Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!
March 2004

Post-Hike Massage: Here’s The Rub

4 techniques to soothe trail-weary muscles

“It takes just 3 minutes of gentle kneading to rid muscles of lactic acid,” says Maureen Moon, past president of the American Massage Therapy Association. Try these techniques.

Quads and hamstrings While sitting, roll a warm water bottle across the top of your thigh, applying enough pressure to feel the soreness. Ask your partner to do the same for your hamstrings.

Shoulders and back Using circular motions, press your thumbs into your partner’s shoulders, then move down the back. Place his forearm behind his lower back so you can work into the muscles around the shoulder blade. “When you come across an area that feels like a knotted rope, massage it gently, move to another area, then come back,” advises Moon.

Calves Knead lightly with your whole hand. Then apply deeper pressure with your fingers and thumbs. End with long, light strokes.

Feet Stroke your foot from ankle to toes, feeling for tender spots. Massage these using circular motions and light pressure.

Leave a Reply