Best Equipment Free Exercises After A Long Flight

Today, I’ll 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 sunny Miami. After the long flight, I was feeling stiff and slightly ‘off’. So, I went through these 4 exercises in my hotel room in order to loosen up my body. Long flights can really wreak havoc on the balance of your body and really push your body into muscle imbalances.

Best Equipment Free Exercises After A Long Flight


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The 4 exercises that I did when I got back to my hotel room are the following:

#1 – Calf Stretch

Start with your legs about hip-width apart. Take a step back with your toes pointing straight ahead and look for a light stretch in that calf.

Calf Stretch

Calf Stretch

Often, I will put my hand on the wall to eliminate concerns about balance and just focus on the stretch. Hold this light stretch for 20 seconds, and do it twice alternating back and forth.

#2 – 90-90 Hip Flexor Stretch

This is my favorite stretch. Once again, your legs are hip-width apart. Take a step back and bring your knee down. Tighten up your abdominal area to lock in your pelvis. Tighten up your glute, bring your hips forward, and look for a light stretch. It could be down from the knee all the way up into the hip.

90-90 Hip Flexor 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

Start with your legs hip-width apart. Bring your arms overhead so your palms are facing each other and then I tighten up your abdominal area. Start off with just reaching as high as you can and relax.

Reaching for the Sky

Reaching the Sky

Now try to combine this with breathing. With your legs in the right position and arms overhead, tighten up your abdominal area, reaching and breathing out. Try to reach higher up. With this exercise, you are decompressing the spine. Reach for the sky for about five seconds and then relax.

Reaching the Sky with breathing

Reaching the Sky with Breathing

A way of intensifying that stretch is to add a slight arch back. With your legs hip-width apart, bring your arms up, breath out, reach up and arch back slightly in that lower back, and then lower back down. Hold it for five seconds.

Reaching the Sky with Arch Back

Reaching the Sky with arch back

Do this a minimum of 5 times, slow and controlled. If it feels good you can continue on doing ten repetitions.

#4 – Bird Dog

Move into a 4 point position with your hands underneath your shoulders, and your knees underneath your hips. Tighten up your abdominal area. Reach forward with one arm and reach back with the opposite leg. Maintain good alignment, hold for two to five seconds and then lower back down. Relax that abdominal area and then switch sides.

Bird Dog

Bird Dog

When sitting for a long period of time, your stabilizing core muscles are not working properly. What we are trying to do is fire them up with the Bird Dog. We are activating and turning them on properly so that they can work again. We are also protecting and supporting your back.

Take care.

Rick Kaselj, MS.