Does this sound familiar? “Are we there yet?” “My butt is asleep.” “Oh my sciatica.” “My neck feels like it’s up a ‘crick’ without a paddle!” Road trips and the position of bucket seats are not the best for human anatomy and can cause some pretty severe body issues in addition to boredom. Movers and shakers, have no fear! Here is a Road trip Workout for you.
A pit stop isn’t just for bladder relief anymore, it is also a great time to get in a mini workout. The next time your rubber hits the road, make sure your stops include these four(4) exercises designed to “get our sillies out” (like I tell my toddler) and put a little circulation and stimulation back into those tight/stiff areas.
Road Trip Workout Exercise #1: Hip Opening Hood Stretch
How? Place the back of your hips against the car and lay back over the hood, or simply lean your elbows back allowing your hips to push forward. Hold for 3-5 deep breaths.
Why? The hip flexors in the front of the thighs get uber tight from sitting for long periods. This stretch not only opens up the hip flexors but also the whole front of the body from being rounded forward in the “driving or passenger position”.
Road Trip Workout Exercise #2: Curbside Squats
How? Stand with feet hip width apart in front of a curb (preferably one where you aren’t in harms way). Imagine a tiny chair (or curb) that is way too far behind you and stick your bum out as you Squat your bum to your heels. Repeat this for 10-15 repetitions.
Why? True you have been seated in a chronic squat in the car so you wouldn’t think this would do that much good, however it stimulates blood flow and muscle contraction to those dormant sitting muscles and creates a super stretch for tight lower backs. Plus it’s fun to watch the faces people make when they see you working out in front of a gas station.
Road Trip Workout Exercise #3: Three(3) Part Stretch
How? Part 1: Stand with feet hip width apart and reach arms overhead grasping your right wrist with your left hand. Pull your right arm over to the left as you lean over to the left lengthening your right side. (To deepen, bring your feet closer towards each other or even cross your left foot over your right foot.) Hold for 3-5 breaths. Complete the same stretch on the other side.
Part 2: Fold forward dangling your upper body forward and keeping the knees soft. Let the arms hang and the head hang freely or try a small sway side to side. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Part 3: Staying in your forward fold, step the feet a little wider than hip width, and turn the toes slightly out. Drop the hips towards the heels (even if the heels pop up a little). Stay in this deep squat for 3-5 breaths and as an option place the palms together and push the elbows against the inner legs to open up the inner thighs.
Why? This 3 part stretch opens up the front, back and sides of the body and is great for restoring energy to the brain when you feel like the “hypotonic highway trance” is beginning to make you groggy.
Road Trip Workout Exercise #4: Pedal to the Metal
How? Stand on a curb and drop one heel off allowing the calf to stretch out. Hold for 3-5 deep breaths on each side.
Why? Pressing the gas for hours on end can leave your calves and shins screaming “uncle” at the end of a long trip. By opening and stretching the calves you allow blood flow and relaxation back in and are able to channel your inner Willie Nelson and get “on the road again”.
So the next time you put on your KAST capris or leggings and head over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house you go, remember to drink plenty of water so that you’ll have more excuses to ease your bladder as well as your back with these simple and effective exercises.
Written by: ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, Master Trainer for the Juvo Board, and KAST Fitness Wear Ambassador – Jodelle Fitzwater. www.getfitwithjodelle.com