After all of the holiday travel (AKA sitting), this resistance band workout is saving my sore hips


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Photo: Getty Images/Maria Fuchs

Whether you took a plane, train, or automobile—or, like me, some combination of all three—to get home for the holidays, all of that travel (and the long periods of sitting it requires) leave your hips feeling wound up tight and give you nothing short of dead-butt syndrome. As I type this, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of a heating pad to use on my sore, aching body that came courtesy of 4 hours on an Amtrak (thanks, mom!).

But thanks to the know-how of Le Stretch and Le Sweat founder and master Soul Cycle trainer Charlee Atkins (who led our first-ever Well+Good Retreat) there are ways to deal with the travel-related stress on your body that require only a resistance band. While we can’t make up for the crying baby seated next to you in row 32-D or gift you with a magic massage to make up for the seat that didn’t recline, we can share this easy, DIY way to loosen up those hips and glutes that I’ll be doing as long as I’m en route.

Try Atkins’ hips and glutes resistance band stretch

  1. Lying on your back with your legs above you at a 90-degree table-top position, place a resistance band around your feet. Slowly extend one leg at a time straight out to a few inches above the ground, stretching out the resistance band. Return to the starting position and switch legs, alternating for as long as you need to feel the stretch.
  2.  Lie on your side with your knees together and bent slightly and a resistance band around your lower thighs. Open and close your legs like a clamshell, stretching the resistance band, and switch sides when you’re ready.
  3. With your feet slightly wider than your hips, place a resistance band around your lower thighs and pull yourself down into a series of sumo squats, keeping your chest up and hands in a prayer position.

In addition to helping us with some handy post-travel stretches, Atkins has also got a few important tips on how to avoid feeling cramped while you’re on a flight, too. “While I’m waiting to board, I always do a few quad stretches and forward folds,” she told us earlier this year. “It’s funny to look around because I feel like stretching is contagious. I’m always catching other people stretching around me while in the queue.” You heard it here first, fam: Looking weird in line is totally worth it for being able to sprawl on the couch—pain free—post-flight.

Your hips and glutes aren’t the only thing that hours of transport can mess with. Steal some tips from flight attendants for how best to stay hydrated or combat jet lag on all of those long journeys, and pack your carry-on with Miranda Kerr’s favorite facial mist to avoid having to deal with dry post-plane skin. 

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