The benefits of stretching while traveling

WWhile visiting New York City from Los Angeles for a week (then adjusting to a three-hour time difference), I got out of bed the first morning and realized that my body needed more than its usual rush of caffeine to beat the blah. of being slightly dehydrated and sleep deprived. Not like going for a run overloaded, too stressful. But as if I wanted to inhabit my body and feel the space between my vertebrae creak and click and lengthen.

I immediately thought of the world’s greatest stretch, because, duh. She earned her name for opening up multiple body parts at once and feeling so good in the process. “The World’s Greatest Stretch is essentially a few key stretches rolled into one,” says Azul Corajoria, a personal trainer and certified health coach. “Most enjoy it because it adds a fun flow component to stretching.” (For those unfamiliar, this dynamic move involves twisting and opening your chest, shoulders, spine, and hips from a low lunge position.)

What makes the world’s longest stretch so, well, great?

The benefits of stretching in this way are clear to Corajoria. “Doing a stretch like this every day would improve flexibility and mobility,” he says, “and since you’re active all the time, it will increase blood flow throughout your body, preventing you from feeling stiff and crunchy.”

For this reason, many trainers incorporate the world’s greatest stretch into their dynamic warm-ups, especially before performing full-body exercises, whether it’s strength training or running. But Corajoria says it’s also a great thing to do on the go, especially after a flight. “For many people, air travel reduces blood circulation,” she says. Blood circulation is a crucial biological function “because it helps bring oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.” Stretching in general promotes circulation, and the World’s Greatest Stretch in particular is “active by nature,” she says, which makes it even better at stimulating blood flow.

How to do the biggest stretch in the world

So, on the floor of my hotel room, I walk onto a plank and then step my left foot forward outside of my left hand and do a low lunge. From there, I keep my right palm planted on the ground as I lift my left fingertips skyward, allowing my core to rotate toward the front of my thigh before bringing my left hand back into position. the ground inside the left foot.

After repeating this reach and stretch five times on one side and then the other, I feel energy bubbling up inside of me. So much so that I ended up doing this set of stretches every day of my week-long trip, and it consistently made me feel grounded, alert, and ready to make the most of each day.

If you have more time, try this 20-minute routine that includes, you guessed it: the world’s largest stretch:

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