Fit tip: 2 stretches and 2 exercises to get your day rolling

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- Taking just a few minutes in the morning to properly stretch and align your body is a great way to start your day off right.

Here are a few easy exercises and stretches you can do that are excellent for keeping your body flexible and strong.

Try these stretches when you first wake up in the morning and are still in bed.

Ball rolls
Rolling exercises stimulate the spine and deeply work the abdominals.

Start sitting up with your legs bent and feet off of the bed. Hold your knees placing one hand on each knee.

Inhale: Roll back onto your upper back and do a hip-up, using your lower abdominal scoop to lift the hips. Squeeze your butt to get an extra lift. Avoid rolling too far onto your neck.

Exhale: Return to sitting position, using your abdominal scoop as the brake to the rolling.

Perform 3-5 reps.

Hamstring stretch with ankle circles
Tight hamstrings place increased stress on the lower back and often aggravate or cause some of the conditions that lead to low back pain and/or sciatica. Ankle circles increase blood flow and movement in the ankle joint, and provide a calf muscle stretch.

Lie on your back, supporting the thigh behind the knee with the hand or with a towel. Slowly straighten the knee until a stretch is felt in the back of the thigh, trying to get the bottom of the foot to face the ceiling, one leg at a time.

Hold the position initially for 10 seconds, and gradually work up to 20-30 seconds while circling your foot 5 times in each direction.

Do these exercises every day and you will feel noticeably better throughout the day!

Start your day off right with two exercises you can do right after your morning stretches. These key morning exercises target your core. Engaging your abs in the morning is a great way to tune in, focus and engage your abs throughout the day. Get them charged and fired up with these two exercises that will hit your abs, hamstrings, glutes, and back.

Ab crunches
Crunches are an effective exercise to strengthen, flatten and tone the abs as well as increase lower back strength, support the spine, promote better posture and prevent lower back injury.

Lay on your back, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor.

Position hands behind head to support its weight, elbows pointing directly out to sides.

Inhale deeply; on exhale, contract your lower abs and lift your head and torso off the floor until you feel abs completely contracted

Hold for 2 seconds then release slowly, allowing head and chest to drop back down to torso level. Breathe.

Repeat 10 to 12 times. Add more repetitions as you become stronger.

Bridge
These exercises isolate and strengthens the gluteus (butt) muscles and hamstrings (back of the upper leg) improving core and spinal stabilization. The targeting muscles are the abdominals, lower back and hip.

Lay on your back with your hands by your sides, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale deeply.

Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles.

Exhale and raise your hips up to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders.

Inhale and hold the bridge position at the top for 5 seconds. Squeeze your core and try to pull your belly button back toward your spine.

If your hips sag or drop, lower yourself back on the floor.

Exhale and release slowly by rolling one vertebrae down on the floor at a time.

Repeat. Aim for 5-10 reps.


For more information about Tiffani Bachus, check out TotalBalanced Body.com or her Facebook page, Facebook.com/tiffani.bachus