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Simple Exercises to Perform on an Airplane


Let’s face it.  Airplane seats are not comfy!  Sitting through a long flight can result in stiffness and other (pain) souvenirs that you really did not want to bring home with you!  It can also result in less blood flowing through your body so in order to decrease your risk for travel related blood clots, continuous movement is SO important!  Take a peek at the exercises below to keep you more comfortable during your next flight!

Try to perform 1-2 sets of 10-15 reps of the following exercises.  For longer flights, make sure to get up out of your seat and stand up in the aisle or walk to the bathroom.  



SEATED MARCHES:  While seated in your chair, lift up your foot and knee, then bring it down and perform the same thing on the other leg.  Alternate legs.





PARTIAL ARC QUAD:  While seated with your knee in a bent position and your heel touching the ground, slowly straighten your knee as you raise your foot upwards.  Lower your foot back down until your heel touches the ground.




HEEL AND TOE RAISES:  Start with your feet on the ground.  Bring your toes upward then raise up on your heels.



SCAPULAR RETRACTION:  In a seated position, squeeze your shoulder blades together then relax.  Repeat.





SEATED SHOULDER FLEXION:  While sitting in your seat, extend arms out in front of your body. Keep your elbows straight and lift arms up overhead.  Slowly lower to your lap.  Repeat.







UPPER TRAPEZIUS STRETCH:  Begin by bringing your head to neutral (tuck your chin in) and gently tilt your head towards one side.  Hold a few seconds.  Repeat to both sides a few times.



CERVICAL EXTENSION AND FLEXION:  While sitting in your seat, bend your neck down, bringing your chin towards your chest.  Next, lift your chin up, looking up overhead.  Repeat.



Hope these exercises help you stay more comfortable on your next flight!

Ashlie Eckmann, PT, DPT

Omaha Physical Therapy Institute is an outpatient orthopedic and sports physical therapy clinic that specializes in helping YOU achieve your goalsCall today to schedule your appointment!


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