Lower Leg Self Care Routine For Hikers
In this lower self care routine for hikers, I’ll give you some quick ways to find relief for your lower leg muscles. I have separated out the lower leg muscles from the calf for ease. You can learn about the calf self care routine here. Using items that you have handy, you can massage, stretch, and rejuvenate your lower leg muscles while hiking. Self care for your lower is critical!
This mini lower leg self care routine for hikers is from my more comprehensive self-care program.
Know your lower leg
When you are hiking it’s often helpful to have a map, so you know where to go. Maps can also outline the features and give you a good picture of the landscape for the region. For this lower leg self care routine, I give you the same map with a quick tour of the lower leg. This map will help you see the landscape of your lower leg a little differently and make the techniques much faster and effective.
Simple and effective
The first technique is a sweet method to massage your big shin muscle on the front of your leg using your trekking pole. This super simple technique is perfect for helping tame shin splints. By simply gliding the trekking pole up and down with a “hurts good” amount of pressure, you can decrease overall discomfort. This works equally well during quick breaks or sitting around camp in the evening.
Secondly, we will target the outside of the leg, with a ball. This will target some of the muscles that help to keep your foot nimble and stable over uneven terrain. Using a ball and adding overpressure if needed, you’ll target these hard-working muscles. You can apply overpressure for a little more intense massage or go a little easier. Either way, you’ll feel the difference!
Lastly, we have a small group of muscles on the inside of our lower leg. The muscles also help to control foot motion on uneven terrain. There’s no doubt that these stabilizers work hard during a hike! Using your fingers to target these muscles is perfect. Like many of the other techniques, adding in some foot motion will increase the effectiveness.
Stretch and strengthen your lower leg
No lower leg self care routine would be complete without adding some strength exercises. Here are some of my favorites.
Heel sits are an incredible stretch for the lower legs, ankles, and knees. It’s as simple as it sounds; kneeling, you’ll aim to place your butt right on top of your heels and sit. This will target the shin muscles and feels fantastic for your ankles.
For the big shin muscle, I like the heel walk variations for strength. Simply pulling your toes up and going for a walk on your heels will yield an excellent workout for this vital muscle.
Targeting the inside lower leg muscles, the ball squeeze heel raise is dynamite. Simply squeeze a ball between your heels and rise onto the balls of your feet. Another example of a simple and effective exercise to target your lower leg muscles.
There you have it! A lower self care routine for hikers that is simple and effective. Remember that this is only a fraction of the techniques available in my larger Self Care Program For Hikers.