Even the most seemingly harmless trail can lead to ankle twists, muscle strains, or worse if you don’t prepare properly. The most effective way to prepare your body for the stress of the trail is to stretch evenly.
We recommend stretching all major muscle groups used in hiking, but also paying attention to your special needs and taking them into account. If you have weak ankles, make special efforts to strengthen them. The same applies to calf muscles, tight hamstrings and any other muscle group that you may have problems with.
First of all: activate and strengthen your core. A strong core is essential for successful hiking and affects all other parts of the body, from the back muscles to posture and leg mobility.
According to Popsugar, the core muscles consist of the abdomen, hips and lower back. Each of these groups plays an essential role in maintaining muscle health along the way. Popular core sections are child pose, cobra, spine rotation and more.
Second, we have one of the most important muscle groups when hiking – the quadriceps. These are the muscles on the front of your thighs that are responsible for most of the force generated when hiking. The quads also help to stretch and straighten your knee with every step. It is therefore important that you keep them supple.
Stretching the quads is relatively easy and can be done before or after training. If you want to stretch before warming up your muscles, take special care to be as gentle as possible to avoid muscle pulling.
We recommend the standing distance. Stand on your right foot and grab your left shin by bending your leg up behind you. Pull your shin toward your body and hold it for 30 seconds. Repeat the process on your right leg.
Next up are the hamstrings that work with the quadriceps to carry you forward as you walk along the path. Tight hamstrings can cause extreme discomfort on the trail and, in severe cases, can result in pulled or torn back muscles.
To effectively stretch the hamstrings, it’s best to wait until after your workout for the muscles to warm up. Otherwise, stretching can result in injury. Here are six of the best thigh stretches to keep your back, legs, and knees healthy.
Finally, calf muscles are on the list – a muscle group key for walking. These powerhouses support every step by bending and pivoting as you move along the path.
One of the most effective ways to prevent calf injuries is the dog down. This movement targets the muscles in your lower legs to achieve a deep stretch.
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