Once you have finished your day hike or long-distance trek, it’s easy just to take off your boots, put on the kettle and put your feet up! But before you do – make sure you fit in some time to cool down and stretch!

Stretching after your hike – and after any form of exercise is extremely important. Stretching will reduce any stiffness you may feel the next day, increases your flexibility and reduces the risk of injury! Here are our top stretches for after your hike! Remember to always consult your doctor if you feel in pain, and seek professional advice if needed.

Stretches for After Your Hike

Quadriceps Stretch

Stand on your right leg, bring your left heel back and grab your ankle with your left hand. Keep your knees aligned and push your hips forward. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

Quadriceps Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

Sit on the floor and extend one leg in front of you, and the other so that the sole of your foot is against your inner thigh. Extend your body forward, keeping your back as straight as possible. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

Quadriceps Stretch

Calf Stretch

Stand in a lunge positions, with one leg in front of the other, with a slight bend in the front knee. Make sure both feet are facing forwards and push your back heel into the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

Calf Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneel on your left knee and place your right foot on the floor in front of you, with your foot flat on the floor. Lean forward and push your hips against the floor. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Back Extension

Lie on your front and rest on your forearms, with your elbows at the side. Push up on your elbows and keep your neck straight. For a deeper stretch, go up onto your hands (as per the image) – but only if this feels comfortable. Hold for 30 seconds.

Stretches for after your Hike

Upper Body Stretch

Stand up tall and bring one arm overhead. Drop your forearm and rest it between your shoulder blades. With your other hand, grab below your elbow and gently pull until you can feel the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other arm.

Stretch after Hike

Why You Should Stretch After Your Hike

Reduce Stiffness – Lactic acid builds up during exercise, leaving your muscles feeling fatigued and sore. Stretching after your hike will help to reduce muscle soreness.

Reduces Lower Back Pain – Stretching your hamstrings and hip flexors can help to alleviate any lower back pain you may have.

Increases Flexibility – Stretching on a regular basis will help you to improve your overall flexibility, increasing your range of motion.

Improved Circulation – During exercise, such as hiking, blood is pumped around the body quicker than normal, increasing your heart rate. Stretching after exercise helps return blood flow back into your muscles and reduces your heart rate back to normal.

Reduces the Risk of Injury – Stretching will help to increase your range of motion and decreases tension in your muscles, reducing the risk of injury.

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