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10-Minute Morning Stretch Routine (Foam Roll + Stretch)

Start your day with this energizing, 10-Minute Morning Stretch Routine! Increase mobility, reduce low back pain, open tight hips, speed up muscle recovery and reduce your risk of injury.



 

Mobility and recovery are really important to me. That’s why I’ve started doing this 10-Minute Morning Stretch Routine daily (and I can already feel the difference!).

If you do my home workout plans, you’ve likely seen this full body stretch and foam rolling routine on your active recovery days.

When you’re training like an athlete, you need to be recovering like an athlete. That means including dedicated mobility and recovery sessions to improve your workouts and reduce your risk of injury.

The 7 stretches in today’s mobility routine are designed to gently wake up your body and work out any muscle knots or tight spots that might have settled in overnight.

woman performing a quad stretch as part of morning stretch routine on foam roller

Morning Stretch Routine

What Are The Benefits Of Starting Your Day With A Morning Stretch Routine?

Whether you’re new to exercise or a seasoned athlete, you can benefit from a regular stretching routine. Here are a few benefits you’ll see from adding 5 to 10 minutes of dynamic and static stretches to your morning routine: increased range of motion, reduced muscle soreness, improved posture, reduced risk of injury and reduced joint pain. Stretching specific muscle groups promotes proper alignment, reduces musculoskeletal pain and improves your overall athletic performance.

What Are The Benefits Of Foam Rolling In A Morning Stretch Routine?

Foam rolling improves range of motion, decreases post-exercise soreness, alleviates tightness or trigger points, increases blood flow and flexibility, aids in injury prevention, aids in muscle recovery (reduces inflammation that occurs during the muscle repair process), and increases flexibility without hampering muscle strength (Journal of Sports Rehabilitation). Foam rolling is for everyone, whether you maintain a rigorous fitness routine or sit at a desk all day.

What’s The Difference Between Mobility And Flexibility?

Flexibility isn’t necessarily a predictor of mobility. That said, flexibility and mobility are both important when it comes to your body operating at its optimum capacity. Flexibility is focused on your muscles and mobility is focused on your joints. Flexibility is the ability of a muscle to temporarily stretch when needed. Mobility is the ability of a joint to move through its full range of motion.

woman performing neck and trap stretches as part of morning mobility routine

The best way to start the day — seven morning stretches!

Whether you sit at a desk all day, are a fitness beginner or a fitness enthusiast, you can benefit from this 10-Minute Morning Stretch Routine.

This full body mobility routine releases tight muscles, reduces soreness, increases flexibility and mobility and ultimately keeps you moving!

Add these morning stretches to your routine daily (or at a minimum 2-3 times a week).

Stretch Routine Equipment:

A foam roller and optional lacrosse ball or tennis ball.

I’ll use a lacrosse ball for 1-2 stretches, but you can sub a tennis ball.

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Quad Stretch as part of morning stretch routine on Foam Roller

Stretch Routine Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Morning Stretch Routine on YouTubeled by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 7 Stretches
  • Timed Intervals (Hold each stretch for about 60 seconds. Note: hold any tender spot or trigger point for 30 seconds.)
  • Perform All 7 Stretches x1 Set

Workout Outline

  1. Foam Roller Upper Back Roll
  2. Hip/Groin Roll and Quad Roll and Glute and Piriformis Roll
  3. Child’s Pose with Arm Extension or Thoracic Spine Extension on Foam Roller
  4. Couch Stretch
  5. Half Kneeling Hip Opener
  6. Neck and Trap Stretch
  7. Lacrosse Ball for Upper Back and Shoulder Mobility
Woman performing Hip Opening Stretches Morning Stretch Routine

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Stretch Routine

7 Morning Stretches To Start Your Day

Foam Roller Upper Back Roll

Stretches: Upper back and shoulders.

A lot of people tend to carry their stress in the upper back and shoulder area. This is a great way to work out knots, kinks or tightness in your upper back and shoulders.

woman performing an upper back roll on a foam roller in a morning stretch routine

How To Do An Upper Back Roll On A Foam Roller

  1. Sit on the floor with the foam roller placed on the upper back (around the bottom of your sports bra), resting your hands across your chest or behind your head.
  2. With knees bent, both heels flat on the floor and glutes slightly lifted off the mat, move the roller up your back towards your shoulders.
  3. Then exhale, contracting your abs as you lift your neck and shoulders slightly up to roll the foam roller back down to the mid-back. Think of doing a half-crunch as the roller goes down the back.
  4. Then return to the starting position and repeat.

Hip Flexor/Groin Roll And Quad Roll

Stretches: The lower anterior chain (front side of the body) — hips, hip flexors, groin and quads.

This is personally where I spend the most time foam rolling. I have really tight hips and hip flexors, so I’ll spend a few breaths slowly shifting back and forth on the foam roller to open the hips. If you have tight hips, you might also try these 5 Hip Flexor Stretches.

