Since we talked about stretches to START your day on a right foot, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about some good stretches to END your day with, too. Just like with morning routines, having something to start off a nightly routine can be really beneficial, especially for people who struggle to fall asleep at night or would like to create a nightly routine to do before bed. If your quality of sleep isn’t great, this also might be something worth trying out.
Before we get into the actual stretches themselves, let’s bring up the benefits of what stretching before bed can do for you. Doing stretches that help alleviate tension that’s built up all day in your neck, shoulders, and back can make sleeping more comfortable. If you’re the type to toss and turn a lot, this might lessen those muscle aches.
Stretching routines also invite you to focus your mind on your breath and your body while you’re stretching. It’s a good opportunity to also check in on yourself mentally and physically, which can help reduce stress and lend to a better quality of sleep (hopefully). Stretching is has been proven to release endorphins in your body, which gives you a mood and relaxation boost that is perfect for transitioning into bed time.
Now let’s jump into some fundamental stretches that we recommend for you to do to end your day. You can always add to this or trim it down to just the stretches that are most beneficial for you. Also, of course, please look up these stretches if anything is unclear.
- Knee to Chest: helps with your spine and soothes lower back pain.
- Lay down with your back on the floor and arms at your sides.
- Bend one leg and place both of your hands on that knee while you bring it to your chest.
- Hold for a few breaths and then repeat with the other side.
- Happy Baby: a yoga pose that helps with the spine and hips.
- With your back on the ground still, lift your legs into the air and bend your knees with feet flexed toward the sky.
- Grab the both big toes or outside of each foot with respective hands and pull your legs gently toward you.
- Hold for a few breaths.
- Spinal Twist: will help with spine mobility and help with back pain.
- With your back on the ground, stretch your arms out to the sides (like a T).
- Raise your left leg and cross it over to the right side (with knee slightly bent) and gently pull the leg toward the ground with your right hand.
- Hold for a few seconds and switch to the other leg.
- Deepen the stretch slightly but also facing the opposite side you’re twisting in.
- Supine Twist:
- While you’re on the ground after doing the spinal twist, pull both of your knees gently into your chest and then let both knees drop over to one side as you twist your torso in the opposite direction.
- Keep your knees together and your chest squared to the ceiling.
- Hold for a few breaths and then twist to the other side.
- Legs Up the Wall: your glutes and hamstrings
- Still laying on your back, move your butt as close to a wall as you can and lift your legs vertically against the wall.
- Rest with your arms out to the sides and hold for up to 15 seconds.
- Runner’s Lunge: great for stretching out your hip flexors
- If you know what a lunge is, it’s kind of similar. Go into a low lunge with the knee of your back leg on the floor.
- Place the front leg on the outside of the respective hand.
- Deepen into the lunge if you’d like for a better stretch and hold. Switch sides.
- Child’s Pose: a good stretch to start AND end the day. It helps stretch tight shoulders, releases tension in our neck, alleviates back pain
- Sit down onto your heels.
- Move your knees at least hip width apart (if not farther).
- Stretch your arms out onto the floor in front you.
- Walk your hands forward as much as you comfortably can, bringing your forehead to the floor.
- Hold for a few breaths.