Tiding over Travel Discomfort
Travel is always hard on my body. With previous back and lower body injuries, I find I get very stiff and sore especially through the hips. I have included some of my favourite stretches that help keep me moving after long hours of sitting. These are great, not only during and after travel but also great exercises to incorporate into your every day, especially if you have a job that requires hours of sitting but I also highly recommend these to people with quite physical jobs as well. Mobility around the hips ensures a healthy back and improves function of the lower body for just about everyone!
Hip Flexor Stretch Keep the hips square forward, tuck your tailbone to lengthen your spine, and stay tall (don't lean forward) then shift your body weight forward. Place a pillow under your knee for support or do this in standing as pictured. You should feel a stretch in the front of the hip and/or down the front of the thigh. If you feel back pain more than hip stretch then discontinue this stretch and book a chat with me. .
Figure 4 Stretch a) Cross one ankle over the opposite knee and press the top thigh away - you will feel a stretch at the front or side of the top leg. b) Keep that ankle over knee position and pull the bottom thigh up toward your chest - you will feel a stretch in the back of the hip of the top leg
Quadriceps Stretch Make sure hips stay level, the knee you are stretching stays under your hip and in line with the other knee (as best you can, this is your goal position). You will feel a stretch in the front of the thigh. If you have any back or knee pain with this stretch then do the standing version of the hip flexor stretch above until you no longer feel a stretch, then you can progress to this one, or chat with me.
Hamstring Stretch Keep your back straight as you hinge forward at your hips. Try to keep your knee straight as well. If you need a deeper stretch or don't want to bend forward, place your foot on a stool or chair. You will feel this stretch in the back of the thigh or knee. If you feel any tingling or numbness down the leg, then discontinue this stretch and chat with me!
Calf Stretch Toes point forward, back knee is straight for your outer calf (first picture) Keep the back heel grounded as you shift your weight toward the front foot until you feel a stretch in back of the lower leg/back of the knee. For the deeper calf and achilles (second picture),bend the back knee until you feel a stretch closer toward the back of the ankle, keep the heel grounded
For all stretches, aim to hold a comfortable stretch for about 3-5 breaths then switch sides, you can repeat the stretch up to 3-5 times per side, most days of the week.
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