The morning is always the worst. Getting out of bed on little sleep pretty much always insures some cracks and aches. I definitely had this present before our new roommates (children) came on the scene. But now, there are many days I find myself literally crawling out of bed to my phone across the room. I am slowly regressing to the life of a toddler. Crawling is now a daily practice. At some point, I settled myself with the aches, and just decided that it was time to find a solution. Because these aches are staying around.
Time is of the essence for me in the morning. If there is one thing that can completely derail me from square one, it is being late. I need enough time in the morning. I need to be able to make a cup of coffee and let my body wake up. Any thing that happens is pretty essential to my functioning if I am going to adopt it. I head straight to the gym to work out, so my body needs to be awake. I need blood flow. This is not unique to me. Movement requires blood flow. If you plan on moving your body today, you would definitely benefit from some blood flow.
Here are 3 of my favorite movements as far as activation/bloodflow go. You can perform 10 reps of each and be done in under 3 minutes, with a body that is ready to move. The ability to move is a blessing, that will go away over time if you do not use it. It truly is on the “Use it or Lose it” principle. Having the ability to maintain posture inside a range of motion is a bit more challenging. Loading the system thus creates more hurdles. These 3 exercises will allow you to gain range of motion over time, and you are applying the tension throughout the journey.
The first movement is the Rolli Polli aka (The World’s Greatest Stretch). The object here is on loosening up your spine. The focus is not on the stretch on either side. Progressively work your way into a greater range of motion with the momentum of the roll. Start on you butt with your legs straight out in front of you. Roll backwards onto your shoulders gently, stopping where you body stops. Be very cautious not to press your head against the ground when you roll back. Your head is not your braking system. You will be sure to have a nice stiff neck if this is the route you take. Roll back gently until you are comfortable with the feeling, then progress as appropriate. As you roll forward, reach for your toes to achieve a bit more range of motion each time.
The second movement is Pushup 2 Down Dog. Do a pushup touching your chest to the floor, with a vertical forearm. When you complete the pushup, push your chest back towards your toes, trying to get your heels to the ground. Hold momentarily and then return to do another pushup. Continue for 10 reps. You will probably start to feel some stretching in your mid-back, and you will definitely feel your shoulders and triceps begin to warm up.
The third movement is a Squat Pull. Start with your whole foot on the ground, grab on to your toes, and pull your hips down into the bottom of a squat. The goal here is to get your torso as vertical as possible, bringing your chest to the sky. Then return your hips to top, straightening your legs, and stretching your hamstrings and low back. Then return the the bottom searching for a bit better position than last time.
By the time you finish these three movements for 10 reps. Your body will feel alive. Over time, you will find that position will improve, and maybe some of these aches will fade away. Our bodies are made to move. Do yourself a favor and move a little. Reply in the comments with how this goes.