7 Yoga Stretches to Ready for Body for Hiking

7 Yoga Stretches to Ready for Body for Hiking

The warmer, drier weather is the perfect invitation to spend more time outdoors, and what better way to make the most of this time of year than go for a walk or hike. Walking or hiking with family or friends can be fun to get the exercise you need, especially if your body is physically ready. Stretching is always highly recommended before and after any physical activity, as this helps prepare your joints and muscles for any added stress or strain. Below, we have shared some of our favorite yoga movements that can help prepare your mind and body for that upcoming trek. 

1. Child’s Pose

Begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Tighten your abdominal area and widen your knees. Shift your hips back to your feet while extending both arms overhead. Lower your head to the floor and relax your midback area for a light stretch. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Childs Pose 1

Progressive Exercise:

Begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Tighten your abdominal area and widen your knees. Shift your hips back to your feet while extending both arms overhead. Walk your hands to one side and lower your head to the floor, relaxing your midback area for a light stretch. Hold this position for taking several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Walk your hands to the center position, then repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Childs Pose 2

2. Cat-Cow

Begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Contract your abdominal area. Slowly raise your head as you arch your mid-back. Alternate by lowering your head down and rounding out your mid-back. Repeat the sequence of movements.

Cat-Cow 1

Cat-Cow 2

3. Runner’s Lunge

Begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Engage your core. Inhale and take a big step forward with one foot, planting your foot between your hands. Keep your toes pointing straight ahead. Exhale and push back from your front heel, extending your leg in a runner’s lunge position. Repeat the movement. After several repetitions, return to the starting position and repeat the sequence of movements on the opposite side.

Runners Lunge 1

Runners Lunge 2

Alternate Exercise:

For this exercise modification, use a yoga block, books, or any elevated object for support.

Begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Take a big step forward with one foot, keeping your toes pointing straight ahead. Engage your core. Push back from your front heel and extend your leg in a runner’s lunge position. Place your hands on blocks at your sides for support. Take several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Runners Lunge 3

4. Low Lunge

Begin in a 4-point position with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Take a big step forward with one foot, keeping your toes pointing straight ahead. Maintain good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Engage your core, extend both arms overhead, and shift your hips forward. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax and repeat the movement on the opposite side

Low Lunge

5. Knees to Chest

Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Lift both knees towards your chest and hold onto your knees with both arms, looking for a light stretch in the lower back and glutes. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax and return to the starting position.

Knees to Chest

6. Single Knee to Chest

Lie on your back on the floor, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, hips, and legs. Tighten your abdominal area, bend one knee, and use your hands to pull your knee towards your chest. Look for a light stretch in the hips and lower back. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Single Knee to Chest

7. Figure 4

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, relaxing your upper body. Cross one ankle over your opposite knee and flex your foot. Looking for a light stretch in the hip, engage your core and press your upper leg away from your body. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Figure 4 A

Progressive Exercise:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, relaxing your upper body. Cross one foot over your opposite knee, lift both knees, and hold your lower leg with both hands. Pull your leg closer to your body to intensify the stretch. Hold this position for several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.

Figure 4 B

After completing these stretches, take some time to calm your body and mind with some deep breathing. Begin in an upright sitting position on the floor with your legs crossed in front of your body, maintaining good alignment with your head, shoulders, and hips. Place your hands on your knees. Close your eyes and take several deep belly breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Figure 4 C

Not only does yoga improve your posture, flexibility, and muscle strength, it also boosts your metabolism and helps increase blood flow throughout your body. The next time you plan to go walking or hiking, don’t forget to spend a few extra minutes doing some gentle yoga stretches to prepare your body and mind for the great outdoor adventure ahead. 

Hiking can cause sore and tired muscles, so you need to be prepared. The best way to protect your body is by going through some simple exercises to keep your muscles feeling their best. Click here to learn more.

Recovery Workouts