Just because you're on an airplane doesn't mean you can't exercise! Photo: Shutterstock, Illustrations: Ulf Johansson
Just because you're on an airplane doesn't mean you can't exercise! Photo: Shutterstock, Illustrations: Ulf Johansson


9 exercises you can do on an airplane

Sometimes nothing feels better than a good stretch. These exercises can help you stimulate your muscles, improve your circulation and keep you feeling fit during your flight and at your destination.

1. Seated toe lift (sitting in your seat)

Start with both feet flat on the floor. Lift toes off the floor as far as you can and hold, then let them fall again. Next, lift heels off the floor to tighten leg muscles, help veins and improve circulation.  Repeat 10 times.

2. Ankle rotation (sitting in your seat)

Lift feet off the floor. Make circles with your toes, with one foot going clockwise and the other going counter-clockwise. Reverse circles. Rotate in each direction for 15 seconds then change direction and repeat as desired.

3. Knee bends (sitting in your seat)

Bend forward slightly, grasp your left knee and pull it in towards your chest, hold for 15–20 seconds, then release and switch knees. Best repeated 10 times.

4. Squats (in the aisle/line for the bathroom)

Stand straight with your feet spread shoulder width apart. Lower your body, while pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Slowly lift yourself back up to the starting position.

5. Shoulder rotation (sitting in your seat)

Lower your shoulders, rotate your shoulders backwards in circles. Repeat 10 times.

6. Shoulder stretches (sitting in your seat)

Raise your right arm above your head and bend your elbow. Grasp your elbow with your left hand and pull it in towards your left shoulder. Hold for 15–20 seconds, release gently and repeat with other arm.

7. Chest stretch (standing)

Stand with your legs hip width apart, lower your shoulders and clasp your hands behind your back, then push your arms down while keeping your back stable. Hold for 15–20 seconds, relax and repeat.

8. Spine rotations (sitting in your seat)

Place your left ankle on your right knee, grasp your right knee with your left arm. Rotate your body by using your arm to pull yourself around, as if looking behind you. For rotation and stimulation of the spine.

9. Lateral spine bend (standing)

Stand with legs hip width apart, hands by your sides. Pretend you are holding a heavy weight in your left hand and bend sideways on the left, as far as you can. Straighten up again and repeat on your right side.

Text: Laila Hervold Langesæter
Illustrations: Ulf Johansson

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