June 24, 2024

On the Trail Stretching by Nicole Bryan

If you’re heading to the hiking trails for exercise this summer. Try the following stretches after your next hike. The following stretching series is for those without injury or illness concerns, perform at your own risk.

Standing Figure-4 stretch: Cross your left ankle over your right knee. Bend from your hips and sit back feeling a stretch in the left leg. Hold on to a stable object for balance. Release. Repeat the stretch crossing your right ankle over your left knee.

Standing Hand-to-Ankle stretch: Bend your right leg leg and hold your ankle behind your body feeling a stretch in the front of your thigh. Release and repeat bending your left knee and holding your left ankle.

Standing Lunge stretch. Step back with your right foot about three feet behind your left. Push your right heel down and bend your left knee until you feel a stretch in the calf of the back leg. Release and repeat stepping back with your left foot.

Standing Hamstring stretch. Place your right foot into an object about knee-height. Lift your chest and pull up your toes of your right leg until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh. Release the stretch. Now place your left foot forward and up on an object about knee-height.
Stretching after your hike is a nice transition from exercise to rest. Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds and never stretch into pain. Perform each stretch 1-3 times per leg. Add deep breathing into your stretching regime. Inhale deeply while moving into each stretch and exhale while relaxing further into the stretch.