Today, I wanted to go through the Best Equipment Free Exercises To Do After a Long Flight.
A couple of weeks ago, I left the winter of Kelowna and headed down to Miami. After the long flight, I was kind of feeling stiff and a little bit off. So I went through these 4 exercises in my hotel room in order to loosen up my body and balance out my body because the long flight really wreaks havoc on the balance of your body and really pushes your body into muscle imbalances.
Best Equipment Free Exercises After A Long Flight
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
Now, the 4 exercises that I did when I got back to my hotel room are the following and I will get Donnalee to demonstrate.
#1 – Calf Stretch
You are starting with your legs about hip width apart. You are going to take a step back, toes are pointing straight ahead and you are looking for a light stretch in that calf.
Often times what I do is I will go close to a wall and put my hand on the wall because we are not worried about balance, we want to focus in on the stretch. With this one, I am holding a light stretch for 20 seconds and I am going to do it twice alternating back and forth.
#2 – 90-90 Hip Flexor Stretch
This is my favorite stretch. Once again, legs are hip width apart. You are going to take a step back and bring the knee down. And then, you are tightening up that abdominal area to lock in the pelvis. You are tightening up that glute, you are bringing the hips forward and you are looking for that light stretch. It could be down from the knee all the way up into the hip, so you are looking for a light stretch.
90-90 Hip Flexor Stretch
For some people this stretch might be stronger than the Calf Stretch. With this one, we will do twice on each side, holding for 20 seconds.
#3 – Reaching for the Sky
I am in the starting off position, legs are hip width apart. I am going to bring the arms overhead so the palms are facing each other and then I am tightening up in that abdominal area. I am just going to start off with just reaching as high as I can and relaxing.
Reaching the Sky
The next one is I am going to try to link it up with breathing. So legs are in the right position, arms overhead, tightening up that abdominal area, reaching and I am breathing out. I am trying to reach higher up. With this one, I am decompressing the spine. I have been sitting for hours and now with that reaching I am decompressing the spine and then you can relax. You are reaching for the sky for about five seconds.
Reaching the Sky with Breathing
Now another way of intensifying that stretch is I can add a little bit of arch back. Legs hip width apart, bring the arms up, breathing out and then reaching up and then arching back a little bit in that lower back and then back down. Hold it for five seconds.
Reaching the Sky with arch back
I would do that at minimum 5 times, slow and controlled, but if it feels good you can continue on doing ten repetitions. But once again don’t go crazy because you are going to probably irritate things if you are going to do like 50 repetitions.
#4 – Bird Dog
I am going to get Donnalee to go into a 4 point position. Hands are underneath the shoulders, knees are underneath the hips. I am going to bring her knees up a little bit more. Rest of her body is in good alignment. She’s looking down on the floor. And then she is going to tighten up her abdominal area. She is going to reach forward with one arm and then reach back with the opposite leg. Good straight alignment, holding for two to five seconds and then coming back down. Relaxing that abdominal area and then switching sides.
With this one, it is like reaching, looking right on the floor and coming back. She is reaching forward with the arm so it is in alignment with the body. I will get her to switch to the other side and reaching with the leg. She is not having much of a change in that low back which is excellent and back down. I am just going for 5 repetitions on each side, a total of ten so one set of ten.
Now the reason why you need to do that Bird Dog exercise, very similar to the exercise before which is Reach For The Sky, in that sitting position for a long period of time things are tightening up in the hips and in the back. Now when it comes to the Bird Dog, what often times happens with sitting for a long period of time is your stabilizing core muscles are not working properly. What we are trying to do is fire them up with the Bird Dog. Start having them activate and turned on properly so that they can work again and kind of protecting and supporting your back when you are out and about doing whatever you are doing on your holidays.
If you are looking for a program to help fire up other core stabilizing muscles in your hips and back, then check out:
Rick Kaselj, MS.