5 Best Morning Stretches for Men [+Stretch Routine]

Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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Morning stretches are crucial for men to maintain flexibility and ease into daily activities.

Our tests show that focusing on key muscle groups enhances day-to-day performance and aids in injury recovery.

This guide highlights effective stretches that improve flexibility and muscle tension, setting a strong foundation for agility and energy throughout the day.

Quick Summary

  • The top five morning stretches for men are the spinal twist, hamstring stretch, hip flexor stretch, shoulder roll, and quadriceps stretch.
  • These stretches focus on key muscle groups and are essential for maintaining flexibility, improving posture, and easing into daily activities.
  • The Medicare Institute of Medical Science highlights that morning stretching awakens muscles that have been at rest during sleep, boosting circulation and increasing flexibility.
  • Personally, I find that incorporating these stretches into a daily routine is an excellent strategy for enhancing physical well-being and starting the day with positive energy.

Top Morning Stretches to Kickstart Your Day

A person stretching in the morning

Begin your day with the ultimate morning stretch routine to energize your body and mind.

The Spinal Twist

The spinal twist is crucial for maintaining spinal health. It helps to relieve back pain and improve spinal flexibility.

From my experience, the spinal twist has been a game-changer in alleviating my chronic back pain and enhancing spinal flexibility.

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back with your arms straight and on the sides.
  2. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat.
  3. Slowly drop your knees to one side while turning your head opposite.
  4. Make a deep stretch, then switch sides.

The Hamstring Stretch

Stretching your hamstrings in the morning prevents lower back pain and enhances the range of motion.

I've found that regular hamstring stretching in the morning has significantly reduced my lower back discomfort and improved my flexibility.

How to do it:

  1. Sit on the floor with the left foot and leg extended and the other bent inward.
  2. Lean forward from your hips towards your extended foot.
  3. Hold the stretch.
  4. Switch legs and repeat.
  5. Finish with your legs straight.

Related: Seated Hamstring Stretches In Chair: Workout for the Legs

The Hip Flexor Stretch

A person doing hip stretches at home

A hip flexor stretch helps loosen up the hip area and enhance posture. It also relieves strain on the lower back.

Since incorporating the hip flexor stretch into my routine, I've noticed a remarkable improvement in my posture and a decrease in lower back strain.

How to do it:

  1. Kneel on one knee and place the other foot flat on the floor before you, creating a 90-degree angle.
  2. Push your hips forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the hips.
  3. Hold and switch legs.

The Shoulder Roll

Incorporating shoulder rolls in your stretch routine reduces tension and increases flexibility in the shoulder area. This is also an upper back stretch.

Doing shoulder rolls daily has effectively eased the tension in my shoulders and upper back, enhancing my overall flexibility.

How to do it:

  1. Stand or sit upright with a few feet hip-width apart [1].
  2. Slowly roll your shoulders backward in a circular motion.
  3. Do this for 10-15 seconds, then change direction and roll them forward.
  4. Repeat as needed.

The Quadriceps Stretch

A person doing quad stretches at home

Often used in physical therapy, this standing quad stretch is an effective yoga pose to enhance leg muscle strength and flexibility.

As a coach, I've personally used the quadriceps stretch to strengthen and increase flexibility in my legs, finding it extremely beneficial.

How to do it:

  1. Stand straight and hold onto a chair or wall for balance.
  2. Bend a knee and bring your foot towards your buttocks.
  3. With your leg bent, grab your ankle and gently pull it closer to your body.
  4. Keep your knees bent and close together while doing this.
  5. Hold and switch legs.

Adding Stretches to Your Morning Routine

A person at the park stretching in the morning

Replace your current warm-ups or cooldown exercises with this stretch routine.

It will help you stretch safely and release tension from the lower, upper body, and neck muscles. You can also use it when there’s pain due to injuries or prolonged sitting.

In my routine, swapping out my usual warm-ups with these stretches has led to noticeably less tension in my neck, shoulders, and lower back.

  1. Spinal Twist: Hold for 30 seconds on each side
  2. Hamstring Stretch: Hold for 30 seconds on each leg
  3. Hip Flexor Stretch: Hold for 40 seconds on each side
  4. Shoulder Roll: 15 reps in each direction
  5. Quadriceps Stretch: Hold for 30 seconds on each leg

Enhance the effectiveness of your morning stretches by incorporating mindfulness techniques. Focusing on your breath and being fully present can not only improve the physical benefits of each stretch but also help you start your day with increased mental clarity and reduced stress.

Why Is It Important to Stretch In the Morning?

Stretching in the morning activates and relaxes muscles for the day.

I've found that morning stretching not only activates my muscles but also sets a positive tone for my entire day.

But they are also important to:

  1. Wake the muscles resting during sleep, helping boost circulation and increase flexibility, according to the Medicare Institute of Medical Science [2].
  2. Correct posture and alleviate tension accumulating in the body.
  3. Improve the range of motion and prepare the muscles for the day's physical activities.
  4. Deliver more oxygen to the muscles and promote relaxation and clarity.

Related: Best Morning Stretches

The Benefits of Regular Morning Stretching

A person at the park stretching

Embarking on regular morning stretching prepares you for the day ahead.

Regular morning stretching has been a cornerstone in preparing me both mentally and physically for daily challenges.

There are other benefits to consider, such as:

  1. Regular morning stretching focusing on shoulder blades and neck stretch energizes and prepares you for the day ahead.
  2. Lying on your back for deeper stretch targets the sides of your body, enhancing your range of motion.
  3. Arm stretches improve your workout performance and reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Stretching is physical and mental, relieving stress and tension and promoting mental clarity and focus.
  5. Making morning stretching a habit alleviates chronic pains, improving your quality of life.

Related Posts:

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Check the following mistakes to avoid when stretching:

  1. Not warming up before deep stretching. It's essential to prepare the muscles and reduce the risk of injuries.
  2. Adopting an incorrect position during stretches.
  3. Overstretching by pushing the body beyond its limits, risking muscle strain and damage.
  4. Skipping the breathing part. It’s crucial for oxygen flow to the muscles.

From my experience, neglecting to warm up before stretching can lead to reduced effectiveness and potential injury.

Don't underestimate the role of hydration and proper nutrition in your stretching routine. Consuming the right nutrients and staying hydrated can significantly impact your muscle flexibility and recovery, enhancing the overall effectiveness of your stretches.

“The weakness of the hamstring may produce a significant loss of knee flexion strength and difficulty in bending and lifting. Requisite Hamstring Flexibility is essential in events such as competitive aerobics, gymnastics, hurdles, and long jump. This study revealed that both the methods used for stretching equally increased the hamstring flexibility, and there is no significant difference between standing and supine hamstring stretch in improving the hamstring muscle flexibility.”

- Vivek Swaroop, Lovely Professional University

FAQs

What Are the Best Stretches for Flexibility?

The best stretches for flexibility are the seated forward bend, the pigeon pose, the child’s pose, the standing hamstring, triceps, and butterfly stretches.

How Long Should I Hold Each Stretch?

You should hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds. This allows your body to relax and lengthen without causing strain.


References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353793868
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255956799
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About The Author

Senior Coach
Tyler Sellers is a trained athlete and author with contributions to publications like Men’s Health, The Healthy, Fox Business, NerdWallet, Weight Watchers, and MSN. His unique approach extends beyond physical techniques, emphasizing the significance of mental techniques like the flow state and mind-muscle connection.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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