Skip to content

5 Energy-Boosting Stretches To Do First Thing In The Morning 

Leslie J. Waltke, P.T., DPT
Physical Therapist
By Leslie J. Waltke, P.T., DPT
Physical Therapist
Leslie J. Waltke, P.T., DPT is a physical therapist with a clinical mastery in cancer rehabilitation.
Photo by Javier Pardina / Stocky
January 30, 2021

For night owls, getting out of bed in the morning is almost always a challenge—but getting out of bed on a winter morning? Well, that's met with even more defiance. On those especially cold and groggy days, the thought of pushing off the covers and changing out of your pajamas can feel impossible. So, don't do it right away.

Instead, spend at least five minutes stretching from the warmth and comfort of your bed.

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Image by Amanda Quadrini / Contributor
1.

Single knee-to-chest stretch

Complete 2 to 4 reps on each side.

  1. Lie flat on your back.
  2. Bring one knee up toward your chest.
  3. Grab your lower leg and give it a squeeze toward your chest.
  4. Hold the leg there for 10 to 30 seconds, depending on your comfort level.
  5. The other leg should remain straight.
  6. Repeat on the other side. 
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Where you should feel it: butt and lower back.

Image by Amanda Quadrini / Contributor
2.

Double hamstring stretch

Complete 2 to 4 reps on each side.

  1. Bring both thighs to your chest.
  2. Grab behind your thighs, then straighten out your knees so your feet point up toward the ceiling.
  3. Hold the leg there for 10 to 30 seconds, depending on your comfort level.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Where you should feel it: back of the thighs, in the hamstring area. If you're tight, you may also feel it in your calf and butt.

Image by Amanda Quadrini / Contributor
3.

Complete 5 reps on each side.

  1. Place your arms straight out to the side so your upper back is flat against the bed.
  2. Bend your knees so they're pointing toward the ceiling.
  3. Keep your feet flat on the bed, side-by-side (as close as possible).
  4. Slowly rotate your knees to the right. Go as far as you feel comfortable, then pause for 1 to 2 seconds. 
  5. Bring the knees back up to the middle, then repeat on the other side.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Where you should feel it: lower back and hips.

Image by Amanda Quadrini / Contributor
4.

Quadriceps stretch

Complete 2 to 4 reps.

  1. Come to a kneeling position on the bed (if this is uncomfortable, you can grab a pillow and place it underneath your shins).
  2. Slowly lean backward.
  3. Holding the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, depending on your comfort level.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Where you should feel it: front of the thighs.

Image by Amanda Quadrini / Contributor
5.

Press-ups

Complete 5 to 10 reps.

  1. Lie flat on your stomach.
  2. Place your hands in push-up position.
  3. Keep your hips and pelvis in contact with the bed.
  4. Using your hands, start to slowly lift up your head and your shoulders so you begin leaning backward.
  5. Hold the stretch for 1 to 2 seconds.

Where you should feel it: upper back, neck, and shoulders.

What's the purpose?

These five stretches make it possible to spend five extra minutes in bed, while also doing something positive and productive for yourself. Trust me, it's a better alternative to hitting the snooze button.

These particular moves enhance energy, decrease stiffness, and improve mobility, so when your feet do hit the floor, you feel better, more energized, and have less discomfort.

Your Best Sleep Ever.

Receive your FREE Ultimate Guide to Getting a Good Night's Sleep.

Leslie J. Waltke, P.T., DPT
Leslie J. Waltke, P.T., DPT
Physical Therapist

Leslie J. Waltke, P.T., DPT is a physical therapist with a clinical mastery in cancer rehabilitation and Founder and CEO of the Waltke Cancer Rehabilitation Academy, a provider of world class cancer rehabilitation program building, consulting, and continuing education. Over the past decades Waltke has cared for thousands of people with cancer, and lectured across the globe.

Since 2005 Waltke has been the Cancer Rehabilitation Coordinator for Advocate Aurora Health, one of the United States' largest CoC and NAPBC accredited cancer programs and proud holder of the rare Commission on Cancer "Outstanding Achievement Award."

She is also the founder of the Facebook and YouTube channel "The Recovery Room," a platform of short, positive, medically accurate educational videos followed globally by thousands of cancer patients and survivors.