fitness friday

When you get off the plane, do these four stretches before you do anything else

January 19, 2024
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Most great golf destinations require at least one plane flight to reach, and even if you're sitting in those oversized leather seats up front, there are still some bad things happening to your golfing body while you're cruising at 30,000 feet.

Did you know, for example, that commerical aircraft are pressurized to simulate conditions at 8,000 feet, not sea level? That means you're breathing air that is likely less dense than you are used to. The air also is less humid. And the posture you're in for hours at a time puts many of your key golf muscles in a "switched off" state. All of this means a decrease in quality blood flow, greater risk of dehydration and a body that is not prepared for your golf trip.

So what can you do about it? Golf Digest Certified Fitness Trainer Lauren McMillan has a simple, four-stretch routine you should do the minute you drop your bags in the hotel room. The intent is to wake up muscles such as the hip flexors, hamstrings, the ones that rotate your mid-back, etc. The entire routine can be done in a matter of minutes and will allow you to decompress from dealing with that kid in 34B that would not stop kicking the back of your seat.

McMillan, who trains golfers in Madison, Miss., and also online, says the stretches can be modified to be easier or more difficult depending on your current level of fitness. The "Legs Up on the Wall" stretch, for example, can be made easier by using a bench instead of fully extending your entire lower body upward. And you can do a standing lunge instead of the more challenging position lower to the floor.

Watch her perform these four moves in the video below. And if you're interested in becoming a Golf Digest Certified Fitness Trainer, click on this link to learn more about it.