My Pre-Bed Stretch Routine
Here’s a sequence that I love to hit up before bed. It helps me to wind right down, relieving tension and tightness that has built up throughout the day. Much like meditation and even exercise, the true benefits of stretching occur after a period of consistency. Of course you’re going to feel amazing after you stretch, but the real gift will be in the coming months when you start to experience the bliss that comes from having a more agile and mobile body.
If you feel any nerve pain or strain during the stretches, come out of the pose and move gently onto the next. It’s really important that if you’re experiencing nervy sensations or numbing when you stretch that you have a therapist analyse the potential cause of this sensation, diagnosing the specific treatment required. A lot of people see stretching as a sort of nonchalant activity, but it can potentially be as damaging as a thoughtless training session if you’re ignoring warning signs and exacerbating injuries.
Ensure that each breath you take within the postures is a minimum of 3 seconds in and 4-6 seconds out.
The Forward fold - stand with your feet hip distance apart. Bend at the knees and let your spine round and head hang.
Pigeon - start from an all fours position. Bring the right knee towards the back of the right wrist. Let the hips sink towards the floor, while also keeping them straight. Straighten the back left leg out behind you. Really allow the hips to sink down, without letting them fall to one side. *If you’re not feeling a stretch, take the right foot further forward. Be careful of the knee, going too far forward can put extra tension on the knee joint.
Pigeon Back foot grab (quad stretch) - Keep your hands on the floor for support as you bend your back leg. Use the same hand to grab the leg that’s bent, pulling the heel to the butt gently. If this hurts, place a cushion under your back leg. Your patella (knee cap) should not be digging into the floor.
Pigeon forward fold - From the pigeon position, fold your body forward. Again be careful not to fall to one side.
Reclining Quad stretch - From the pigeon position, shift the weight over to the side of the front leg. Bend your back knee and have it come forward so that the knee meets the opposite foot. Lift your hips and tuck your tailbone to eliminate the arch in your lower back and really put the tension onto the quadriceps. Come onto your elbows, potentially lowering all the way onto your back.
Repeat on the other side, staying in each pose for 5-10 breaths.
Happy stretching and chilling.
It’s better than netflix.