EstimatedEst. Read Time: 4 minutes
Do This Stretch First Thing EVERY Morning (INSTANT RELIEF!)

If you wake up with stiff, tight muscles and wish there was a single simple stretch you could do that would make you feel amazing, you have come to the right video. Here I’m going to show you one simple stretch to do the first thing every single morning to loosen up your hips, back and shoulders that anyone can perform in just seconds.

WHY YOU NEED THIS MORNING STRETCH

The key to understanding the benefits of this morning stretch is to first take a look at what it is we are trying to undo from sleeping. In general, people sleep with their arms down at their sides all night. This will lead to tightness in the lat muscles that can only be relieved with a raising of the arms up overhead and out in front of the body.

1. YOUR HIP FLEXORS

The hip flexors tend to get very stiff and tight as well. This is because, as we sleep, the pelvis sinks into the soft mattress bringing our hips into slight flexion. At no point will the hips reach full extension let alone slight hyperextension, and therefore the need to really bend backwards and get that motion is extremely present when you first jump out of bed.

2. THE THORACIC SPINE

The next spot up the kinetic chain, the thoracic spine, is another place that tends to get stuck in a flexed position from the soft mattress. This is called kyphosis. Not a permanent one mind you, but one that is induced by sleeping on your back for 6, 8, 10 or even 12 hours a night. Spending too much time in this position is sure to create adaptive tightnesses that need to be addressed if you want to feel amazing within the first few minutes of waking.

Throw in the additional factor of a lack of thoracic rotation and you have one more thing you want to be sure you address in order to feel loose and spry. Sleeping on your side does not fix this issue. In general, when you sleep on your side you bring your hips along with you. This lack of differential between the hips and shoulders will do nothing to promote the healthy rotation through the thoracic spine that is needed to keep you feeling fully mobile and loose.

THE FIX!

So what do you do? One simple morning stretch that is going to promote proper motion of all the joints mentioned above while at the same time activating the glutes (a chronically underactive muscle group) that can be done by anyone no matter what their age, strength or ability level. All you have to do is lay on the ground and do what is called a bridge reach over.

BRIDGE & REACH OVER: HOW TO / THE BENEFITS

To perform the bridge reach over, bend the knees to about 90 degrees and dig your heels into the ground. Lift your butt up in a normal bridging motion and as you do, reach your right arm up and over your left shoulder (attempting to touch the ground with your hand). You will need to drive extra hard with the glute on the right leg to help you do this. By doing so however, you will find that you reach a level of full hip extension that you simply cannot achieve with a normal hip bridge.

Lower the hips and bring the arm back down to your side and immediately alternate to the opposite arm. Continue alternating reps, 5 to each side for 1-2 sets, and you will feel an immediate difference in how loose your joints and muscles feel. The bridge, as mentioned, will not only activate the glutes and get them to work in concert with the hamstrings but their activation will help you to reach further overhead to promote a better hip extension mobilization.

The thoracic spine extension and rotation is going to be assisted by the distance of your reach. Push up harder with the glutes, reach further with the hand, promote more thoracic extension and rotation of the mid and upper back. Throw in the extra stretch that you’re getting on your lats by the forward and elevated reach of the arm and you’ve got an incredible stretch that you can do every morning that will provide instant relief of stiff, tight muscles.


If you are looking for a complete program that approaches all elements of your training (stretching, training, nutrition, and supplementation) with the same science based approach and want to be able to do it at home without any equipment at all, click on the link below to check out our XERO program at athleanx.com.

For more videos on how to stretch properly and the best stretches for hamstrings and hip flexors, be sure to subscribe to our channel via the link below and turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

Build Muscle With No Equipment – http://athleanx.com/xero
Subscribe to this channel here – http://youtube.com/user/jdcav24

Watch the YouTube version of this article
Popular & Trending
stop doing face pulls like this facepull mistake
1
How To Do Face Pulls
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
September 9th, 2019
Face pulls are one of the best corrective exercises to help offset poor posture and shoulder dysfunction.  They help strengthen the chronically weak...
how to identify your body fat percentage with images for men
2
Body Fat Percentage
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
May 1st, 2013
There are many ways to measure body fat percentage; some wildly expensive and most inaccurate. It's time to give you an alternative method that...
2 reasons your biceps aren't growing and 3 ways to fix it
3
Why Your Biceps Aren’t Growing
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
August 22nd, 2019
Have you ever felt that no matter how much you trained your biceps you’re left saying… “My Biceps STILL Aren’t Growing?” I believe I know...
The PERFECT Abs Workout
4
The PERFECT Abs Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 31st, 2019
We’ll be following my ‘Six Pack Progression’ sequence as we choose each of the beginner and advanced ab exercises for each abdominal movement...
incline bench press avoid mistakes for upper chest
5
How To Incline Bench Press Correctly
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
June 21st, 2019
The Incline Bench Press is one of the best upper chest exercises there is, but there's one major problem preventing us from getting the maximum...
best dumbbell exercises for chest
6
The BEST Dumbbell Exercises for CHEST
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
October 9th, 2019
Today I’m going to share my favorite chest exercises… but there’s a catch. We can only use dumbbells! I’ll show you what to do whether you...
how to construct a complete chest workout
7
The PERFECT Chest Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 25th, 2019
The classic theory of "Upper, Middle, and Lower" chest exercises is a good start, but, it's not enough!! The solution to this problem is to not...
best dumbbell exercises for shoulders
8
BEST Dumbbell Exercises for SHOULDERS
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
October 5th, 2019
You want to build big shoulders and you only have access to a few pairs of dumbbells. What do you do? I’m going to show you what to do whether...
how to construct a complete biceps workout
9
The PERFECT Biceps Workout
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
July 15th, 2019
The classic theories of “just do curls” or “it’s not necessary to train your biceps directly” are both flat out wrong! Why? Because it’s...
Home Chest Exercises UPPER, MID, LOWER CHEST!!
10
Home Chest Exercises
By Jeff Cavaliere MSPT, CSCS
March 25th, 2020
Being able to effectively hit your upper, mid and lower chest from home with NO equipment may seem impossible. But, I’m here to show you it’s...