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Regular walking is an excellent way to improve your health and manage your weight. However, just like any exercise, it’s essential to stretch before you start to boost your flexibility and prevent injuries during your workout. Here are some effective stretches to include in your walking routine.
Warming up before stretching
It’s crucial never to stretch cold muscles. This means you need to warm up first by walking at a moderate pace for five minutes before stretching. Stretching cold muscles can cause tearing, which can take a long time to heal, preventing you from doing your walking workouts.
After warming up, find a sturdy wall or an upright pole that you can lean on to do the stretches below. Start from the top of your body and work your way down to ensure that your entire body is ready for your walking workout.
Stretching your neck
Begin by doing some head circles, making quarter circles with your head. Start by having your ear near one shoulder, rotate your head around to the front, and then down toward the other shoulder. Repeat this motion back to the other side, completing that full motion between five to ten times total.
Next, do some arm circles. Work each arm in a backward circle with your palm facing out and your thumb pointing upwards. Then, repeat the process in reverse by making forward arm circles with your palm facing in and your thumb pointing down. You should do this complete revolution ten to fifteen times total for each arm.
Stretcing your hips
Now, stretch your hips by taking a half-step back with your right foot, bend your left knee, and shift your weight back onto the right hip. Keep the right leg straight and bend forward, reaching farther down your right leg. When you have reached as far as you can, hold that position for fifteen to thirty seconds. Then, repeat the process by taking a half-step back with your left foot, bending your right knee, and putting all your weight on your left hip. Repeat the entire process.
Stretches for quadriceps
To stretch your quadriceps, stand erect and hold the pole or wall for support. Bend your knee behind you so that you can hold onto your foot, holding the heel up against your rear end. Stand up straight and push your knee gently back as far as it feels comfortable to do so. Remember to keep your hand in place against your rear end and push back gently with your knee to stretch out the quadriceps. Hold that position for fifteen to thirty seconds, then switch and repeat on the other side.
Stretches for calves
Lastly, stretch out your calves by leaning up against the wall or pole and bracing yourself with your arm. Place one leg forward with a bent knee and no weight on this leg. Keep your other leg back with your knee straight and your heel down. Now, keep your back straight and move your hips toward the wall. You should feel a stretch in your calves. Hold that position for thirty seconds, then switch to your other leg.
Conclusion – hiking stretches
These stretches will help you loosen up and increase your flexibility to maximize the effectiveness of your walking workout and minimize the risk of injuries. Always remember to warm up your muscles by walking for five minutes before stretching. By following these steps, you can get the most out of your walking workouts while reducing the risk of injury.
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