Warm-up and cooldown exercises for hiking

Here's a set of stretching exercises to include in your warm-up and cooldown routine before and after your hike!


Always include stretches in your pre and post-hike routines to reduce the risk of injuries, increase blood flow, and recover more effectively. In this article, we share with you a series of exercises you could do before, during AND after your hikes – read on!~ 

Wake up call for our body

Work up a sweat through a mini full body work out. Don't worry, it is nothing too intense! ~~- Jog on the spot. If this is too easy-peasy, bring your feet higher to the back while jogging on the spot~- Do the all-time favourite (at least for me) – Jumping Jacks!~- Continue until you break a sweat for 5 - 10 minutes 

Shorten this part of your warm-up exercise if the weather becomes too unbearable!


Arms & shoulders dance

Now, let’s move those arms and shoulders! 

- Rotate your arms in full, big circles

- Keep your arm straight, and proceed to move it forward and down past your hips and swing over your shoulder

- Complete this warm-up by rotating 10 times forward and 10 times backward for each arm


Next up  – shoulder dance! 

- Gently move your shoulder forward or backward 10 times in a circular motion on each arm

- Go ahead and do 10 sets of shoulder dances clockwise and anti-clockwise!

Sexy back

- Place one arm straight in the air, keeping the other arm facing downwards

- Gently lean onto one side and try to touch your ankle with the downward-facing arm

- Repeat this for 10 times on each side.


- Next, cover your ears with your hands and twist your body to each side at around 45 degrees

Some of you might get some shiok back cracks while you twist your body, but be careful not to go past 45 degrees!

- Finish up with 10 twists to each side. 

Hippie hips

Time to move those hips now!

- Place your hands on your hips and rotate in a circular motion

To make this exercise fun, you can place your hands on your head and face your friends/partner (if you are not alone)!

- Complete 10 rotations in both left and right directions and you are done for this part!

Knee swings

- Raise one knee upward in front of you to about 90 degrees

- Slowly attempt to straighten your leg to the front then gently swing back and forth 10 times~~It is better to start with a small swing to warm up the knee here. Eventually, your flexibility and balancing will get better!


Calves and ankles

Let's wrap up this set of stretching exercises!

- Shift your body weight to your toes and start by going up and down on your tippy-toes for 10 times

- Then, lift your knee to a 90-degree angle (similar to the knee warm-up, but for this, rotate your foot in circles instead)

- Do 10 to the right and 10 to the left for each foot


Now, you are all set to hike!

PRO-TIP: Always adapt your stretches to your body and physical condition. Remember not to overstretch! 

Lastly, do not hesitate to stop and stretch your muscles if you feel the need to! Stretch before and right after your hike to prevent any unwanted injuries.


Written by: norarfah zakaria

Sport leader (hiking) ,  decathlon bedok

“When life gives you mountains, put on your boots and hike.”