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Summer Road Trip Stretching

July 15, 2014

We are in the midst of a wonderful summer. Summertime brings a lot of activities: pools, backyard BBQ’s, sweating more than you would like, and the classic road trip. Road trips are a quintessential part of the American summer. Whether it is a quick visit to the relatives or a full on 13-hour trek to the beach, we all look forward to logging some miles. At The Great Pumpkin Run, we are no different. However, our destinations are farms so we can measure the length of corn mazes, decide where to serve apple cider, and generally making sure we are ready for an awesome race come Fall!

With this in mind, we have learned several stretching tricks you can do while downing the highway. Some should be practiced at the rest stop, while others can be done while (carefully) driving. Check these out and help keep your body limber:

 

Stiff Neck: After just a few hours of staring at yellow lines you will inevitably develop a stiff neck. Good news is there is an easy way to fix it! Pull over to a rest stop and take a seat in a chair. Using your right arm, grab the right side of the seat and straighten that arm. Use your left arm and reach over your head, trying to touch the top of your right ear. Now carefully pull your head the opposite way. You should feel a slight stretch. Hold that stretch for 20 seconds and repeat the other side.

Shoulder pain: Relive some of the strain on your shoulders using this simple in-car move. While driving on a straightaway, grasp the wheel at the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. Gently pull the right shoulder down and in towards the center of the wheel. Once there, gently pull the shoulder blade back towards the seat. The entire motion is minimal and should be done slow. However, if relieves the shoulders, neck, and back while driving!

Leg(s) stiff: One thing that gets me every time I hit the road for an extended period of time is leg stiffness. I’ve researched and found a combination of a few basic moves will help relive this. I usually employ this while fueling up. First, do some knee raises. This is super simple: put your palms out, face down, in front of you. Alternate bringing your knees straight up, hitting the palms of your hand. Do for about 30 seconds or so. This loosens up the hips and gets blood flowing in the legs.

Another way to ease up leg stiffness is by doing basic lower body exercises using just your body weight. Do 10 squats followed by 10 alternating lunges. Feeling good? Throw in a few side lateral lunges. These will once again get blood flowing while giving you a burst of energy (without the crash that comes along with slugging 4 energy drinks!)

 

There are all sorts of way to help make the road trip easier on your body. These happen to be fairly easy and extremely effective. Feel free to leave your favorites in the comments below!

 

-E