The 5 Best Stretches for a Long Road Trip

Hitting the road for a family vacation soon? Unfortunately, Long car rides come with long periods of sitting, often resulting in neck and hip stiffness, lower back discomfort, muscle cramps, and knee pain. The good news is, taking a few minutes to hop out of the car and stretch can loosen up your muscles and help you feel better.

When stretching, you give your muscles a chance to lengthen back out. And mobility-based stretches—where you’re moving in and out of a pose instead of holding one position—can help hydrate your muscle tissues and boost blood flow.

We've put together a list of 5 simple stretches that can give your muscles some relief. Plus, they're perfect for pit stops. You can do these wearing whatever clothes and shoes you’re traveling in, and at any location along your route—think rest stops or gas station parking lots.

To watch a demo of these stretches, check out our video.

Seated crossover

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Muscle groups in the hips can get pretty tight when sitting for long periods of time. This stretch effectively addresses those muscles. 

Begin in a tall, seated position with a neutral spine and try to pull your knee and foot gently upwards. Try holding for 30-40 seconds.

Standing straight knee hamstring

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When your knees are bent from sitting for extended periods, your hamstrings can tighten up the most.

A standing straight knee stretch is best done with a little bit of downwards pressure, pressing into a bench or chair. Lean forward to intensify the stretch and hold for 30-40 seconds.

Standing crossover

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This standing version of the hip stretch is a great version for unlocking your hip muscles. It requires a little bit of balance—try to hold on to a stable object, like a bench or the side of your car, for support if needed.

Keep a long spine, lean forward and bend the stance knee to intensify the stretch. Hold for 30-40 seconds.


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To address the inner hips (the groin and adductor area), face forward and put your foot on the bench. Use your hand to press your upper leg down, towards the ground, while at the same time applying pressure through your foot into the bench. 

Keep your hips forward, and maintain a tall stance. Hold 30-40 seconds.

Hip flexor

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For the front of your hips and quad group, try this rear foot elevated stretch. Place your foot, toes down, on the bench behind you. Apply downwards pressure onto the bench while pushing your hips forward.

Usually, a tall stance will work for this stretch, but leaning back a bit can add even more to it. Hold for 30-40 seconds.

These 5 stretches might quick, but they're effective. Save them for your next long car ride so you can start your vacation feeling your best.

We hope these stretches will help you avoid muscle stiffness and pain on your next road trip. At OnSite Wellness LLC, health and wellness is our specialty.

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