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Don't Start Your Hike Until You Watched This: Stretching Exercises To Warm up Before a Hike [VIDEO]

Hiking works lots of different muscles in the upper and lower body, shoulders, buttocks and calves. It will keep you in good overall shape while also sculpting your bottom and stomach, which is another reason why you should continue all year round! 

Also: Read on to discover 6 benefits of hiking.

Good to know: before you go hiking, and before even warming up, consult your doctor if necessary to make sure this sport is appropriate in relation to your overall health. Never overdo it when warming up and listen to your body. Consult your doctor if in any doubt.

Also remember to adapt your hike to your level of fitness. To help you, see this article explaining the different hiking categories.

The upper body
Tip: to make sure you don’t forget anything, begin your warm-up by the upper body and gradually move downwards to end with your feet.

The neck
Be careful when warming your neck not to tilt your head too far backwards. Move slowly or you risk hurting yourself, which would be a shame before even beginning your hike!

Relax your shoulders and tuck your chin in toward your chest while breathing out, then tilt your head gently backwards while breathing in, and repeat 20 times. Do the same thing while looking sideways, first left then right, 10 times each side. Finally, circle your head 10 times in one direction then in the other, as slowly as before and without tilting the head too far.

The shoulders
Stand with your legs slightly apart, your arms against your body, and move your left shoulder in a circle 10 times, first in one direction then the other. Repeat with the other shoulder. Finally, finish with 10 circles in one direction then in the other with both shoulders at the same time, inhaling and exhaling deeply

Stand with one foot in front of the other, about one imaginary foot apart, as if you were balancing on a wire. Straighten your arms and raise them slowly above your head. Join your hands, with your fingers crossed and palms upwards, as if stretching after a good night’s sleep. Lean to the left while exhaling, and inhale while returning to your initial position. Do this 10 times, then switch sides. Then repeat the movement after reversing the position of your feet.

The lower body
The hips
Stand totally straight and upright. Place your hands on your hips. Lift one foot and swing it backwards and forwards 10 times. Your foot should almost touch your bottom when at the back and your leg should be parallel to the ground when at the front. The movement must be dynamic but controlled. Switch legs and do another series of 10.

Stand and raise your left thigh until it is at a right angle, a bit like a flamingo. You can bend your standing leg slightly for more stability. Rotate 10 times in one direction then in the other from the knee, as if drawing a perfect circle in the air with your foot (which should not move). Then change foot.

The ankles
Stand in the same position as when warming up the knees. Rotate your ankle in a circle 10 times, first in one direction then the other. Then change foot.

Your body will thank you for having prepared it for your hike! Don’t forget to do some stretching during your hike if you feel the need, in particular your calves after a steep climb. And above all always remember to stretch your muscles when returning from a hike. Here are our 10 stretching exercises for the upper and lower body. 

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