Long Flight Ahead? Here’s How To Prevent Stiffness!3 min read

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Amanda Grace

Amanda Grace

Hi there! My name is Amanda and I am the creator of Travelust PT. I am a Doctor of physical therapy student who lusts to travel every spare moment I have! My goals are to inspire others to find time to travel the world, even if you’re a full-time student, and to offer advice to those interested in the physical therapy profession. Find out more at travelustpt.com

Long flights can leave your body feeling achy and stiff.  Here are some tips to help prevent those effects after a long flight!

Stretching Before and After Your Flight

Stretching for at least 30 seconds is going to be key here.  Evidence has shown that 30 seconds is an effective duration for muscle tissue to retain length and enhance muscle flexibility.  You can start by stretching 2-3 times on each leg for at least 30 seconds. Feel free to increase your reps or time, depending on how tight you are.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Prolonged sitting can cause tight hip flexors which can then contribute to poor posture and back pain.

For this stretch, kneel and lean forward until a stretch is felt along the front part of your hip and thigh.  In this photo, the stretch should be felt on the right side.2

Hamstring Stretch

When your hip flexors are tight, this causes you to have an anterior pelvic tilt, which can contribute to hamstring tightness. Tight hamstrings are a common cause of low back pain.

There are a couple of ways to stretch your hamstrings, but this way is my favorite as it is the least stressful on your back.  You can use a towel, belt, or even a dog leash for this stretch (just make sure your pup doesn’t find out).  Make sure the leg you’re stretching is as straight as possible and bring it back until you feel a stretch on the back of your thigh & calf.

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Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis is a deep muscle in your bottom that runs from your sacrum to your thigh bone.  Prolonged sitting can also cause this muscle to become tight, which can then result in compression of your sciatic nerve. No Bueno!

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Amanda Grace

Amanda Grace

Hi there! My name is Amanda and I am the creator of Travelust PT. I am a Doctor of physical therapy student who lusts to travel every spare moment I have! My goals are to inspire others to find time to travel the world, even if you’re a full-time student, and to offer advice to those interested in the physical therapy profession. Find out more at travelustpt.com

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