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Warming up

Warming up before a hike
Warming up before a hike

Do you warm up before a hike? Some think it's unnecessary, others say it's a good idea. Nikki Walker of Brookmans Park Osteopaths has kindly put together a warm-up routine for those users of Hertfordshire Walker who want to limber up and stretch their muscles before setting off on a ramble.

The embedded videos below feature exercises designed and shared on YouTube by Rehab My Patient. There is a discussion thread on the Hertfordshire Walker Facebook group about warming up before a walk.

Leg swing

Hold on to a table or tree and swing your leg in front of you and then behind you in a controlled way. It’s a great way to dynamically warm up your leg and hip. It also helps gain more mobility in your hip joint.

Sets: 1 | Repetitions: 20

Leg swing side

Swing your leg to one side and then the other in a controlled way. If you feel comfortable you can speed up. This exercise mobilises a stiff hip joint and is a good dynamic warm up.

Sets: 1 | Repetitions: 20

Hip extension standing

Stand with your hands on a wall or tree and extend your leg behind you then return to neutral. You should feel a pull in your buttock (gluteal) muscles. Give the buttocks a squeeze at the same time.

Sets: 1 | Repetitions: 20

Walking abduction and adduction

Walk with good upright posture or just hold onto a tree then bend your hip to 90-degrees, moving your leg outwards and then back to the midline. This exercise is good for improving flexibility to your hip joints.

Sets: 1 | Repetitions: 20

Walking lunge

Take a step forwards then bend the front knee past the vertical. The back knee drops towards the floor. Now follow this into another lunge position using the other leg. Always keep good alignment. Your knee should stay over the second toe of your foot. Never let your knee drop inwards.

Sets: 1 | Repetitions: 10

Calf heel raise with knees bent two legs

Stand up with your knees bent then rise up onto your toes and hold. Slowly control the movement back down. This is a strengthening exercise for the soleus (lower calf) muscle.

Sets: 1 | Repetitions: 10-15

Hamstring stretch in forward bend

Hold on to a tree or handy post. Your feet should be positioned hip distance apart with your knees soft and your hands resting onto the table. Your spine should be lengthened and your lower abdominal muscles set. Slowly walk your legs away from the table or chair keeping your arms straight and spine lengthened so the bend comes from your hips instead of your spine. You should feel a stretch in the back of your thighs while you maintain a lengthened neck, spine and arm position with your abdominal muscles supporting your back. Hold the stretch for the required length of time and then relax.

Sets: 1 | Repetitions: 3 | Time: 10-15 secs

Hip flexor and quad stretch

Stand up with good posture then bend your knee so your foot goes towards your butt. Extend your hip behind you to create a stretch to the front and top of your thigh. You may need to hold on to a table for support. This exercise will help to stretch your hip flexor (psoas and rectus femoris muscles), and quadricep muscle group.

Sets: 1 | Repetitions: 3 | Time: 10-15 secs | Both sides

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If you try any of the walks on this site, please let us know what you thought of them. You can either comment here, or on our members-only Facebook Group where walkers are sharing photographs of their walks and walking tips. Comments on our Facebook Group go live immediately, as they do on our Facebook Page. Comments here on our website are moderated, so there will be a slight delay before what you write goes live.

Facebook group rules

Facebook group rules
We have set 10 rules for our Hertfordshire Walker Facebook group which are designed to help keep the group focused on walking in the Hertfordshire countryside

Promoted charity: The Trussell Trust

Promoted charity: The Trussell Trust
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