TOP HIKING STRETCHES: STRETCHING EXERCISES BEFORE AND AFTER A HIKE
A lot of hikers seem to forget how essential it is to stretch the body before embarking on mountain climbing. When you perform some of these stretching exercises before and after a hike, it causes you to be more flexible and makes your movement more comfortable. It also reduces the pains you feel afterward. These exercises would guide you to maneuver your routes safely, and it aids in prohibiting wounds. This article has illustrated some very essential stretching exercises that are deemed suitable for your hiking practices.
BEST STRETCHES BEFORE HIKING
Calf stretch: The calf stretch is performed close to a wall, tree, or any solid post. Ensure they can resist your weight before you begin the stretching exercise. Face the wall or tree, then gently move your right foot backward. Your toes should be facing the tree or wall with your hands on the stem of the tree or placed on the wall. Form an anterior curve with your left leg and stay in that position for about 20 to 30 seconds. Do the same thing with the other leg and stay for the same length of time.
Standing quad stretch: This stretching exercise is done with your feet wide apart while standing erect. Lift your right leg backward, raise your heel, and place your right foot in your right hand. Ensure your thighs are aligned close to one another in this posture. Your left leg must be straight. Endeavor to stay in this position for 30 seconds and then switch legs and remain like that for another 30 seconds.
BACKROADS PRO TIP
The standing quad stretch is a very effective means of promoting stability. But if you haven’t performed this kind of exercise, you could use a tree or solid post for additional balance.
Shoulder rolls: In shoulder rolls, all you need to do is to ensure you are properly balanced, and then stand erect with your feet at a distance slightly wider than the width of your shoulder. Put your hands behind your back and then move your shoulders forward in a circular movement. This should be done for about 15 seconds and then done again, but this time around the shoulders should be moved backward for the same period.
Hamstring stretch: You stand erect with your left leg a little bent and protract your right leg in front of you. Ensure it is erect. Slant your hips forward until the effect is felt on your right leg. Stay in that position for 20 seconds and then do the same for the other leg. If you want, you can place your hands on your protracted leg or your hips while still in this position.
Wrist stretch: Stretch your right arm in front of you with your palm facing downward. Use your left hand to move your right hand down against your body; ensure your arm is erect. Remain in this position for a while, then use your left hand to raise your hand from a lower to a higher position for some seconds. Change hands and perform the same movement again.
BACKROADS PRO TIP
The wrist stretch is very effective for individuals who prefer to using a walking stick for hiking.
BEST STRETCHES AFTER HIKING
Standing saddle stretch: The standing saddle stretch requires an individual to stand with his /her legs further apart and toes pointing onward. Move a little to align your left leg with your right leg, then start bending. With your hands raise yourself towards your right foreleg. You would feel a little pain when pulling yourself nearer to your foreleg. Do same to your left leg. Once you are done, face forward and hold your two forelegs or put your hands on the floor while you rotate.
Runner’s lunge: Runner’s lunge is a classic yoga pose that should be done after an exhaustive mountain climbing session. You can begin with staying in a push-up manner and raising your right foot to touch your right hand. Remain like that for about 15 seconds and then do the same with your left foot. You might find this exercise extremely strenuous so that you can move your knee to the floor for additional balance.
Rag doll pose: Rag doll pose is another classic yoga pose that is essential after hiking. Stand erect and bend your knees a little, pivot forward from your hips. Place your arms in such a way that they hold the opposite elbows. Bend your knee anyhow you want and move sideways by moving your weight from one foot to the other. You can remain in this position for 20 seconds.
Ankle stretches: Ankle stretches makes you feel exceptionally good. This is done while sitting. Sit and protract your legs forward. Raise your feet upward and downward for about ten times. You wouldn’t feel any discomfort. After which you could make both clockwise and anti-clockwise circles with your feet and ankles for another ten times.