Adventure Preparation | Flexibility Workouts to Prevent Injuries

Thinking of going on an adventure? You really need to rethink your strategy if you’re going to push yourself to your physical limits. One of the main reasons people come back sore from their trips is because they don’t prepare for the repercussions and consequences of their actions beforehand.

You can’t go hiking in the mountains after years on a desk job without feeling the back pain and spraining your ankles. Unless you incorporate daily exercises that don’t just invigorate your musculoskeletal system but also make it stronger, you’re likely going to have a tough time.

Therefore, to help you with your adventure preparation, here’s a list of flexibility workouts. And before we get to it, let’s look at some reasons why you should go for flexibility rather than strength or resistance.

Man with hands behind back stretch

Why Flexibility?

Flexibility workouts are essential for ensuring that the muscles surrounding your bones become stronger. Since we can’t make our bones of steel, the best we can do is enforce our skeletal structure with stronger muscles. The best way to do that is by doing stretching exercises.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, yoga, or other flexibility workouts are great for preventing injuries. People who practice flexibility often have less chance of sustaining sprained ankles, bone fractures, twisted or broken limbs, etc.

There are numerous researches that prove how elasticity and flexibility in the body help make the body stronger. Even legendary fighters like Rickson Gracie have recommended flexibility for people who want to improve their chances against head trauma.

It’s no wonder why sports therapists and physiotherapists always prescribe the below workouts to people who are about to go for an intense activity.

Group stretching

Flexibility Workouts

It’s understandable that not everyone has the right equipment readily available whenever they manage to find the time to engage in a workout. That is why we have provided sufficient alternatives for you to choose from and hopefully, there’ll be something you can do. Just make sure that you have the proper workout joggers and shirts on to engage in physical workouts.

From the exercises below, choose the ones that appeal to you and follow the given frequency. If you feel like ramping up the intensity, then increase the amount of the sets and reps as per your experience:

  • Reps: 12-15 (From beginners to experts)
  • Sets: 2-4
  • Rest in between sets: 30 seconds
  • Rest in between exercises: 1 minute

Guy exercising on outdoor gym

Reverse Hypers (Back Extension)

This exercise aims to get your lower back, glutes and hamstrings pumped. These three muscle groups are vital to movement and therefore they have to stay loose.

How to do it?

Lie facedown the long way while keeping your upper body supported. You can consider using a Swiss ball or bench for this.

Make sure your hip crease is in alignment with the ball or bench’s edge. While keeping your legs firm, try to flex your toes and squeeze your butt so that you can raise them simultaneously as a single unit. This way they will stay in line with your torso.

In case you are having trouble staying stable, you can lightly hold on to the bench by keeping your arms under it. In the case of using a Swiss ball for this method, you can keep your forearms on the ground to keep yourself steady.

Once you’re ready, squeeze in your butt while raising your legs like mentioned earlier and holding them in place for five seconds. After that, you can lower your legs but remember to not let your feet touch the ground.

You can either do 10 reps while moving both your legs together, or you can do 10 reps of each leg individually while keeping the other afloat and in alignment with the torso.

Why do we recommend it?

This exercise involves extending your gluteal muscles which can be greatly beneficial for your back and butt. It can energize those muscles and also relieve painful pressure from your back and joints.

Alternatives:

  • Barbell Good Morning. What is this?
  • Banded Good Morning
  • Barbell Romanian Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Reverse Hyperextension
  • Glute Ham Raise

man stretching on floor

Lateral Band Walk

To do this, you will need a small band with medium tension. The lateral band walk is a great exercise to wake up your glutes and hamstrings.

How to do it?

After some warmup, wrap it around both your legs. You can either wrap it just over the knee level or around your calves, but for the latter, you should consider getting another band with lighter tension.

While squatting a bit, take sideways steps in any one direction. Make sure to not let the legs meet fully and keep your toes directed forwards.

You can try different schemes with it like doing sets of 10 in one direction before switching to the other and then back. Alternatively, you can try a ladder where you start from seven and make your way down to one.

Why do we recommend it?

If you need to strengthen your hip joints, doing the lateral band walk regularly could be the best choice for you. This exercise targets the abductor muscles responsible for the outwards movement of the legs at the hip.

This also, in turn, strengthens the knee joint connected to the same muscles and helps to keep them in alignment. This means that they stay in good shape while you are exerting pressure on them during intense workouts.

Alternative Variants:

  • Prisoner squat
  • Side squat
  • Pistol squat
  • Single-leg squat
  • Plié squat

Girl holding leg stretch

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

This exercise is simple and you can do it anywhere with some space to lie down. You do not need any special equipment or training for this one.

How to do it?

Lie on your back on a mat and keep your arms to each side. Then, bend one knee while keeping your foot as close to your butt as you can.

With your other leg straightened out, press your foot to the ground and clench your butt muscles to push your hip up in the air in a way that aligns your knees, hips, and shoulders in a single plane. Lower it after holding for at least five seconds and then repeat.

You can do three sets of 10 to get the best results.

Why do we recommend it?

Due to the pandemic and shutting down of public areas, most people are confined to their rooms which makes them very lazy. Having to sit all day can turn our lower back to mush and make it weak. As a result of which it can start to bend forwards.

Activating the back muscles through the single-leg glute bridge can keep it toned and strong.

Variations of the glute bridge:

  • Banded Squat Pulse.
  • Banded Sway Squats.
  • Banded Frog Pumps.
  • Fire Hydrant.
  • Band Reverse Lunge.
  • Squat with Abduction.

Man with legs crossed

Final Thoughts on Flexibility Workouts

Technique and posture determine your workout’s efficiency. Your workout shirts and bottoms will enable you to perform. Your efforts will ultimately help you become stronger and more immune to injuries and ready to face any dangers.

That being said, it is important to know your limits and not overstretch. Did we leave out any important flexibility exercises? Let us know in the comments below!

Travel Tip: If snowboarding is your next big adventure, why not prepare and get yourself a pair of heated gloves.