Weekend warrior or van lifer, most committed climbers endure long drives to reach prime destinations. We hit the road with playlists, podcasts, and perhaps a strong coffee in tow. But Heidi Wirtz, a pro climber and frequent traveler, adds that we can also use our time in the car to stay limber. Wirtz, the instructor for Climbing’s Yoga for Climbers online course, leads us through some yoga poses that you can do in your car, so you arrive at the crag feeling flexible and focused instead of stiff, road-weary, and cranky. (Note: These are poses for the passenger, not the driver!)
7 Stretches for Road Trips
Cross one leg to set the ankle on top of your opposite knee and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your outer hip. You can make this pose more intense by bringing your bottom leg (the one the top ankle is resting on) up and resting that foot on your seat.
With your hips facing forward, turn around and grab the back of your seat.
Bring one arm down and behind your back at hip/waist level, rolling your shoulder back. Then, the opposite hand comes up and rests over the top of the head, using gentle pressure to pull the head down to the side and stretch the neck. Also, with the arms in the same position, try looking down toward your armpit.
Reach your hands behind you and grab the seat. Lean forward for a shoulder stretch.
Interlace your fingers and flip your palms so they’re facing away from you. Exhale and round your back. Then, inhale and draw your chest out and your shoulders down your back. This modified Cat-Cow Pose helps stretch the arms and back.
Shoulder and Tricep Stretch
Bring one arm straight up, bend it at the elbow, and bring your hand down your back. Use your other hand to pull your elbow down, and tilt your head back against your arms. Feel the stretch in your shoulders and triceps.
Tree Pose and Forward Fold
Put one foot up on the dashboard (with driver approval), and then bring your other foot into your thigh for a modified Tree Pose; fold forward. Do this on both sides, then bring both feet up together and fold forward for a final leg stretch.
For more ways to complement your climbing with yoga, check out Climbing’s Yoga for Climbers online course.
Special thanks to Caroline Moonie for demonstrating these stretches. View more of Caroline’s modeling work on her Instagram account: @carolinemoonie