Importance of Stretching

Stretching is important before and after any exercise, especially for an intense sport like mountaineering. Strenuous walking and climbing, especially with those heavy loads, is really gonna take a toll on your body. Loosening your muscles has a number of benefits:

  • Lowers risk of muscle torsion or ligaments ripping

  • Lowers lactic acid build-up

  • Provides a good warm-up and recovery

Before training or doing an exercise, you should start with dynamic stretching (stretching that includes movement: arm swings, high-knee kicks, etc.). Movement will also provide blood to travel across your muscle fibres, carrying oxygen, too. 

After working out, static stretching (stretching in a remote position and holding that stretch) will prevent your muscles from becoming tight or tense and improves joint movement. This will prevent pain and stiffness when waking up the day after the workout.  

In my 2 vdeos below, I can show how to do some unique dynamic stretches (pre.workout) and how to do a full body stretch after an exercise without damaging any ligaments or tendons; this is specifically catered towards leg-intensirve sports like mountaineering and I've complied these stretches based on personal experience. 

Muscle Soureness

Where is that coming from?!

It's very likely that after an expedition in mountaineering that your gonna feel sour all around your body; especially during the morning after. Even after any exercise, this feeling is inevitable. But why exactly does this happen? 

Scientists call this delayed onset muscles sourness (aka: D.O.M.S.). This typically happens after vigorous exercise, where the body experiences small scale tears in its muscle fibers, building various chemicals and fluids in muscle tissues too. Below here, I've linked a great video by the YouTube fitness channel PictureFit  who concisely summarizes the science behind D.O.M.S. and how to treat it before exercising again.  


YouTuber: PictureFit

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Pre Workout

List of dynamic warmups and why:

demonstrations are in order above

  1. Arm Swings: clockwise and counter clockwise, to loosen the shoulders (25 seconds)

  2. Hip Circles: clockwise and counter clockwise, to get the hips in motion and warm of the spine (20 seconds)

  3. Tree Trunks: swing back and forth, to  loosen the spine in relation to the hip

  4. Neck stretch: carefully pull head towards shoulder and vice versa; try pulling opposite arm away from the body; don't over stretch (15 seconds on both sides)

  5. Side Bends: stretches the tricep and arm pit muscles (15 seconds per arm)

  6. Open and Close the gates: this stretches your inner quadraceps (vastus medialis) when opening the gate and the outer quadraceps (vastus lateralis) when closing the gate

  7. Walking Lunge: stretches your entire quadraceps and gives good movement

  8. Ancle Rolls: this will loosen your ancle joints and get your feet warmed up for the next dynamic exercises (10 seconds per foot)

  9. Karaoke: this will warm up your tip toes and improve your footwork (engaging the legs too); should be done a quick to moderate pace

  10. Tip toe steps (backwards and forwards): should be done at a quick pace and this will prepare the feet to get warmed up (inlcuding the legs too). 

  11. Shake it off: no, not the song....unfortunately :( . At the end, just make sure you lightly shake everything out all around your body to ensure that everything has been warmed up and that your ready

Static stretching

After Workout

List of  some strethces and why: all are justified and explained in the video 

  1. Child's pose: a calm and classic Yoga position that loosens the shoulders and stretches the quadraceps (1 minute)

  2. Tricep stretch: engages both arms to be used to loosen the triceps (25 seconds per arm)

  3. Lunge: teaches balance and engages both legs in order for the front one to stretch its quadracep nicely (30 seconds per leg)

  4. Wrist, Hand & Finger Stretch: as the name suggests, this stretch loosens the hands and finger joints that become very stressed after a long day of mountaineering; they are your tools after all, ;)  - (25 seconds per hand)

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