Alleviate Post-Hiking Soreness With These Stretches
Now that you’ve come down the mountain, completed the hike, and are feeling accomplished, it is time to do some more stretching. Post-hiking stretches are just as important as the pre-hiking stretches for your health. These stretches are designed to make you feel refreshed after hiking and ready to go again tomorrow.
Straddle Stretch: this stretch targets your inner thighs, hip, lower back, and hamstrings. Stand with your legs spread slightly wider than shoulder width apart. First lower yourself into a bent forward position, dangling your arms, and head in between your legs. Slowly move to one side, holding either you knee, ankle, or toes depending on your flexibility. Isolate yourself there for 30 seconds coming back to center before moving to the other side for another 30 second stretch.
Hamstring Stretch: place your leg up on a bench or rock in front of you with the knee straight. Make sure your back is upright and slowly bend forward at the hips towards your leg. You should feel a stretch in the hamstring of the elevated leg. Hold this for 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite leg.
Chest Stretch: most hikers decide to wear a backpack to hold water bottles, snacks, and hopefully a first aid kit. While we definitely recommend bringing these items on a hike, wearing a full backpack can be a pain. This is why we want you stretch the upper body after a hike. Start by reaching your hands behind you and clasping your fingers, then gradually pull hands up and away from your butt. You should feel a nice stretch in your chest, neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Pretzel Stretch: for the final stretch, you are required to sit down. Put both legs out in front of you and place one foot across to the outside of your other knee (creating a 4 shape), keeping your foot flat on the ground. Make sure your back is straight, twist slightly in the direction of the outside of your thigh, then wrap your arm around the right knee to bring it close to your chest. Place your hand behind your back, stretching it out behind you.
Hiking takes a toll on the body, even if it feels like a fun way to exercise. This is why at Fusion Rehabilitation we encourage stretching before and after hiking. If you are experiencing muscle soreness, pain, or have injured yourself following a hike or any other workout activity, contact us right away to get you on the road to recovery.