Do you have knee pain? Foam roll your hips and quads. There are four quadriceps muscles and they all attach to the knee cap. Foam rolling the quads can improve the mobility of the knee (and decrease knee pain) and improve hip mobility.

woman performing a quadriceps roll with foam roller for knee pain

How To Do A Quadriceps Roll On A Foam Roller

  1. Lie face down with your right leg on top of the foam roller so it’s against your upper thigh.
  2. Shift as much weight onto the foam roll as tolerable.
  3. While trying to relax the muscles of the thigh, roll over the area between your hip and knee.
  4. Repeat on the left leg.

Child’s Pose With Arm Extension Or Thoracic Spine Extension On Foam Roller

Stretches: The posterior chain (backside of the body) — low back, upper back, and thoracic spine (from tailbone to neck).

You should feel a stretch along your spine as you lengthen from tailbone to fingertips. This stretch is also great for opening the hips.

woman performing child's pose on a foam roller in a foam roller stretch routine

How To Do Thoracic Spine Extension On A Foam Roller

  1. Start in child’s pose position; big toes to touch, hips open, pushing hips back towards your heels. Place your hands on the foam roller, thumbs up towards the ceiling.
  2. Roll the arms forward, extending your arms as far away from your hips as possible and allowing your head to fall between your arms. Maintain a neutral lower back.
  3. Hold the extension for 5-10 seconds, continuing to reach your fingertips away from your body.
  4. Then roll the hands back towards the body and repeat the extension and roll out.

Couch Stretch

Stretches: Hips (targeting your hip flexors, which are the muscles in the front of your hip) and quads. You use these muscles when you pull your knees to your chest.

A great stretch if you sit at a desk all day and have tight hip flexors.

woman performing a couch stretch for tight hip flexors in a morning stretch routine

How To Do The Couch Stretch

  1. Bend your right knee and place your right shin up close to the bottom of your couch; right foot on top of the couch cushion, shoelaces down. I’m using a foam roller in the example above.
  2. Keep your right thigh in line with your body. Shoulders over hips and right knee.
  3. Keep your hips square facing forward and keep a nice long spine from head to tailbone.
  4. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on left leg.

Half Kneeling Hip Opener

Stretches: Inner thighs (adductors), hips, glutes, shoulders and chest.

Note: you can straighten your leg for an additional hamstring stretch.

woman performing a kneeling hip opener stretch in a stretch routine for mobility

How To Do Half Kneeling Hip Openers

  1. Start kneeling, both knees on the ground, shoulders stacked over hips and knees.
  2. Step your right foot forward into a half kneeling position (kneeling on left knee).
  3. Guide your right leg towards the right side of your body, to a 45-degree angle or if possible to a 90-degree angle so your right hips is in line with your right knee.
  4. Guide your right hand down your right leg, striving for fingertips to meet right ankle or ground (palm out). Simultaneously, extend your left hand straight overhead.
  5. Hold this position, or rock up and down for 30-60 seconds.
  6. Repeat on the left side of the body.

Neck And Trap Stretch 

Stretches: All the muscles in your neck that support your head and upper spine — targeting the neck and upper trapezius muscles.

If you get tight, hunched shoulders when you’re stressed, this stretch is for you.

woman performing a neck and trap stretch in a stretch routine to do daily

How To Do A Neck And Trap Stretch

  1. Start standing or kneeling with feet/knees shoulder-width apart underneath you.
  2. Gently place your right hand on the top left part of your head to guide your right ear towards your right shoulder; opening up the left side of your neck.
  3. Option to hold here or increase the stretch by wrapping your left arm behind you. Reach the left hand towards the middle of your back (palm facing out away from the body).
  4. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the other side of the body.

Lacrosse Ball For Upper Back And Shoulder Mobility

Stretches: Scapular muscles — upper back and shoulder muscles and shoulder blades.

Using a lacrosse ball for self-myofascial release (aka, self-massage), can help break up the connective tissue surrounding your muscles that can get rigid from prolonged sitting, poor posture, or exercising.

woman using a lacrosse ball for upper back and shoulder mobility in a full body mobility routine

How To Use A Lacrosse Ball For Upper Back And Shoulder Mobility

  1. Start seated or stand with your back against a wall.
  2. Place a lacrosse ball between the wall and your back. Position the ball on one side of your spine. Note, the lacrosse ball should never roll directly onto your spine.
  3. Slowly begin to shift the ball around your upper back until you find a tender spot. When you find a tender spot, hold for 30-60 seconds to release the tight or knotted muscles.

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Daily Morning Stretch Routine

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2 comments
  1. Hi Lindsay! I recently discovered your website and at home workout videos. I absolutely love following along with your full length workout videos! I appreciate that they are 45 minutes or less! The fact that you are from MN and love yourself some Jesus is icing on the cake 😉 (something we both have in common). Anyway, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all that you do to bring physical and spiritual fitness into our homes! Keep up the good work!

    Becky

    • Becky! Thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad you found my workout videos and are putting them to good use! Always fun to connect with other MN, Christian Women! Keep up the great work and thanks for following along! -Lindsey