Foot And Ankle Strength And Mobility for Hiking Better
The practice of pilates includes a series of exercises called Footwork. The series can be done standing with no props or using equipment such as the reformer, wall unit, or wunda chair. These exercises create strength and flexibility in all of the joints and muscles of the feet and the ankles. After practicing footwork regularly, you will start to notice how your stance is stronger, you balance is better, and you will experience less issues with cramping in your toes and calves if that is something you struggle with.
Hip Flexibility And Power for Hiking Better
If you suffer from hyper mobile joints, pilates will help you develop more control, strength, and stability around your joints. If on the other hand you have very tight and stiff joints, pilates will help you find more mobility and flexibility in your joints. For example, the “Leg Circles” series on the reformer is performed by placing your feet inside loops that are attached to pulleys that pull the carriage on wheels. From this position you are able to make controlled variations of movements with your legs that help your hip joints become ‘lubricated’ and strong.
When it comes to strengthening the hips, pilates includes a wide variety of hip extension exercises that are performed on hands and knees, lying prone, or on the side. These series focus on strengthening the gluteals and the abductors and adductors. These muscles groups are vital to providing the power needed to propel your body forward especially as you hike on an incline.
Active Stretching That Helps In Recovery from Hiking
Pilates also includes many active stretches that will make your muscles feel released and at ease after going on a long hike. Take for example the Front Splits on the reformer. This exercise is meant to open up and stretch the front of the thigh and the hip flexor region. Amazing for recovery!
So Much More To Support You As You Hike!
Today I just touched upon exercises that are mainly focused on the lower body. Pilates is also FULL of exercises that will strengthen the trunk of the body and shoulder girdle which are absolutely fundamental to maintaining good posture as you hike and allowing proper rotation of the trunk of the body as you move your arms or walk with hiking poles.
Yes, a regular practice of pilates will help you hike better, enjoy the experience more, and suffer from less risk of injury. Looking for support to move and feel better in life? Set up a free consultation with us and let’s talk about your goals!