How Michelle Bridges Works Out on a Plane


Michelle Bridges is a personal trainer, television personality and author who has just released her 16th book, Keeping It Off. She was a trainer on The Biggest Loser, has her own exercise clothing label and developed the successful 12 Week Body Transformation program. No wonder she needs to keep fit. Here, she shares the best exercises and stretches to do inflight.

Gravity hang

“Stand with feet hip-width apart. Drape your torso over your legs, letting your knees bend as much as you need for comfort. Use your hands to hold opposite elbows and let your head hang heavy. Remain in this position for as long as feels comfortable then slowly roll back upright. This decompresses the spine and stretches the hamstrings, in turn flushing the brain with oxygen-rich blood.” 

Hip flexor stretch

“Find somewhere you can stand upright, placing one hand against a wall or seat for balance. Draw your heel towards your bottom with your free hand. As you draw your heel back, tilt your tailbone forward to stretch your hip flexor. Repeat on the opposite side. This stretch releases your hip flexors which tighten with prolonged sitting.” 

Ankle circles

“This one can be done sitting down. Flex your foot, bringing your toes towards your shin. Circle the foot 360 degrees, flexing and pointing your foot, several times in one direction, then the other. Repeat this movement on your opposite foot. At the same time, circle your wrists and circle your jaw. These movements encourage circulation and mental alertness.”

Chest openers

“Stand upright and clasp your hands behind your back. Have your feet apart, knees bent and lift your gaze and chest up to the ceiling while squeezing your shoulder blades together and pulling your clasped hands down towards the floor. This exercise will counter the tightening of the chest.”

Walking laps of the plane

“Pick a quiet time and walk as far to the back of the plane as you can, then as far forward as you can. Aim to do at least two-to-five minutes of walking. This gets your blood circulating and muscles moving.”

Side stretches

“Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with one hand on your hip and the other reaching for the ceiling. Tilt your hips to one side and reach your extended arm over the crown of your head to curve your body into a C-shape. Repeat on the opposite side. This stretches your muscles and decompresses your spine.”

Keeping It Off, Pan Macmillan, $39.99.

Top image: Rob Palmer

SEE ALSO: What You Can Learn from Dr Libby Weaver About Healthy Eating

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