back pain

How to Avoid Back Pain While Travelling

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I don’t know about you, but staying seated for a long period of time leads to some serious low back pain. In the worst case scenario, I also feel the tightness through my hip flexors and down the sides of my thighs.

As a personal trainer, I know why back pain happens, but I don’t do anything to prevent it. This holiday season I making a pact with myself to change that.

Travelling home for Christmas is the time of year when my entire extended family is together and it’s always a lot of fun! This year, we are even extended the travel up to my Dad’s hometown in Swanton, Vermont to visit his parents! Let me lay out my travel schedule for you so you can see just how important stretching is going to be for me.

  1.  Fly from St. Paul to Baltimore
  2. Hop in the car with my parents and ride up from Baltimore to Syracuse
  3. Syracuse to Swanton
  4. Swanton to Syracuse
  5. Syracuse to Baltimore
  6. Baltimore to St. Paul

YIKES! I’m tight already just thinking about all of the sitting I’m going to be doing. Anybody else have crazy travel plans like mine? Did I mention that it’s all happening over the course of 7 days?! I’m trying to think of all that care time as quality family time. It’s going to be a lot of driving, but it will be worth it! I haven’t been to Vermont for Christmas in a very long time, so I’m excited for that! Hopefully the weather cooperates and we get from place to place smoothly and safely.

Ready for some stretches to ease low back pain and general body tightness during holiday travel?

back painI recommend staying in each pose for at least one minute. This gives your muscles time to relax and unwind from the positions you’ve been stuck sitting in!

  • Child’s Pose
    • bring your knees as wide as your mat (or pretend if you don’t have one with you) and our toes to touch behind you. Drop your chest to the ground, extend your arms in front of you, and press through your palms.
    • This stretch is great for a low back and shoulder release!
  • Neck Rolls
    • Draw circles with your nose, rotating your head in one direction, and then the other.
    • This releases your neck if you were driving for a long time, slept on an uncomfortable bed, or were hunched over your phone or computer during that long plane ride.
  • Shoulder and Chest Expansion
    • From the standing position, clasp your hands behind your back. With your hands clasped, raise your arms up and away from your back. To deepen the stretch, bend into a forward fold and release your hands over your head.
    • This pose is great for your low back, shoulder, chest, neck, and your legs if you bend over. So basically everything!
  • Forward Fold/Rag Doll
    • Hinge at the waist and let your arms hang heavy. You can either place your hands on the ground outside of your feet, or grab opposite hand to opposite elbow and let your torso hang loose. I like to sway back and forth to release the hamstrings and low back here.
  • Reclined Twist
    • Lie flat on your back, bring one knee into your chest, and let it fall across your torso. Extend your arms to a T and gaze in the opposite direction of your knee.
    • This pose also releases your low back. Twisting is also great for digestion so try this out after one too many of your grandma’s cookies 🙂

Did I miss your favorites? Do you get super stiff after travelling? Let me know where you’re going and how you’ll be stretching it out in the comments below!


Hey! I’m Emily. The cat-loving, beer-drinking, positivity enthusiast behind Get Well With Em! I help women overcome perfectionism through easy recipes with limited ingredients and prep, and workouts using minimal equipment!

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