Stretches for hikers

Going hiking this weekend? Utilize these key stretches for hikers that focus on key areas to take your mind off the pain and allow you to focus on the adventure!

As soon as you arrive at camp or back at the trailhead, it’s all too easy to just throw down your pack and have a seat. Your muscles have been working hard all day—and that’s precisely why you should do a few stretches before you cool down. It’ll keep your body running smoothly and ensure you are ready to hit the trail again tomorrow.

SEE ALSO: Keep the family moving.

The muscles that take the most beating while you hike are your shoulders, hips, and leg muscles. Here are five of our favorite stretches to address each of these areas.

stretches for hikersIT Band/Hamstring Stretch
While standing, cross your right foot over your left and execute a forward bend. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat while crossing your left foot over your right.

Shoulder Stretch
First swing your arms back and forth to loosen up your shoulders. Bend one arm over your head and down your back.Then, bend the other arm around and up your back. Grasp your fingertips and hold this stretch for 10 seconds. Reverse your arm positions and hold the stretch on the other arm for 10 seconds.

Calf Stretch
Stand about two feet away from a tree. Place the ball of your right foot against the tree while your heel remains on the ground. Slowly and gently lean into the tree while keeping your knee straight.

Hip Flexor Stretch
Stand facing a picnic bench or elevated rock/ledge, approximately one legs-length away. Place one foot on the bench, then slowly lunge forward by bending your forward leg.With your chest held high, straighten your rear leg by pushing your hips forward. Hold the stretch, then repeat on the opposite side.

Standing Quad
Stand on your left foot and grab your right shin behind you. Tuck in your hips and pull your shin towards your glutes, making sure your knee is pointing to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.woman stretching