Rest stop self care routine for hikers.
Injury prevention is key on a long-distance hike. Lee Welton or “Flick,” as he’s known on trail, knows this very well. Flick is a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hiker, personal trainer, and founder of Trailside Fitness. Here, he describes a simple self care routine you can do while taking a break on trail. We hope this information helps you stay injury free on your next hiking adventure:
In this rest stop self care routine for hikers, I’ll give you some quick ways to find relief for your body. Using items that you have handy, you can massage, stretch, and quickly rejuvenate while hiking. Self care for your body is critical! This self care routine for hikers comes from my more comprehensive self care program.
Simple And Effective
Using your shoe, you can easily massage the bottom of your foot. This massage sounds a little strange, but it works! Flipping your shoe on edge, you can use the sole of the shoe to target the sides and bottom of your foot. During breaks, I typically take my shoes and socks off and discovered this method of self massage using my shoe. It’s become one of my favorite ways to get a quick foot massage while hiking.
Following the shoe massage, I like to target the heel and top of my foot. Just a little pinching motion around the heel as you massage through the muscles feels excellent. You can also work up the lower leg a little bit if it feels like it needs it. Moving onto the top of the foot, we’ll target the muscles that live here. Using your hands is all you need, and you’ll instantly find some relief.
Don’t Forget The Lower Leg Muscles
No rest stop routine for hikers would be complete without massaging the calf. Incredibly practical and straightforward, this method will help out the hard-working calf muscles. Make sure to work the inside and outside of the calf for the best results. Don’t forget to change your lower leg angle as you glide through the muscle.
This technique is a sweet method to massage your big shin muscle on the front of your leg using your trekking pole. This super simple technique is perfect for helping tame shin splints. By simply gliding the trekking pole up and down with a “hurts good” amount of pressure, you can decrease overall discomfort. This massage works equally well during quick breaks or sitting around camp in the evening.
Finish With A Stretch
Since hiking uses a relatively small range of motion for your hips, a gentle stretch is just the ticket to keep them happy. I like the deep squat sit for this. Simply grab onto a tree, pole for support, unlock your knees and bring your butt straight down toward the ground. In the bottom position, engage your hip muscles by trying to widen the space between your knees. The bottom position is an active one, but can also feel good just relaxing in this pose. As you rise, push your knees backward.
And that’s a wrap! For the full version complete with video, check out this post over at Trailside Fitness. Flick speaks to our community for some of our events to prepare for trail, and you can check out our event list to see all of our offerings.
Connect with Flick and learn more about his programs over at Trailside Fitness