Ah, the great outdoors. An exhilarating fusion of crisp air, breathtaking views, thrilling adventures, and throbbing backaches.
While camping provides a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, lengthy road trips and sleeping on uncomfortable terrain (plus the constantly-deflating air mattress) can create a plethora of aches and pains. To keep you affliction-free on your next excursion, here are our recommended exercises and stretches to help you feel relaxed and ready for anything:
Stretches 1. Knees to Chest (lower back stretch)
* Lie on your back and hug your knees into chest, that's it! * Try to keep your sacrum on the ground as you do this
2. Side Bend (shoulders, intercostals, and obiques) * While standing, cross your right foot in front of your left, legs completely together. * Reach your arms above your head and interlace fingers. * Leave your index fingers extended and pointed towards sky and make sure biceps are in alignment with your ears. * Inhale to prepare, exhale as you gently bend your upper body to the left.
* Inhale back to center and repeat 5x on each side, switching your feet positioning.
3. Figure 4 (piriformis and hip rotator muscles)
* Lie on your back, knees bent hip-width apart, feet flat on the ground. * Place right ankle over left thigh, flexing your right foot.
* Stay in this position or lift your left leg into table top for a deeper stretch.
* Hold for 30 sec and repeat with left leg.
4. Letter L (hamstrings and back muscles)
* Start by holding on to a table or the back of a pick-up truck that's about hip height. * Move your feet back and hinge your torso at your hips, making a 90 degree angle, like the letter L, with your back and your legs. * Make sure feet are directly under hips and back is parallel with the ground. * Feet are hip-width apart, ribs and belly are pulled up and in. Do not arch the back. * Take 5 long inhales and exhales, allowing your ribs along your back to expand.
Exercises 1. The Saw (standing) (obliques and back muscles)
* Start with legs wider than hip-width apart and arms out to a T. * Inhale as you twist to the right.
* Exhale as you reach your left hand down towards the outside of your right foot, right hand points towards the sky * Inhale as you come up, still in a twist, keeping your right arm extended behind you. * Exhale twist back to center. Repeat to the left and repeat 5x each side.
2. Criss Cross (standing)
* Start with legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, hands behind head, elbows wide.
* Inhale to prepare, exhale to twist to your left as your left knee lifts up to hip height and imagine bringing your right elbow to your left knee. * Inhale as you release your left foot back to ground and torso comes back to center. * Alternate sides and repeat 10x each way.
3. Standing Push-Ups (against car) (chest and arms)
* Stand two foot lengths away from car and place palms of hands at shoulder height on car, with elbows bent and at your sides. * Engage abs, inhale to prepare, exhale and press into the car to straighten arms.
* Repeat 10x. Perform with feet flat on ground or with heels lifted.
4. Leg Pull Front (abs, obliques, pecs, glutes, and hamstrings)
* Start in a high plank, hands under shoulders and a nice slope from shoulders to hips. * Rock backward, heels towards floor, rock forward to balls of feet 3x. * Inhale to prepare, exhale lift right leg up until it's in line with hip.
* Rock backward and forward 1x with leg still lifted. * Inhale as you lower your leg and repeat entire exercise 5x on each leg.
We hope these stretches and exercises make your hiking and sightseeing more pleasurable. Happy camping and enjoy!