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 6 Stretches You Can Do from Your Airplane Seat

Learning airplane stretches can be a real benefit to your travels. Have you been earning your frequent flier miles lately? Working in today’s jet-set world brings quite a few perks to the door. You can visit the world, be at different places and have friends and colleagues from all over the world. However, traveling for long hours has its problems. 


For one, it can affect your posture badly. Plus, daily stress of sitting in one space and in one posture for long hours can damage your muscles, creating scar tissues and deep tissue pains which complicates over time.


One of the ways to circumvent this is to make sure that you stretch from time to time while you’re traveling in the airplane. Of course, for persistent issues, you should probably visit a chiropractic clinic between flights or after your vacation.


airplane stretches



Now, you might be worried that your flight won’t have enough space to perform stretches or have enough space for you to practice. However, there are some stretches that can be performed easily and can provide you quick relief, without any worries. Here are a few things you can practice.


Airplane Stretches You Should Learn Before a Long Flight


Stretch your Legs


If you’ve ever traveled Economy for a business trip, you know how many the fellow passengers’ insistence can hurt your feet and knees. To stop them from hurting, perform the following from time to time. 


Take one of your feet and bring it closer to your chest (you can choose not to stretch too much or fully, depending on the space that is available. Then point it out below the seat in front of you and point out your toes. Draw some circles in the air with your toes and return to the previous position. Continue for 5 times on each leg. 


Stretching your legs is really important. Especially if you begin to see swelling in the ankles. You might even consider going for a little walk around the plane to get the blood flowing. 


Upper back


The upper back barely gets any support in airplanes, so, this should be a priority area. Plant your feet, and raise your elbows to your shoulder. Link one of your arms to another and pull it towards yourself, this should relax the muscles and help you deal with the long hours better.


Remember to do this sitting upright in a correct posture. Also, for extra support, you might try to rest your back completely against the seats and avoid hunching towards the front for the extended flight time. Remember to keep your posture intact.


Mid back


Traveling is never kind to the back, especially if your posture isn’t maintained. To relax your mid back muscles, put one foot over the other and turn your torso so, that it faces the upper feet. Repeat for five times on each side. This should be done at regular intervals, especially if you plan to work in the flight itself.


airplane stretches



If you don’t stretch your hips for the period of 12 hours or more, and constantly put pressure on them, it can lead to long term problem. One of the recommended stretches is an easy one, take your heel and place it on the opposing knee.


Once placed, gently push the knee downwards until you feel your glutes stretching.


Neck and shoulder


Bring your arms gently on the top of your head. Once there, gently pull it closer to the arms. This should release your neck muscles and help you function for a longer time. Another thing that is recommended is using pillows for longer trips, falling asleep in an awkward position can hurt you.


If neck pain persists, consider seeing a chiropractor once you land. 




Relax your shoulders, keep your head steady and rest your back. As much as possible, keep your feet evenly and firmly placed on the ground. A perfect posture can minimize your need to stretch and reduce your muscular problems easily.

If you travel a lot, if you have back problems, muscle spasms, swelling or general discomfort when flying, you should learn these airplane stretches. It certainly can’t hurt to stretch, and it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health. 

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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