Long flights and I have never been a very harmonious pair. My old college sports injuries never fail to pop up and say hello every time I jam my 6’1 frame into a plane seat. After a particularly long flight, it takes me at least a day and half to shake off my inflight aches and pains. The first thing I try to do to expedite the recovery process is get my body moving, so I head straight to the gym. I never do anything too taxing, my main goal is to move and get my blood flowing. The workout below is a great low impact hip and back opener, perfect for post fight gym time.
Hip Opening Yoga Series:
Rag doll variations – Traditional rag doll into rag doll with left hand on the floor in between your feet and right hand reaching to ceiling. Your left leg will bend a little in this stretch and your arms should look like they are in a sideways T. Switch to repeat the same thing on the other side. This is a great IT band stretch.
Sun Salutation A – Down dog, step forward to a forward fold, then half lift placing your hands on your shins, then back to forward fold, stand up to mountain pose, add a simple side bend right and left with steeple grip above your head and finish with a back bend with cactus arms. Close the salutation by swan diving into a forward fold, followed by another half lift and then step or hop back into a plank position. From the plank position roll forward into an upward dog and then tuck your feet under and return back to downward dog. Repeat this series 3 times.
Runners lunge series – Runners lunge with your right foot on the outside of your right hand. Make sure your left need is down on your mat, deepening the lunge by lowering down onto your forearms. This is an intense lunge, but it will do wonders for any tightness in your hip flexors due to prolonged sitting on a plane. From there, add a quad stretch by bringing your left foot off of the mat and with your knee still on the mat reach back with your left hand to grab your left ankle. If you opted to lower down to your forearms, make sure you raise back up to your hands before working through this movement. Do this same progression with your left leg forward and right arm reaching back for a right leg quad stretch.
Half splits pose – Half splits pose is a great counter stretch to the quad stretch in our runners lunge. Simply straighten out your front leg starting on the right, and sink back into your left leg with your knee still on the mat. Keep your foot flexed and use your hands either on the mat or a block to support a comfortable stretch. Again, this should be done on the left and right side.
Lying down spinal twist – To finish your yoga series, lie down on your back and draw your right leg up into your chest, then let it fall over your body to the left. Use your right arm to counter balance and further deepen your stretch. Repeat on the left side as well.
Low Impact Cardio:
Rowing machine 5k
– or –
Elliptical 30 minutes
Physio Ball and Crunch Core work:
Knee to chest ball roll in – Place feet on ball with hands on the ground under your shoulders in a plank position, pull the ball in with your feet and bring your knees to your chest. Repeat this 10 times for 3 sets.
Pike ball roll in – Place thighs on ball with hand on the ground under your shoulders in a plank position, pull the ball in while at the same time sending your butt into the air in a pike position. Make sure to keep your legs straight and fire your lower abs. Repeat this 10 times for 3 sets.
Hamstring ball curls – lie on your back with your feet on the ball and butt raised off of the ground so your body is in a straight line, shoulders on the floor. Pull the ball in and out with your feet to touch your butt, always keeping your body raised off of the floor. When the ball is rolled in your legs should be at a right angle. Repeat this 10 times for 3 sets.
Bring your workout full circle by returning to your mat for a nice cool down stretch.