Stretching: Muscle Relaxers

Use these specific stretches to alleviate muscle pain.

Plagued by crampy calves? You can help keep your muscles limber on the trail not only by eating and drinking properly, but by doing a few specific stretches every time you go out. Try these muscle relaxers before and after a hike, as well as during breaks while climbing.

Heel press

Stand a foot away from a support and lean on it with your forearms. Extend one leg about 2 feet back while bending the front knee and pressing both heels on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds. Move the rear foot up or back to modify the stretch.

Ankle extension

Stand with your heels at the edge of a step or small ledge. Slide one foot back until one heel is off the edge. Slowly lower that heel as far as possible, while keeping the other leg straight. Hold for 20 seconds.

Knee bend

Supporting yourself with your hands against a tree, stand with one foot about

a foot in front of the other. Keeping both heels on the ground, slightly bend both knees and lean hips forward. Hold for 30 seconds.