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Topic: Stretching while backpacking?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 17 2013, 10:55 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What kinds of stretches do you guys do to limber up on the trail?  I am compulsive about my stretching rituals when I'm out hiking - once every morning when I wake up, and once every night before I go to sleep.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 17 2013, 11:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I do yoga poses to stretch out, but mostly in the morning.  Staff, forward fold, star, sun flower, and others.  I also will do strength poses, if I feel up to it.  Chair, warrior 1, warrior 2, tree, or crow.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 12:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I never stretch, and I hike/backpack over 100 days per year.  Mostly backpack.  don't get me wrong, I love stretching (I also weight lift when not in backpacking season), enjoy yoga, and I do feel its valuable.  I just never do it except for some light stretching each morning, while on trail.  And Ive never been injured in 1000 plus nights.  

Lunges are what I mostly do while on trail.   Not sure if you consider that stretching.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 7:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sometimes I'll do some stretching/yoga in the evenings to work out any kinks.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 10:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RobinHood @ Jul. 18 2013, 12:56 am)
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I never stretch, and I hike/backpack over 100 days per year.  Mostly backpack.  don't get me wrong, I love stretching (I also weight lift when not in backpacking season), enjoy yoga, and I do feel its valuable.  I just never do it except for some light stretching each morning, while on trail.  And Ive never been injured in 1000 plus nights.  

Lunges are what I mostly do while on trail.   Not sure if you consider that stretching.

The stretching for me isn't as much about injury prevention to me as it is just an enjoyable experience when you are tired and stiff.  But on the plus side I've never gotten terribly sore while on the trail before like some of my buddies who have gone with me.   :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 12 2013, 5:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I always stretch out at least my calf muscles before and after a hike.  This is definitely for injury prevention as I know that is a weak spot in my legs.  You would think it was my hip(prosthetic), but it's my calf muscles that want to pull or tear.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 12 2013, 6:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've taken to stretching every night before bed (actually, not only on the trail but at home).  This seems to help me sleep better and not be awakened by stiffness and pain.  I do pretty much the same stuff I learned when I first started running, plus a few upper-body stretches I picked up doing Pilates and one the physical therapist suggested.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 13 2013, 4:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My Wife found a great tip in a Marathon training book.  Don't tiptoe going up hills, but place your foot as flat as possible.  Tiptoeing puts strain the the Achilles and eventually makes the foot and calf, and even hamstring tight.  If you lean forward with every flat step, you get a little stretch each step.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 13 2013, 12:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I can't remember where I read this, else I'd post a link:

But...according to some medical-affiliated study (and I do not even remember who the group was, much less if they sounded credible):....their results indicated that stretching before excercise was benefcial (reduction in injuries) but found no benefits of any kind for stretching after exercise  (they included the easing-off "cool down" as part of the post-exercise stretching).


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 25 2013, 6:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Quarter mile or 15 mins (or so) up the trail and a bit of a sweat started, drop pack and do the stretches you like.  

If a LONG day trip and a ride back in the car, I always get those with me who haven't done much in a year, to take a 20 minute walk and minimum stretches along with Advil (etc) before going to bed.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2013, 2:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Although stretching before excercise used to be promoted heavily, studies have shown that static stretching before muscular exertion not only does not improve performance or reduce injury, but can actually increase the risk of injury by creating small tears in muscles and and ligaments etc. Dynamic stretching - not holding uncomfortable stretches - can be beneficial.

I guess it depends on how much muscular stress you're enduring - maybe for heavier loads on more steep and treacherous trails. Overall though walking is one of the best warmups for exercise, so hiking is kind of suitable to warm-up for more hiking. :p
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 9:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ravendance @ Jul. 17 2013, 7:55 pm)
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What kinds of stretches do you guys do to limber up on the trail?  I am compulsive about my stretching rituals when I'm out hiking - once every morning when I wake up, and once every night before I go to sleep.

I usually forget to do stretches.  Busy changing boots, making sure I have everything, maybe setting my altimeter. etc. Same when I get back to the car.

At night (or sometimes on the trail) if I feel my muscles are tight or sore, I stretch my hamstrings, quads and calfs.  

For Hamstrings I do one of  3 different stretches.  

Standing (even though I read a whole book that said it is impossible to stretch your hamstrings while standing!), Lying down, and I think sitting does this too, though my back is very flexible for a guy so I can cheat on this on.

For calfs I usually do the standard standing one,  but I also do the one on stairs or curb after having Planter Phytisis(sp).

For Quads I usually do the the standard stand on one leg and  bend the other leg 90 degrees, and pull the leg out, rather than continue bending it into the butt.  (My favorite author says this over bends the knee, I have read her way does something else not so good however)

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The Outdoor Athlete agrees that static stretches should not be done before exercise.

Their two dynamic stretch for hiking is " Standing dowel torso rotation"  and Frog stretch

They suggest the triangle pose (Active stretch) and Seated gluteal stretch, bench hamstring stretch , Trapezius stretch for after. (My favorite author says the triangle pose risks groin injury.  She also argues swing and bouncing (dynamic stretching?) can tear muschles)

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I am not sure about the new thinking on stretching.  (though I don't like to stretch at all first thing in the morning things are just to tight)The book " first 20 minutes" which I reading right now does say that static stretching before exercise does not reduce injury (I don't think they say it increases it) and reduces performance. ("Probably , the researches concluded, tighter leg muscles allow "for greater elastic storage and use"  It also says that doing it afterwards does not help with soreness.

It does end with if you are really tight you probably should stretch to prevent injury.  And physical therapy for somethings still calls for static stretching.

Also I think muscle balance is just as important.


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