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7 Early-Morning Stretches to Build a Better Body

Start your day right with these full-body moves.

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Tired of waking up in the morning achy or constantly tight and sluggish? Chances are you're like everyone else who skips out on stretching. To start waking up with energy and safeguarding your body from injury, run through these seven quick and easy stretches for every muscle.

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1. Calf Stretch
Standing shoulder-length apart put your hands on a wall or chair. Keep your heels on the ground and knees straight while leaning into the chair or wall.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.

The calf stretch relieves foot, shin, hip, and knee pain, and can safeguard the Achilles tendon.

2. Quadriceps Stretch
Standing feet together and hips straight, bend your right knee back and take the front of your right foot in your right hand. Keep your knees even as you bend your right knee back. Continue to keep your body straight as you hold this stretch, feeling it on the top of the quadriceps.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.

Stretching the quads can help improve knee and back pain in addition to improving circulation and even help reduce stress.

3. Shoulder Stretch
Stand shoulder-width apart, raise your right arm to shoulder height, and move it across the front of your body. With your left arm pull the right arm as close to the chest as possible and hold. Switch arms and repeat.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.

The shoulder is one of the most delicate joints in the body, this shoulder stretch helps improve flexibility and mobility.

4. Triceps Stretch
Keeping feet shoulder-width apart raise your right arm over your head. Bend your elbow so that your right hand is reaching for your left shoulder. Use your left hand to pull back on your right elbow. Hold and switch arms.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.

Although a small muscle group, the triceps help support the shoulder and biceps. Maintaining mobility and flexibility is critical for athletic longevity.

5. Runner’s Stretch
Sit down with one foot tucked in while the other is facing straight forward. Lean forward with your arm extended trying to grab your foot. If you cannot grab your foot, lean forward until you feel your hamstring stretching.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.

The runner’s stretch is a great combatant against hip and knee pain, which is prevalent among avid runners.

6. Butterfly Stretch
Sitting down, take both feel and align your heels and feet so that they're touching, then gently press down on your thighs with your elbows until you feel your groin area being stretched out.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.

This stretch opens up the hips and thighs to improve flexibility.

7. Standing Side Stretch
Standing straight up grab one hand over your head with the other and gently lean to each side while pulling on your hand slightly to engage your muscles between the ribs.
Complete: 3-5 sets x 30 seconds.

The standing side stretch safeguards the core, lower back, and spine. The stretch even assists with stimulating the digestive tract if you’re experience gastrointestinal issues.

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