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Travel Well: Miracle Muscles

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It’s the Year of Active Travel! To really expand this year’s blog theme, I thought a few posts about staying safe while traveling actively might prove useful. So this week is Wellness Week! Each day this week I’ll be posting (with the help of a personal trainer) about how to get the kinks out, prevent injuries that can ruin a vacation, and create opportunities to work fitness into your travels if you choose! The goal of these posts is not to get your body bikini ready, encourage you to lose weight, or make you want to become a body builder. So let’s get to it.

As with anything related to your health and wellness, check with your doctor or other healthcare professional before beginning a fitness regime. All activities mentioned are done at your own risk.

Stretching

Upper Body
Stretch #1:
  • Sit on the floor with your back straight, arms above your head
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  • Put your left hand on your right elbow
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  • Reach your right hand toward the small of your back and pull with your left hand
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  • Repeat with the opposite arm
Stretch #2:
  • Sit on the floor with your back straight, arms extended in front of you
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  • Reach your right arm toward your left side
  • Use your left arm to pull the right arm closer to your body
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  • Repeat on the opposite side
Lower Body
  • Start on your hands shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, and knees hip-width apart
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  • Pull your left leg to the front, with your knee just below your left shoulder
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  • Lean forward, dragging your right knee to feel the stretch in your right hip and thigh
  • Lean back to feel the stretch in the back of your left leg from heel to booty
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  • Lean forward again
  • Lean backward again
  • Lean forward and grab your right ankle
  • Pull your right heel to your booty
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  • Repeat with your opposite side

Foam Rolling

Stretching is good for everyone, but many of us (like myself) need a little extra something to work out tight muscles. That’s why I’ll be showing you some rolling techniques to add into your stretching routine. This is called a “foam roller,” and it effectively gives your muscles a deep tissue massage. Click the photo below to get your own!

The pros can show you how to use the foam roller better than I can explain it, so click here for YouTube tutorials!

Warming Up

It’s very important to warm up before you workout, but particularly so after a long flight or when your body is jet lagged and has been in the same position for hours at a time. This is your first defense against injuries that can make your vacation uncomfortable, or even painful! If you don’t have a yoga mat at your disposal, feel free to use a towel, blanket, or even your bed’s comforter instead!

1. Fire Hydrants
  • Start on your hands and knees, ensuring that your hands are directly under your shoulders, or just slightly wider
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  • Keeping your back flat, lift one leg as if you’re a dog at a fire hydrant (hence the name!), and lower
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  • Repeat 10-12 times
  • Repeat on the other side
2. Hydrant Circles
  • Start on your hands and knees, ensuring that your hands are directly under your shoulders, or just slightly wider
  • Keeping your back flat, lift one leg as if you’re a dog at a fire hydrant (hence the name!)
  • Make a circle with your knee 5 times going one direction, then 5 times in the other direction
  • Repeat on the other side
3. Bird Dogs
  • Start on your hands and knees, ensuring that your hands are directly under your shoulders, or just slightly wider
  • Keeping your back flat, lift one leg behind you and lift the opposite arm in front of you
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  • Pull your elbow and knee together
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  • Repeat 10-12 times
  • Repeat on the other side
4. Pushups
  • Start in a plank position, with your hands directly under your shoulders, or just slightly wider; legs extended behind you, with your toes on the floor
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  • Keeping your body straight, lower yourself almost to the floor
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  • Push yourself back up to the starting position
  • Repeat 10-12 times

*Need to modify? Start on your knees instead of on your feet.
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5. Plank Up-down with Worm Crawl
  • Start in a plank position like above
  • One arm at a time, lower yourself down to your elbows
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  • One arm at a time, push yourself up to a full plank position
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  • Repeat on the other side
  • Walk your hands back to your feet
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  • Walk your hands back to the starting position
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  • Repeat 5-6 times

Now your muscles are warmed up, and you’re ready to start your day as usual, or fit in your workout for the day!

Have questions? Feel free to e-mail my friend and trainer, Joe Dattoli of Functional Training Concepts, if you need some clarity on any of these moves! Send him a message at JosephDattoli.iii@gmail.com.

Want more gym-free and low-equipment exercise ideas? Check out Kira Stokes on Instagram! Her moves are diverse, and often you only need your own body weight.

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5 thoughts on “Travel Well: Miracle Muscles

    1. This comment just made my morning! πŸ™Œ I’m super paranoid about getting injured while traveling because one leg is longer than the other, so it’s important to me to do a little something each day to keep myself strong! So glad you will be following along! πŸ‘

  1. Ah I’m glad!! Yeah definitely important to stay healthy and strong whilst travelling – so much of daily routines does out the window so good to keep some exercises up! 😊

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