Walking Stretching Routine
When walking any distance you need to incorporate a balanced, well-rounded walk stretching routine into your walking schedule.
by Brad Walker | First Published October 14, 2010 | Updated August 31, 2017
While walking may not seem like a strenuous exercise, walking fast for long distances can cause serious muscle injuries. Incorporate a regular walking stretching routine into your walk training schedule will help to prepare your body for the physical demands of walking.
Muscles used in Walking
The primary muscles involved while walking are the hamstring, the hip, the quadriceps, the calves and the gluteus maximus. The muscles of the calves include the soleus and gastocnemius; the muscles of the hip include the abductor and adductor muscles, the gluteals and the hip flexors.
Another major group of muscles used while walking are the core muscles, including the obliques, the spinal erectors and the rectus abdominus. Upper extremity muscles like the triceps, the biceps, the deltoids and the shoulder muscles are also used.
The Benefits of a Walking Stretching Routine
A walking stretching routine as part of a walking training program has a number of benefits. Here are some of the main benefits of a walking stretching routine:
- Stretching increases the length of muscles and tendons, this in turn increases the range of motion. With an increased range of motion, you can more comfortably complete a number of exercises and tasks.
- A regular walking stretching routine can help prevent injuries like:
º Runner’s knee (also called chondromalacia);
º Iliotibial band syndrome;
º Sprained ankles;
º Plantar fasciitis; and
º Achilles tendinitis.
- Finally, even the most basic walking stretching routine can just make you feel better. Glossing over it in your regular walking training, however, could cost you dearly.
Despite the numerous benefits, it is important to bear in mind that stretching can have detrimental effects when done incorrectly. Improperly done stretches can over time cause permanent damage to ligaments and joint. When performing the stretching routine below, be sure to warm up first and if any of the exercises cause pain or severe discomfort, discontinue immediately. Review my article on the rules for safe stretching for more information.
Watch the Walking Stretching Routine
Click on the play button below to watch the 10 minute walking stretching routine video.
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