activities. Regular stretching in the morning can increase your flexibility, reduce muscle stiffness, and help delay reduced mobility that is inevitable as we age. According to research, stretching is an effective way to improve muscle extension and increase range of motion.

Improved posture

Posture isn’t just about looking good, it helps our bodies stay balanced, strong and flexible. If we spend most of our day sitting at a desk, it is likely our muscles will become imbalanced, which leads to poor posture. 

According to research, stretching can help improve musculoskeletal pain and encourage better posture and alignment. Exercises which focus on strengthening and opening up your back and chest muscles are particularly good for your posture.

Fewer aches and pains

We often wake up with aching joints and muscles. This is because as we sleep, fluid builds up in our joints and around our spinal discs. By doing some gentle morning stretches, you can help relieve any aches or pains. Many of us sit down for long periods every day, which causes muscles in the lower back to compress. By stretching these out daily, you can help prevent and relieve back pain, whilst strengthening the muscles that support your spine. Stronger back muscles equals less chance of injury. 

Increased circulation

Good circulation ensures blood is flowing throughout the body and delivering oxygen, so all your organs can function properly. Stretching may improve your circulation and increase blood flow to your organs, helping ease muscle soreness and improve heart health. Increased blood flow to the brain can also help you feel more alert - perfect for kickstarting your day getting rid of that groggy, slow morning feeling.

Bearing all this in mind, there’s only one thing left to do - get stretching! If you can commit to as little as 5-10 minutes of daily morning stretches, you will start to notice a difference in your body and overall well being. Below are some easy yoga-based morning stretches we recommend. Combine them with slow, rhythmic breathing and feeling your stress slip away.


5 best morning yoga stretches

Cat and cow

This stretch is great for relieving tension along your spine, shoulders and abdominal muscles.

Watch how to do this pose.

Child’s pose

This is a great restorative pose that stretches out your hips, lower back, pelvis and thigh muscles.

Watch how to do this pose. 

Downward-facing dog

This classic pose works many muscles and gives your hamstrings a great stretch, which are especially tight in the mornings. As a more active pose, it can also help you feel more awake and energized.

Watch how to do this pose.


Low lunge

This pose gives your hips and legs a really strong stretch and also engages your core. A great pose if you are going to be sitting down all day.

Watch how to do this pose.

Forward fold

Forward folds can be performed sitting down or standing up. They give your spine and back of your legs an amazing stretch and also help increase blood flow.

Watch how to do this pose.