The health benefits of good old morning gymnastics & nine exercises for everyone
Morning gymnastics sounds a bit dusty, doesn’t it? But there is no better start to the day for your body – provided you stick to the right exercises.
In this post, I show you how to integrate simple workouts into your morning routine and even look forward to it every day. From these exercises, you can then form your own daily 10 minutes morning gymnastics routine!
What’s the point of morning gymnastics?
One can describe gymnastics in the morning in a modern way with the words “mobility training”, which sounds a bit more appealing. But, it’s actually more about the effects of this fitness program:
1- You will stimulate your metabolism.
2- Your digestion and lymphatic system are stimulated.
3- Sport in the morning is a great jumpstarter.
4- You move the joints after a good night’s rest.
5- In the long term, you can improve your mobility.
6- It prevents stress by connecting the body and mind.
I have no doubt that morning gymnastics is effective for you, no matter what goal you achieve with it! So let’s start the exercises right away.
Nine morning-gymnastics exercises
I have selected for you nine individual workouts that move through all the joints of your body and take up many muscle groups.
The exercises help you to improve your mobility, coordination, body tension, your well-being and to find inner peace.
I recommend you to go through these exercises one at a time and then combine them into a slightly more intense program in the form of a 10-minute routine.
1 – Head tilt to the side
Maybe your neck muscles are a bit tense after bed, or you have headaches like many people in the morning?
Head tilting is a simple exercise, as you gently stretch the neck muscles and pass through the fascia. The morning mobility training also demands the balance organ, which is located in our ear canal.
To do the exercise:
1- Stand in an upright position and hold the sternum up (proud chest).
2- Pull the chin slightly inward, which should make you feel a slight stretch sensation at the back of the head.
3- Now tilt your head slowly to the left, with your gaze and the tip of the nose tilted forward. The ear approaches the shoulder.
4- Go until you feel a slight pulling on the opposite side.
5- Repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times on both sides.
2 – Hand Circles
Our hands are very neglected during mobility exercises. This is a pity, as they contain many sensors and are, therefore, our most important organ for the sense of touch.
Sensory stimuli that we perceive through the hands activate our brains, making us more focused and alert.
How to do the workout:
1- Stand upright and stretch your arms forward at chest level.
2- Stretch your hands as far as you can (fingertips to the ceiling).
3- Spread all fingers as far as you can, whereby you should feel a clear pull.
4- Now roll the fingers and wrist in the opposite direction.
5- You should feel a stretch at the bottom of your forearm.
6- Repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times.
3 – Elbow stretches
The elbow is a one-dimensional joint in which freedom of movement is restricted. The exercise will help you activate the stretching and bending muscles of your arms.
1- Stretch both arms just below shoulder height to the side.
2- Then bend both elbows and touch the biceps as if you want to imitate Arnold Schwarzenegger.
3- Then stretch both arms back to the starting position and stretch the triceps (arm extender).
4- Repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times.
4 – Shoulder Circles
The shoulder is our most mobile joint and, together with the mobility of the shoulder blade and the thoracic spine, allows us a wide range of movements. At night we often lie on the side, which quickly tenses this region.
To do the workout:
1- Stand upright with your arms hanging.
2- Now lead both arms forward until you are completely stretched.
3- Circle your arms further backward and open the shoulder (the palms go outward).
4- After you reach the starting position, you repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times.
5 – Moving the thoracic spine
The thoracic spine is very immobile in most people and often a round-up is already forming. For an upright posture, you should, therefore, train its mobility at least once a day.
Here’s how the exercise works:
1- Stretch both hands upward and bring them together.
2- Your sternum should be as upright as possible as if you had a medal on your chest.
3- Keep your gaze ahead as you lean to the left.
4- Tilt to the side until you feel a slight pulling in the opposite side of the body.
5- Don’t turn your body inward.
6- Repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times on both sides.
6 – Moving the lumbar spine
The lumbar spine and the area of the coccyx tailbone is a painful zone in many people. Here, many nerves leave the spinal cord and extend over to the hip and leg area. The following exercise basically moves all areas of the spine.
How to do this routine:
1- Take the quadruped position where you support yourself on your knees and hands.
2- Now make a cat hump and stretch your entire back as far as possible to the ceiling.
3- Roll the chin up to the sternum.
4- Now move in the opposite direction and make a horseback.
5- During this movement gently guide your head into your neck.
6- Repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times.
7 – Hip Circles
Similar to our shoulder, the hip joint is very movable. The difference, however, is that the hip has to carry all our weight. As a result, the muscles and the bone apparatus have a lot of work to stabilize the joint.
1- Stand in the one-leg pose. If you want, you can hold on to something for balance.
2- Now make large circles with your leg.
3- Alternatively, you can draw big eights in the air, which additionally trains the coordination.
4- Perform about 10 to 12 repetitions per leg.
8 – Knee extension
Similar to our elbow, the knee is only one-dimensionally movable. As with the hip, however, it has to withstand a lot of body-weight and be extremely stable.
The exercise helps you to actively stretch your hamstring muscles in the thighs and stretch the entire back of the leg area.
Here’s how the morning gymnastics exercise works:
1- Lay down on the floor in a back position.
2- Lift one leg off the ground so that the thigh is vertically upwards.
3- Now also stretch the lower leg, so that your leg now shows as best as possible to the ceiling.
4- Do this with pure muscle power without using your hands, and bend the leg now 10 to 12 times in the knee joint.
5- Then change to the other leg.
9 – Foot Circles
The feet, like our hands, have numerous sensors, as they are our first point of contact with nature. They are essential for grounding, and, thus, it is vital to look after them. The following mobility training helps to activate the many small foot muscles.
How to exercise your feet:
1- Stand upright and well-balanced in the one-leg pose.
2- Start circling the ankle and roll the foot and toes as much as possible in a downward movement.
3- During the upward movement, you now spread the toes as much as possible.
4- Circles 10 to 12 times and then change the foot.
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