Airport Stretching Routine
We’ve all been on those long or even short trips where the back starts to seize up a little, the shoulders become tight from prolonged fixed positions, or you feel a neck strain from sleeping awkwardly.
The good news is you no longer have to suffer, the fitness world explorer static stretch sequence has come to the rescue, you can do something to help yourself with these fantastic muscle and joint releasing stretches.
They can all be done in a small space and don’t require a high level of skill, or the flexibility of an Olympic gymnast for you to gain benefits.
Do them separately or as a sequence, perfect for anyone on their travels, ranging from business travellers, to an Ice road trucker, to a couple on their honeymoon (anyone).
Designed to be able to do in a small place as you can see from the pictures.
Best places to do these drills would be in the departure lounge or waiting area, in arrivals before you begin the next leg of your journey, or some can be done in the more spacious areas on a plane
Before you start, focus on taking deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth slowing down your breathing to give yourself a more relaxed state to stretch.
Obviously, if you have joint issues or injuries give consideration when doing these, there are some you may avoid and perform them in a small controlled fashion!
1.Seated back stretch
Sitting on the edge of a seat, slowly drop the body forward linking your hands under the legs.
Gently pull up against your legs with the chin tucked in.
You will feel a stretch through the whole back, you will only need a small resistance against yourself, once you feel a stretch hold for 10-15 seconds, then sit up go through some light shoulder rolls with deep breaths and repeat if necessary.
2. Seated chest opener
Sit tall, reach behind your back and link the fingers together.
Taking deep breaths lift the arms up and away from the body for a fantastic stretch through the chest and shoulder.
Same as above once you feel a stretch hold for 10-15 seconds, then sit up go through some light shoulder rolls with deep breaths and repeat if necessary.
3.Standing quad stretch
Standing classic quad stretch – I told you these wouldn’t be complicated.
Stand tall take hold of the front of one foot bring the knees together and gently pull the heel towards your butt to feel a stretch through the front of the thigh.
Fantastic stretch when you have been seated for a while, you’ll feel a great release by doing this one.
4.Kneeling Hip Stretch
Kneel on one leg and relax the foot on the floor in line with the knee.
With back straight, gently tilt/lean your hips forward with weight over the knee until you feel a stretch in the pelvis/front of the back hip. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then switch legs.
This can also be performed on the side of a bench if you have knobbly knees or feel knee pain when the knee is in contact with the floor.
You can also use the side of a seat or something else to balance.
Or place something on the floor to protect your knee if necessary.
5.Kneeling Hip stretch with reach
Taking the kneeling hip stretch a little further now, go through the same movement as above making sure you feel the stretch in the front of the hip.
Raise the arm that is on the same side of the knee that is on the ground, stretching to the opposite side until a stretch is felt in the front of your pelvis lean over to feel a more intense stretch.
Steadily move your arm in and out of this position to actively stretch the front of your hip.
Switch sides and repeat, feels amazing!
Deep breath, slide the hands down the front of the legs and walk them forwards along the floor as if in a press up position.
Push your body weight up rocking your weight back into your heels and slowly walk the hands back to the start position.
Challenging but excellent for the line of muscles down your posterior.
Gradually build the movement up if you find it tough or start from hands and knees and then walk your body weight back.
7.Upward Facing Dog
A version of once of my favourite Yoga moves to really lift and open the chest.
Lie prone on the floor then stretch your legs back, with the tops of your feet resting on the floor.
Bend your elbows and spread your palms on the floor aligning the shoulder, elbow and wrist.
Inhale pressing your hands firmly into the floor and slightly back, gently straighten your arms and lift your torso up and your legs a few inches off the floor as you inhale.
Keep the body firm, looking straight ahead or tilt the head back very slightly.
Slowly return, breathe strong and repeat.
8.Hip Opening Frog Stretch
Position yourself on all fours, with palms on the floor and your knees on the floor again, for this one you may want to find something for comfort under the knees. Slowly widen your knees until you feel a comfortable stretch in your inner thighs, ease your body weight back keep the inside of each calf and foot in contact with the floor. Make sure to keep the ankles in line with your knees. Lower down on your forearms and hold. Ease your body weight forward to release out of the stretch.
You will feel an intense stretch if you haven’t done this move before, once you feel the stretch just hold that position avoid pushing further than necessary.
9.Standing Calf Stretch
Find somewhere to balance your weight, you may like to do a few ankle circles before the stretch then place one foot back, push the heel into the ground hold, deep breaths.
Release and repeat on the opposite side, a super stretch for the lower leg and Achilles.
Easily done standing next to a wall for support.
10. Toe touch
Take a deep breath, filling the lungs place the hands on the legs and then exhale as you slowly lower yourself towards your toes.
If you feel too much of a stretch before the toes and can only reach the knees or shins fine, hold the position when you feel a stretch through the back of the legs and possibly lower back if it’s tight from your travels.
Deep breath again, rise up slowly, gather yourself at the top with more deep breathing and repeat.
Stand tall, keep the chin up and look straight ahead, reach behind your back keeping the back of the hand into your lower back.
Slowly drop the ear to the opposite shoulder, feeling a stretch down the side of the neck, this may be enough of a stretch for some, this is a short muscle, for a more intense stretch gently tilt the head towards the opposite shoulder with your hand.
It’s important to move slowly in and out of this movement.
Seated or standing, with one arm reach high and down the back, keep the chin up and pull the elbow further down for a more intense stretch. You can also tilt to the side for a stretch through the lats.
Hold for approx 15 seconds focussing on the breathing, take a break for gentle shoulder rolls and switch sides.
Try not to laugh if someone is taking a picture!
13. Shoulder Stretch
Seated or standing keep the shoulders facing forward, reach one arm across the body with a slight bend in the elbow, drawing it across the body using the forearm of the opposite side stretch the shoulder.
Rest, breathe, repeat.
14. Chest Stretch and Breathing
You stretched through the chest at the start, but this one is to focus on breathing slowly and deeply whilst holding a chest stretch and opening out the chest to fill the lungs.
Find somewhere with a view, stretch and really open out getting in tune with your breathing and feeling the body relax.
Extra tip: – if you can find one of these large massage chairs in the departure lounge jump in, it certainly isn’t a deep tissue but just the massage action will feel relaxing, I love these when I’ve been on a long flight.
There we have it, a quick sequence of stretches to release muscular tension whilst waiting at the airport, train station or anywhere to stop muscle tightness whilst travelling, helping you relax into some deep breathing.
Straight forward and they don’t need to be more difficult to get great benefits, besides I didn’t have my yoga pants with me to be able to do the advance version, so you will have to wait.
If you become anxious when you travel stretching is a great step to calm down that nervous system.
Many of my clients have found this routine hugely beneficial to their well-being, leaving less stress in the muscles enabling them to train or feel energised for a meeting on arrival.
These can also be done if you’re seated for long periods of time at a desk.
The key here is not to be embarrassed, the stranger giving you funny looks whilst sipping their fizzy drink and stuffing their face with chocolate at 7 am isn’t concerned about your health, so why be concerned about the opinion you perceive they are giving.
Carry on because the more people who spy on your stretching routine the more people will learn some great stretches to try themselves!
Go for it and let me know how you get on.
Fitness World Explorer
Keeping you loose and pain free so you can
About the author
The Personal Trainer and Worldwide Traveller behind Fitness World Explorer.
He has worked in his passion as a Personal Trainer and coach for 16 years .His travels have taken him worldwide to 78 different countries on many adventures. He loves a good stretch.