Hey, everybody, Kris Stokes from Custom Fitness Personal Training Studio, where your health comes first. Now, I’m not sure what order these videos got put in, but you may have already heard, I just got in from a long day of travel. I left early in the morning and expected there to be about a five hour time period before I was at my destination, and lo and behold it was 12 plus hours by the time that I got here. I wanted to be sure I get these videos in before I go to bed tonight because they are super important to travelers. I wanted to make sure that I share the thoughts that came to my head, and the piece that I’m doing right now to be able to help you on your next trip.
This can really work for whether you have driven to your destination, whether you’ve flown, or however you happen to have gotten there. If you’ve been sitting for a while, or dealt with airport delays, like I did, or anything like that, these stretches are going to feel really good. These are four stretches that you can do once you get to your destination just to help your body feel a little bit better, and help you to sleep better that night, because if you go to bed super tight, it’s just not going to work out very well.
Setting Up For The Stretch
All right, so I’m going to use this nice little ottoman that they’ve provided for me here. You can also use the bed, you could use the countertop like here, a table. Anything sturdy that’s not going to go flying across the room. If you’re using something higher up, like a bed, like the bed that I have is hitting me about here, whereas the ottoman’s down low, then what I would do is use my forearms and stretch instead of my hands, like I’m going to show you here. The higher the object, forearms would be better, the lower the object, hands would be better. All we’re going to do is we’re first going to reach down here, and really just getting set up for the stretch is a stretch in itself. As you’re reaching down, you may feel a stretch in the back of the legs, and so you can hold that there for a second. Then all we’re going to do is we’re going to step back into a down dog. It’s a modified down dog, I know a lot of people don’t want to put their hands on the floor, that’s fine. If you have trouble touching the furniture, put a towel over it, no big deal.
As you step back, I want you to be able to just barely touch your heels to the ground. I want you to feel some stretch there as you do. You’re just going to press back into those hips. Elongate the spine, what that’s going to do is help decompress the spine. It’s going to help take some load off the shoulders and stretch out the back of the legs down to the calves. You’re going to get a great stretch for the whole body, and you’re just going to be able to take some deep breaths there. Typically in a yoga class we might hold that anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and a half. It could go longer, it just depends on your comfort level, but what I’d really like to focus on in that stretch is just that deep breath. Really breathing in through the nose, breathing out through the mouth. Getting that deep breath going through the body since you can stretch, relax mind, muscles, everything. It’s just a really great stretch to do.
Stretch # 1- The Standing Stretch
All right, so the second stretch is that, what happens when you are traveling? It always ends up in forward head position. We’ve got rounded shoulders, we’ve got our neck looking forward. Maybe we’re looking at our phone, maybe we’re reading a book, maybe we’re doing homework, whatever it may be. We’ve really got to get out of that position. First thing’s first is our shoulders are rounded forward here, it shortens these muscles, so up in the chest is a great place to start our stretches. We don’t want to do this with a straight arm, it’ll put too much pressure on the elbow. We’re just going to find a wall, or a doorway. They’ve so nicely provided the right wall here for me. We’re going to place the elbow out at shoulder height and we’re just going to have the hand drawn up the wall. It looks just like this inside the wall. We’re just going to take one step forward, doesn’t matter which foot, just a little bit, and we’re going to lean forward. What we need to do is keep the shoulder nice and open, like we’re leaning back on a wall at the same time, so we’re not rotating towards that wall. I really want you to feel that stretch here in the chest. You’re just pushing forward into that. Just gently hold it, 30 seconds to a minute again, and you do it on both sides.
What if you don’t have a wall that’ll work? Well, then you go into a yoga scarecrow. Not quite as bad as it sounds, I promise. Arms come up, palms straight ahead, and you’re just going to pull the elbows down, but as you pull down, instead of pulling them here, you’re going to pull them down and back, pressing the chest forward, feeling a nice openness through the chest, feeling that stretch right here, and just really releasing this pressure. What that also is going to do for you is in this scarecrow pose you’re going to be pulling those traps down, so you’re not going to feel that shoulder stress the same way. That’s another great stretch to do. All right, one more standing stretch, I might’ve thrown in an extra one or two here, is to take one foot, press it to the back, and just press down through that heel, feel a nice calf stretch. If you need to, bend that front knee to feel it, that’s great. You can always go against a wall and do the same thing. I don’t know if you can see my foot, but you can put that toe up and lean into the wall. An ottoman probably would work the best for that.
Stretch # 2- The Seated Spinal Twist
All right, so a couple of seated stretches that you can do when you get back, in case you’re just exhausted, don’t want to stand anymore, you can go into a seated spinal twist here where we’ve got our knees together, our feet together, and take the opposite hand to the outside of the knee, and we’re going to inhale. Sit up really tall, and exhale, take that arm behind us. A lot like an airport stretch that I showed on the different video, but by getting that length of the arm, you’re really able to improve that rotation, and that’s usually not something people want to do out in the middle of a busy airport, or something. In your hotel room is safe. As we hold it, we’re going to inhale, sit up taller, and we’re going to exhale, rotate just a little bit further. You’re just going to hold that again, 30 seconds to a minute, okay? Doing both sides, going up, and coming back and holding that one.
Stretch # 3- The Seated Pigeon
So, the last one that I’m going to show you today is a seated pigeon stretch. We’re going to cross one ankle over the other knee, and we’re going to make sure that foot is outside of our knee so that it’s not sitting this way, and we’re also going to make sure that our foot is flexed back and our toes are closer to our shin than they are away. We’re going to hold onto the shin, sit up really tall and straight, and we’re going to take our bellybutton over our shins. All that means is we’re hinging at the hip, we’re not rounding at the back to reach down. We’re going to take our chest as far to that far wall as we can. You’re going to feel a great stretch right here through this hip, and it is going to be fantabulous. Then we’re going to go to sleep, at night you’re going to feel much better because you’ve been able to stretch out.
Now, should you need extra help putting together a routine of your own that’s custom to your specific needs, feel free to give us a call. 806-322-3188. If you have other tips and tricks that you use at hotels to be able to wind down after a long day of travel and get ready for sleep, feel free to put them in the comments, I’d love to hear about them. I do hope that this helps you out a little bit, and that the next trip that you take, you’ll be able to sleep and feel much better.
Have a great one!