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Wilderness Sports > Hiking, Trekking & Backpacking > Hiking, Trekking & Backpacking Flexibility and Injury Prevention

Hug the tree stretch

Hiking, Trekking & Backpacking Flexibility and Injury Prevention

Pack carrying athletes carry additional weight for long stretches of uphill and downhill travel; they also may use trekking poles and walk for several days, or in some cases, weeks in a row. The muscles that get particularly tight when hiking include calves, hips, trapezius, quadriceps, and lower back muscles. The calves tighten during long uphill climbs. The hips and trapezius will feel tired and sore if your backpack is loaded unevenly or if you add weight before they have adapted to previous loads. Descents overload the quadriceps. The following links will direct you to specific stretches to add to your routine. For details about putting together a targeted stretching program, please refer to The Outdoor Athlete, Chapter 7. See also the DVD Train to Climb Mt. Rainier or Any High Peak for motion clips of many of the stretches suggested below.

Trapezius Stretch for trapezius and neck
90-90 Quad-Psoas Stretch for quadriceps and hip flexors
Frog Stretch for hips, hamstrings and adductors
Psoas Stretch for hip flexors
Piriformis Stretch for hip and piriformis
Calf Stretch for gastrocnemius
Glute Stretch for deep gluteal muscles
Triangle Pose for pectorals, obliques, hamstrings
Tree Hug, Torso Rotation, Band Cat Traction stretches for lower back
Patellofemoral Syndrome and Recovery

Upper Body Warm-up how to prepare for upper body work
Lower Body Warm-up how to prepare for lower body work
Core Body Warm-up how to prepare for core body work
The Outdoor Conditioning Warmup includes stretches and dynamic movements you can include before you start to hike in order to prevent strain

Injury Prevention
Knee Pain Occurrence and Prevention Part I: Acute Knee Pain
Knee Pain Occurrence and Prevention Part 2: Chronic Knee Pain
Patellofemoral Syndrome Cardiovascular Training Options
Training Around Injuries: What Works for Others May Help You
Dealing with Stress Fractures
What to do about, how to recover from, prevention of ankle sprains
Use of backward walking for rehab of lower body extremities
Foot health for outdoor enthusiasts
Prevention of recurrence of knee pain: free weight exercises
Plantar Fasciitis
Shin Splints
Dealing with Injuries
Sports restoration and recovery

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