What we do before going to bed can greatly affect how we feel the next day. Stretching before bed has been shown to make us wake up feeling strong and rejuvenated. Back and hip stretches are especially important because that’s where we tend to hold onto the stress from our day.
Back stretches and hip opening poses are sure to help you unwind from your busy day and prepare for the next. These stretches can also help you relax and sleep better, which we know can lead to healthier looking skin.
However, it’s essential that you also know how to avoid injury or overuse of your muscles when trying out these moves. Here are some simple stretches and directions from personal trainer Casey Derhak that are great to help you wind down before bed. You’ll sleep better and be refreshed and ready to conquer anything tomorrow has for you.
1. Knee Pull
Lay flat on your back, relax your neck, and grab one knee. Gently pull your knee toward your chest while keeping your other leg flat on the floor. Switch legs, and then pull in both knees together. This is great for stretching your glutes, hips and lower back.
2. Cobra Stretch
Lay on your stomach and put your hands under your shoulders. Push up while keeping your hips on the floor. Remember to breathe and relax. This is a great stretch for your total core.
3. Child’s Pose
Kneel on the floor and reach your hands out as far as they can go. Keep dropping your hips and pull your butt back while pushing on the floor with your arms to intensify the stretch. This is great for your back and shoulders.
4. Seated Torso Stretch
Sit on the floor and keep your upper body tall. Lay your left leg straight and flat on floor. Take your right leg with your knee bent and pull your right foot over your left leg and on to the floor. Take your left elbow and place it on the outside of your right knee and gently twist from your navel. Use your arm to push off your right leg for leverage, and then twist and look back. Hold for 15-20 seconds and switch sides. You should really feel this in the middle of your back, along with your glutes and hips.
5. Fold Over Stretch
Drop one leg behind you and bend your other leg out in front on the floor. Slowly start reaching your hands forward and drop your chest to the floor.
Sit on the floor with your legs bent and feet together. Grab your ankles and gently push your knees down to the floor with your elbows. You should feel this in your inner thighs, hips and groin.
7. Wall Hamstring Stretch
Lay on your back with your butt against the wall, keeping your legs straight up wall. You should feel this stretch in your hamstrings. It can even help blood flow to your lower back, plus it’s a perfect way to relax right before bed.166