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6 Post-Hike Stretches to Speed Up Recovery

Stretching is essential to end all workouts including hiking. Try out 6 of these stretches to cure those tight muscles!

Have you been stretching after your hikes? Well, it’s time you make it a routine to avoid those dreaded sore muscles that will take time to heal. Stretching will help shorten your muscle recovery time and let you feel the great benefits that hiking gives your body.

Here are 6 type of stretches that you can try out or add into your cool down routine to be it your hiking or workout sessions:

1. Hero Pose

hero pose after hike stretch

Source: www.chickadeesays.com

The Hero pose is a great yoga stretch for your quads and lats. It stretches your ankles and shins to loosen up those tight, tired muscles [1].

  1. Kneel with your knees either hip-width to wider than that for a more gentle stretch.
  2. With a tight core, sit back until your butt is resting on the backs of your feet.
  3. Hold for a few breaths here.
  4. If you want to take it further, with your arms supporting your back slowly lower your back onto the ground until wherever you are comfortable at.

2. Shoulder Rolls

Your legs are not the only one working when you’re hiking, your upper body is engaged too. Ease those tense shoulders with some easy Shoulder Rolls [2].

  1. Stand tall, shoulders down and loosen your knees.
  2. Slowly roll your shoulders forward about 10 times and back about 10 times.
  3. You could place your hands on your shoulders and draw big circles with your elbows in back and forth direction about 10 times too.

3. Ragdoll + Chest Stretch

chest stretch after hike

Source: emilyaarons.com

Bring more blood circulation to your head while stretching your chest at the same time with this invigorating pose. Trust us, it will freshen you up so your drive back will be safer since you’ll be more alert [3].

  1. Stand straight and hold your hands together behind your back.
  2. Then push your chest outwards while pulling your arms back straight. Take some breaths here.
  3. Bring your chest back and relax your arms, then bend your body forward and down while keeping your abs tight with soft knees (you can bend your knees to give less strain to your back).
  4. As you fold your body, pull your arms straight up as you try to touch your chin to your chest. Take some deep breaths here before you slowly come up to standing before unhooking your hands.

4. Hip Stretch

hip stretch after hike

Source: www.bikeradar.com

Give a nice stretch to your hips with a standing hip stretch that works on your balance as well [4]. If standing is too difficult for you, you can sit on a branch or chair to do this stretch.

  1. Either hold on to a stable surface or with a free-hand, lift and cross your right ankle to the top of your left knee.
  2. Then push your hips back, keep your chest up, and your spine straight as you bend your forward until you can touch the floor in front of your feet.
  3. Hold it for about 20-30 seconds before switching sides.

5. Calf Stretch

calf stretch after hike

Source: www.instructables.com

Don’t forget to pamper your calves after a hike with a good stretch, It can help lessen or prevent muscle soreness the following day too [5].

  1. Find a sturdy tree or a surface to lean on. Place your hands on the tree and positions your legs in a walking stance.
  2. With your toes pointing towards the tree, lean into your front leg by shifting your body weight to it while keeping your heels grounded. You should feel a calf stretch on your back leg.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds before switching legs and repeat.

6. Hamstring Stretch

hamstrings stretch after hike

Source: www.livestrong.com

If you have a friend with you, you can take turns to push each other to do a deeper hamstring stretch. But don’t push too hard or you could hurt your muscles instead of aiding it [6].

  1. Put one of your leg up on either a bench, rock or fallen log in front of you with your knee straight.
  2. With a straight back, slowly push your hips back and bend forward to the straight leg in front of you. You can relax your standing knee to make it easier for you to bend forward.
  3. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite leg.

For more hiking tips and spots, check these out:

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What’s your favourite post-hike stretch? Share with us here or on our Facebook page!

Sources: Backpacker, Chickadeesays, Seattle Backpackers Magazine, Athlete Yogi Traveler
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