Stretching after a walk

It is very important to put length back in to your muscles after a walk, this helps with muscle recovery and sets you up for the next walk.

Hold each stretch for 30- 40 seconds, do not bounce it can do more damage.

Do these stretches as soon as you can after a walk, but do not rush you have time to eat, shower or just sit down for a few minutes with a cup of tea first.

As your training progresses it may be a good idea to stretch in the evening as well after a long or fast walk.

Lower leg

Calves

  • Stand facing a wall and 2 feet /60cm away

  • Place your hands against the wall at chest height

  • Move your right foot back 1 foot/ 30 cm

  • Keep right heel pressed in to the floor lean your body (chest) towards the wall. Bending the left knee to allow the movement.

  • Hold

  • Swap sides

Shins

  • Standing side on to a wall for balance

  • Point the toes of the foot furthest from the wall back away from the body. Toes to the floor as if you are trying to press the upper surface of the foot in to the floor.

  • There should be a bend in the leg closest to the wall to allow gentle pressure on the stretch for the other leg.

  • hold

  • Swap sides 

Upper leg, the large muscle groups of the thigh

Quadriceps (front of thigh)

  • Standing side on to a wall for balance

  • Point toes of foot closest to wall forward

  • Lift other foot behind you bending your knee.

  • Grasp your ankle. If you can not reach use your trouser leg or the small loop on the back of your walking shoes if you have one.

  • While doing this push your hips forward and hold.

  • Swap sides 

Hamstrings

  • Stand with your right foot 50- 60 cm forward of your left foot

  • Keep your front knee straight, gently bend your back knee

  • Gently bend your body forward from your hips, reaching your hands toward the front foot.

  • Hold

  • Swap sides

Upper body

These stretches can be done sitting upright in a chair if needed, but are best done standing.

Trunk

  • Standing feet hip width apart for stability, or sitting upright in a chair

  • Reach your arms above your head and point your fingers to the sky

  • Keeping your legs still, tip your body from the hips to one side

  • Pointing your fingers and keeping length in your arms.

  • Hold feeling a stretch down the ribs.

  • Swap sides

Chest and shoulders

  • Standing clasp your hands behind your lower back

  • Gently raise clasped hands

  • Stretch should be across chest, shoulders and in to upper arms

  • Keep your shoulders dropped and push your chest forward

  • Hold

Upper back

  • Clasp your hands together in front of you at shoulder height

  • Push your hands away from your body

  • Feel the stretch between your shoulder blades

  • Hold

Arms and shoulders

  • Standing take one arm across the body at shoulder height

  • Use your other hand to gently apply pressure at the elbow pushing the arm towards the body

  • Hold

  • Swap sides

Triceps

  • Standing raise one arm up over your head

  • Bend raised arm at the elbow allowing your hand to drop behind your head

  • Using your other hand apply gentle pressure just below your bent elbow pushing the arm back, behind you.

  • Hold

  • Swap sides