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Stretches For Walkers

Getting Started: Stretches for Walking

Stretches for WalkersStretching is a great way to get blood flowing to your muscles and help you get the best workout possible. Plus, stretching has the added benefit of helping you avoid injury.

Before you stretch, you want to make sure you have warmed up your muscles. Walk for about 5 minutes, then stop to stretch. To really get the most out of your walk, repeat your stretches again toward the end of your route. Ideally you will walk for 5 minutes, stretch, walk for 20–50 minutes, stretch again and then walk for 5 more minute to cool down.

When you stretch, start out easy. If you feel any pain, stop. Breathe regularly when you stretch, do not hold your breath or bounce. As you get used to the stretches you can increase your repetitions and/or intensity for a better work out. Here are some great stretches for walkers of all kinds.

Calf Stretches (Lower Leg)

1. Put your hands against a wall or pole at about eye level.
2. Place one foot in front of the other with 1–2 feet between them.
3. Keeping your back straight, bend the knee of your forward leg.
4. Press your rear ankle into the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. As your flexibility improves, you can tilt your hips toward the wall or pole for a greater stretch.
5. Release and repeat with your other leg / calf.

Quadricep (Thigh) Stretches

1. Stand straight with one foot 2–3 feet in front of the other.
2. Bend your knees and lower your body straight down to the ground. Make sure the knee on your front leg stays behind your toes.
3. Push your weight to your front foot and stand up. Do not lock your knees.
4. Repeat 10–15 times with each leg / quadricep.

Hamstring Stretches (Back of Thigh)

1. Extend one leg in front of you.
2. Flex your foot toward you.
3. Bend the knee of your rear leg.
4. Lean back slightly. Stay upright with your back straight. Hold for 30 seconds.
5. Repeat with your other leg / hamstring.

Back Stretches

1. Stand with your back straight, your arms hanging at your side and your feet shoulder width apart. Look straight ahead.
2. Gently twist your upper body in one direction until you are looking directly behind you. Make sure your feet and legs stay pointed forward.
3. Slowly turn back to the front and continue until you are looking directly behind you from the other side.
4. Do 10–15 twists per side.

Chest Stretches

1. Reach both hands behind you until you can grasp your hands together.
2. Slowly push your shoulders back and straighten your arms until your elbows lock, stretching your chest. Hold for 30 seconds.
3. Unlock elbows before releasing your hands.

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