11. Flexibility Training
Wheelchair Participants Flexibility Exercises
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Hikers, Walkers & Caregivers
Walking & Hiking Flexibility Exercises
The more flexible you are, the easier it will be for you to master proper techniques. The objective of the following exercises is to help develop a fuller range of motion.
Hips, Legs And Back Exercises
Following a straight line (real or imaginary) on the ground in front of you, walk along it and land your right foot on the left side of the line and your left foot on the right side. Being careful not to loose your balance, take large enough steps to create a full rotation of your hips.
Standing on one leg (use a stationary object such as a wall or fence to help keep your balance) simply swing your outside leg forward and back, like a pendulum. After several repetitions, expand your range of motion by swinging it in a figure 8.
Standing Stair Calf Stretch
Stand on the edge of a stair with one ball of the foot on the edge, the other foot suspended behind or resting against the opposite ankle. Slowly drop down on your working leg until you feel a good stretch all along the back of the leg. Hold 30 seconds.
Lower Back Stretch
Lie on your back and keep your lower back flat against the ground. Using your abdominal muscles, pull your legs toward your upper body. Hold your knees close to your chest while keeping your head on the ground and your spine elongated. Hold, release. Hold, release.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Keeping the lower back flat, go into a lunge position with the knee positioned directly over the ankle. This is an important stretch to help a walker overcome an exaggerated arch in the lower back.
This is the most FUN part of training. Here you will really get a feel for how prepared you are for your hike. The goal is to slowly increase the elevation gain with each hike until you are prepared to Conquer The Canyon!
Use Hike Day as an opportunity to evaluate your progress. Use these hikes to get used to carrying your own water/food and being in remote areas. This is the time to discover any potential problems you may have such as fear of heights, agility difficulties, etc.
The weekend hikes are the best gauges of where you are in your training program. By week 6 you should be able to handle the elevation inclines and declines with greater ease and dexterity. Depending on the level of technical difficulty and distance, you should be able to walk 3 ½ to 4 hours. By the end of the training, you should be able to handle 7-9 hours.