Hip/Leg Pain, Pictures of Exercises, Sitting

Road Trip Relief

So this is happening….

Screen shot 2013-08-03 at 8.32.53 PM

Which means I’m spending A LOT of time sitting in the car. You all know how I feel about sitting. You know when you’ve been in the car a long time and your butt or legs start to go numb? If you’ve never experienced this, trust me, it’s the worst. Pain, numbness, and tingling are all signs that something is awry. It’s your body’s way of getting your attention, “Hey, look over here, things are not right!”.  It’s like a fire alarm going off. When you are on a road trip or just spend a lot of time driving, you can do these 2 exercises to help lessen the negative effects of excessive sitting.

SQUATS: These are a great way to stretch AND strengthen the gluts and hamstrings. As muscles contract and relax, they draw blood into the area. This increase in circulation helps decrease swelling, numbness, and pain. To do a proper squat, back up your hips as far as you can, untuck the pelvis and lift the tailbone. Keep the knees over the ankles (vertical shins) to both protect the knees and help you access your gluts and hamstrings. You can lower yourself as close to the ground as you can without letting the tailbone tuck under and the knees come forward.  Holding onto a pole, tree, or another person will help your get your hips all the way back. Gradually try to use less arms and more gluts/hamstrings to hold you up.

RTsquat
Keeping the tailbone up (see the lumbar curve?) allows you to use your gluts/hamstrings.
RTsquat2
Not like this! See how the tailbone has tucked under and the low back has lost its curve?

I’m just going to put this out there. I’ve never been more grateful for my ability to squat than in the last 2,000 miles. The better you become at squatting, the easier time you will have “hovering” at those rest stop bathrooms. Let’s be honest ladies, it’s a skill we all need.

“Number 4” Stretch: You can do it seated as well, but when you’ve been sitting for the last 2,000 miles, who wants to spend another minute seated?! This is my favorite road trip stretch because it stretches your tight gluts and piriformis (one of the deep muscles of the hip) and helps restore blood flow to the gluteal area.  This is also a great stretch for sciatic pain. There are a lot of great stretches for these muscles, but this one is awesome because you don’t have to sit or lay down on anything gross at the rest stop. Back your hips up like you are doing a one legged squat. Untuck the pelvis and lift the tailbone up. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee, KEEPING THE PELVIS UNTUCKED. When you get good at it, you can let go of your hands to test your balance and build strength.

RT#4-2
Pelvis untucked, standing knee is over the ankle.
RT#4
Not like this! Tailbone tucked under, standing knee is coming forward of the ankle.

 

Whether you are sitting all day in a car or in the office, take 5 minutes every hour to run through these 2 exercises.  Hold for a minute each, then repeat. You will feel so much better at the end of the day!

2 thoughts on “Road Trip Relief”

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