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.’ Long flights can wreak havoc on your body’s balance and push your body into muscle imbalances. So, I went through these four exercises in my hotel room to loosen up my body.
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The four 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 straight ahead and look for a light stretch in that calf.
Often, I will put my hand on the wall to eliminate concerns about balance and 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 back knee down. Tighten up your abdominal area to lock in your pelvis. Tighten your glute, bring your hips forward, and look for a light stretch. It could be down from the knee up into the hip.
90-90 Hip Flexor Stretch
For some people, this stretch might be stronger than the Calf Stretch. With this one, we will do it 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 face each other, and then tighten your abdominal area. Start with just reaching as high as you can and then relax.
Reaching for the Sky
Now try to combine this with breathing. With your legs in the right position and arms overhead, tighten your abdominal area, reaching and breathing out. Try to reach higher up. Reach for the Sky for about five seconds and then relax. With this exercise, you are decompressing the spine.
Reaching for 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, breathe out, reach up and arch back slightly in that lower back, and then lower back down. Hold it for five seconds.
Reaching for the Sky with back arch.
Do this a minimum of 5 times, slow and controlled. If it feels good, you can continue 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 lower back down. Relax that abdominal area and then switch sides.
When sitting for a long period, your stabilizing core muscles are not working properly. We are trying to fire them up with the Bird Dog. We are activating and turning them on properly so they can work again. We are also protecting and supporting your back.
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Rick Kaselj, MS.
For your guide to strengthening your gluteus maximus, check out the Best Gluteus Maximus Exercises here!