Heels & Horsepower Magazine


Exercises to help reduce stiffness during a long distance trip

By H&H Admin

Travelling in a car for a long period of time can be exhausting and trying on your body, resulting in stiff joints, tight muscles and mobility issues. 

To help you and your passengers stay comfortable and active during long road trips, try out these simple stretches next time you take a long road trip.

1. Full Body Stretch

How to do it: Stand tall with feet rooted into the ground and your arms hanging loosely at your sides.  Take a deep breath in and sweep your arms all the way out to the sides, then upwards; you will end up on your toes as you reach for the sky.  On your exhale, lower your arms to your chest.  Repeat a few times, focusing on lengthening your body on the inhales and grounding yourself on the exhales. 

2. Lower Back Stretch

How to do it: Stand tall with feet rooted into the ground, knees slightly bent and your arms hanging loosely at your sides.  Reach down slowly in an attempt to touch your toes.  Don’t force anything but rather, let gravity guide you.  Let your head hang too – don’t try to look up.  Hold that position for a few seconds. As you return to standing position, squeeze your glutes and slowly roll your back one vertebra at a time until you are standing upright again.

3. Hip Flexor / Quad Stretch

How to do it: Using any side of the car for support, grab your right ankle with your right hand and gently pull it up to your glute.  Try to stand tall and squeeze the glute of your standing leg for added support.  Hold for 15 seconds then switch.

4. Calf Stretch

How to do it: Stand a comfortable distance away from the car and lean forward until both hands are flat on the bonnet.Bend one knee while simultaneously driving the heel of your other leg into the ground until you feel a stretch in your calf.  Hold the stretch for 15 seconds before switching and repeating the same stretch on your other leg.  Repeat a couple of times on each leg.

5. Neck Stretch

How to do it: Bring your chin to your chest and let it hand for 15 seconds.  To intensify the stretch, put the palm of your hand on the top of your head and gently pull down.  

To stretch the side of your neck, roll your head down towards your shoulder (don’t bring your shoulder up to your ear) and hold for 15 seconds.  To increase the stretch, put the palm of your hand on the opposite side of your head and gently push down.  

To stretch the front of your neck, lift your chin towards the sky as far as you can comfortably go.  To intensify the stretch, place the palm of your hand on your chin and gently push upwards. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat the stretches as often as necessary. 

Whether you are travelling across the country or are sitting in heavy traffic, these exercises will help reduce muscle tension and make your trip a little more comfortable.

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