Athlean-X founder Jeff Cavaliere, C.S.C.S., knows that the first thing most people do after a long night of sleep is try to stretch out the stiffness that came on while your body was at rest. Sleep restores your body, but it can also leave it feeling anything but excellent.
“Think about what might be getting tight and screwed up when you sleep overnight,” he says. “If your arms are by my side, we’re going to get some lat tightness. If you sink into the bed at all, you’re going to get some rounding of that thoracic spine. Your hips are also going to sink in too, so they’re going to be in a little bit of flexion. So they’re not fully straightened out, and you’ll have some hip flexor tightness. And your torso, you’re not really rotating through that thoracic spine, so you’re going to get tight there, too.”
Thankfully, he has the perfect stretch to loosen up your hips, back and shoulders after a rough night in bed.
“Every single person can do this. It doesn’t matter what your strength level is, what your ability level is,” says Cavaliere.
The move is called the Bridge Reach-Over. To do it, get on the floor, lying on your back. Bend the knees to about 90 degrees and dig your heels into the ground.
“Lift your butt up in a normal bridging motion and as you do, and reach your right arm up and over your left shoulder (attempting to touch the ground with your hand),” he says, which will help achieve an amazing hip extension.
From there, lower the hips and bring the arm back down to your side and immediately alternate to the opposite arm. Continue alternating reps, 5 to each side for 1 to 2 sets.
“The bridge will not only activate the glutes and get them to work in concert with the hamstrings, but their activation will help you to reach further overhead to promote a better hip extension mobilization,” says Cavaliere.
But it also gets that thoracic spine extension and rotation as well.
“Push up harder with the glutes, reach further with the hand, promote more thoracic extension and rotation of the mid and upper back,” says Cavaliere.
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