Travel can be hard on the body. The extended stints of sitting and inactivity can lead to stiff joints, tight muscles, aching bodies. Try these stretches the next time you need some relief. They’re made for small spaces, so whether you’re in an airport corner or a tight hotel room, these tension stretches can be practiced anywhere. Each exercise is curated and demonstrated by Mike Z. Robinson, Founder of MZR Fitness in San Luis Obispo and 2015 IDEA International Personal Trainer of the Year.
Cats & Dogs
Start by sitting on hands and knees with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Arch back like a cat and let the head and neck fall down slowly. Next, transition into relaxing the lower back and allowing abs to fall toward the floor. Lift head and neck, then gaze upward.
Sit & Reach
Sit on floor with legs extended together, out in front of body. Straighten back and lock knees. Exhale and slowly reach forward to toes until mild discomfort is felt in the hamstrings. Hold stretch.
Place hands, palms down, on the floor beneath shoulders. Lift chest up off the floor by straightening arms. Gaze upward and keep abdominals engaged.
Stand straight with feet shoulder width apart. Step one foot out to the side about 2 – 3 feet away, keeping toes pointed straight ahead. Bend step leg toward 90 degrees, reach hips back and keep chest upright and tall. The trail leg should remain straight to allow for a stretch. Push with step leg, stand up, return to starting position and repeat on opposite side.
Stand on right leg, one knee touching the other. Hold a chair or the wall to keep steady if needed. Grab left foot using left hand and pull it toward butt. Hold position. Repeat on opposite side.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on floor with one leg in front of the other, legs at 90 degrees. Place hands on top of forward knee and gently lean body forward to feel the stretch in upper thigh and hip flexors. Repeat on opposite side.