Happy Monday friends! I hope y’all had a great weekend and that your week is off to a good start!
So… who’s taking a road trip this summer? (Ooh, me! Pick me!) I’ve already been on probably far too many and still have a few more to go! My hubby and I have what one of his coworkers once called “gypsy blood”. We can’t stay in one place too long without getting restless! 🙂
Whenever I’m travelling, I make it a priority to take care of myself despite the changes to my normal routine. I try to stick to some semblance of a sleep schedule, eat healthy meals and keep moving. One easy way I incorporate a bit more movement into my day when we’re on the road is with a quick road trip stretching routine. It’s a great way to get my blood moving again and combat the stiffness of being cramped up in the car. I purposely chose these stretches because I feel like they target the whole body without taking a long time to complete or making a scene at the rest stop (not that I really care…). I also picked ones that don’t require you to lay on the ground. Because no one wants to lay on the ground at a rest stop. That’s just nasty.
Just a quick note before you begin…
Make sure to start with a walk around the rest stop if at all possible. This way your muscles will be warm before you begin stretching. This is important step to prevent injury.
Road Trip Stretching Routine
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, tailbone slightly tucked in, and arms outstretched at your sides with palms facing forwards. As you inhale, reach your arms up to the sky, feeling a pleasant stretch throughout your whole body. Pause for a moment. As you exhale, lower your arms back to their starting position. Repeat 2 times.
Standing Side-Body Stretch
Maintaining the same stance as mountain pose, fully extend your arms overhead and clasp your hands together. Exhale while pressing your right hip to the right side and gently leaning your upper body to the left side, feeling a stretch along the right side of your body. Hold for a few seconds, then return to starting posture. Repeat on the opposite side.
Neck Stretches in All Planes
Begin in the same stance as mountain pose with arms at your sides. With shoulders rotated down and back, gently side-bend your neck to the right until you feel a pleasant stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Now, bend to the left and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat also to the front and back.
Begin in the same stance as with neck stretches. This time, clasp your hands together behind your back. Gently press your fists towards the ground, creating a pleasant stretch across your chest. Hold for 15 seconds before relaxing. Repeat 2 times.
Extend your right arm straight out in front of you. With your palm facing down, bend your hand down at the wrist. For an additional stretch, apply gentle pressure to the back of your right hand with your left hand. Hold for 15 seconds. Now, bend your hand upwards at the wrist, applying additional pressure with your opposite hand if desired. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the left arm.
Beginning in the same stance as mountain pose, extend your arms out in front of you as you gently hinge forward at the waist. Place your palms on the ground shoulder-width apart a few feet in front of you while maintaining your feet firmly planted on the ground. Make sure your hands are spread wide for balance and your elbows are straight but not locked. Tuck your chin in, maintaining a straight line with your back and neck from your tailbone to the top of your head. Make sure to keep your core engaged and do not let your back sag. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then slowly return to starting position. Repeat once more.
Quad/Hip Flexor Stretch
Find a nearby object to hold onto for stability. Standing tall with your core engaged, bend your right foot up towards your right glutes. Grab the top of your right foot and hold this posture for 20 seconds. Make sure your right knee stays pointing towards the ground the whole time. Gently release, then repeat on the other side. Repeat the entire sequence 2 times.
Just a few more important considerations…
Be smart. If you feel pain with any of these stretches, back off! If that doesn’t resolve the pain, just stop. It may be worth making an appointment with a local physical therapist when you get back home to get to the root of your pain. You can find some great ones here!
I hope these stretches help keep you feeling awesome on your road trips this summer!
P.S.- Where are you headed this summer? Any big plans?