Being in the wild for days is great for the mind, but it can be hard on the body. Long days of walking with a weighty pack combined with overnight stays on the ground are the perfect breeding ground for pain. Sore legs and stiffer back are a common complaint of hiking and backpacking.
Aside from the usual stretching that you do on the trail, yoga is a great way to relax your muscles and keep your body in top shape. Here are some yoga poses that will help backpackers and hikers recover from a hard day on the trail:
1Cat/cow exercise for a sore back
Even if you have a great place to sleep, several nights hiking and camping on uneven terrain can burden your body. If you wake up with a stiff back, stretch out your aching muscles with a few cat / cow sequences. These yoga poses are a great way to treat back and spine pain while stretching your core and preparing you for another day on the trail.
2Stand forward for the loosening of the thigh muscles
On the days you travel many miles along the path, you often end up with tight and sore hamstrings. Make some standing wrinkles to work through those aching muscles and loosen up the backs of your legs. Try to keep your hands together and swing side by side as you sink into that pose. The longer you do it, the deeper you feel the stretch and the better you will feel the next morning.
3Low lunge for inguinal and gluteal muscles
If you feel tight in your buttock muscles and groin, you are sinking into a deep failure pose. This is a great track for all athletes – especially runners – and it is also very useful for hikers. It’s a way to release tensions that build up in your hips as you walk on slopes and carry wraps. The low pulmonary artery opens the groin and gluteal muscles to loosen tightness and prevent injury.
4Cow face to loosen your hips
When your buttock muscles and the outside of your hips start to feel tight and sore, because you’re carrying the brunt of your weight, it’s important to stretch them out. Although it can be difficult to get to those hard-to-reach muscles, it’s worth the effort. That’s why the cow face pose is so big. It provides a deep stretch that works through the strain in your hips and glutes, though it’s a bit tricky to get in.
5Sacral seat rotation to stretch the aching shoulders
There is nothing better than putting off your backpack at the end of the day to give your shoulders a break. When you wear a filled backpack, there is a lot of tension between the shoulder blades, and over time this tension can turn into stiffness and upper back pain. Do not take your muscles, but take time to sit cross-legged. As a bonus, it stretches your hamstrings and gives you a full shoulder distance to release all this tension.
6Twisted Triangle Pose for a full-body stretch
If you go all day with the weight of a backpack and your muscles feel tight and your body is compressing, a full-body stretch is one of the best things you can do. The twisted triangle is an excellent way to open the body and extend the muscles. It is a standing pose that stretches your inner thighs and shoulder muscles to counteract the tightness and make you feel supple again.
7Down dog to relieve stiff calves
Calf muscles are an underdog when it comes to taking care of your body on the trail. When your Achilles tendon hurts and your pits are tight, you can easily forget how hard that part of your body works to keep you stable as you climb mountains, make rocks unsafe, and drive currents. But it is just as important to stretch your calves, as it is your quads or thighs. Downward Dog is a classic yoga pose that’s great for exercising the tightness in your calves and keeping your muscles relaxed.
Staying healthy and safe on the track is not just a question of the right equipment, good food and enough water. It is also about avoiding injuries and keeping the body in top shape. Practicing these yoga poses will ease the strain on your bones and muscles as you prey on these spikes, and it will also help you feel stronger so you can enjoy your outdoor adventures even more.