These 7 Low-Key Workouts Will Feel Amazing When You're Stuck On A Long Flight

by Georgina Berbari

I don't know about you, but I get restless AF when I'm on a long flight. Being sandwiched in between two strangers just isn't my jam, and my entire body starts getting achey and cramped up real quick. While I'm not about to be the freaky girl who disturbs her neighbors with weird-ass airborne exercises, there are some super low-key workouts you can do on a plane that won't seriously piss off the people sitting next to you.

When you're sitting in one place for hours at a time, your muscles begin to really tighten up, and it becomes a lot harder for your blood to circulate throughout your body and "nourish your muscles," according to Women's Health. Basically, plane rides are a kind of necessary evil in life, but your body definitely does not like it one bit, so including movement into your travel routine is key for feeling your best.

However, I'm guessing you don't want to disturb the peace of literally everyone else on the plane, which means you'll want to keep your flight exercises super casual, you feel me?

Luckily, there are a bunch of exercises you can do during your next plane ride that no one will notice but you — I promise. Try these seven low-key workouts that'll work wonders when you're stuck on a long flight. Leave the disturbances to the crying babies, girl.

Leg Lifts Will Help You Feel A Bit Less Restless
Centerworks Pilates on YouTube

I know what you're thinking: There's literally no room to extend your legs within the ever-shrinking space that a typical coach class seat provides. But these leg lifts don't require any extension, and they'll work your thighs, and even your abs, with the subtlest of movements.

Pro tip: If you're wearing jeans, the exercise will be even harder. I'm personally going to pass on that one, though, because jeans are what I like to call "leg prison," especially during a long flight.

Neck Rolls Will Push Out All The Tension
expertvillage on YouTube

Neck rolls are an incredible way to release that tension your body's probably holding onto during a flight, especially after having your backpack temporarily confiscated by TSA when you were going through the security check. (In case anyone was wondering, I learned the hard way that you actually can't pack a jar of peanut butter in your carry-on bag — FML.)

Squeeze in a few of these bad boys when your upper body's feeling stiff. You can even gently place your hand on the side of your head for a bit of extra resistance.

Shoulder Shrugs Will Feel Amazing For Your Upper Body
eHowFitness on YouTube

Shoulder shrugs work your upper trapezius, which is a muscle in your back. These movements can also be great for your posture — multitasking at its finest, people.

Include a few reps of shoulder shrugs every time you start feeling restless on your long flight. Your neighbor probably won't even notice, and even if they do, screw 'em — at least you're feeling good!

Abdominal Suctions Are The Sneakiest Workout Of All on YouTube

IMHO, abdominal suctions are the queen of low-key plane exercises, because they're so freaking secretive, but at the same time, they're pretty challenging for your ab muscles.

To do this workout, simply inhale deeply and fully, and on your exhale, engage your abdominal muscles, pulling your stomach up and in.

Glute Squeezes Will Make Your Butt Feel A Little Less Numb
expertvillage on YouTube

A good ol' glute squeeze is another super subtle exercise that your plane neighbor will never know you're doing. All you have to do is squeeze and tighten your butt cheeks as hard as you can, hold it for a few seconds, and release.

Who knew that something as simple as squeezing your cheeks would come in handy during your travels? You can thank me later.

Squats Will Wake Your Legs Up
Howcast on YouTube

If you want to incorporate more conventional exercises into an annoyingly long flight, try doing some squats while you're in the bathroom. I mean, personally, I'm already squatting over the toilet, because airplane bathroom germs give me the creeps, so why not add a couple more reps in there to kill time?

Seriously though, keep your squatting routine in the bathroom. Squatting in the aisle is just extra as hell.

Stretch It Out When The Seatbelt Sign Is Off
Yoga With Adriene on YouTube

You'll want to limit this exercise a bit, especially if you're not in an aisle seat. Making your neighbor get up multiple times for your stretching needs is just too much, girl.

When you do get up for bathroom breaks, though, take the liberty of stretching your legs and arms while you're waiting for the stall. Yoga With Adriene's travel yoga video will give you all the tools you need, my friend.

Happy flying!