It’s easy to envision a perfect hike: an empty trail leading to a babbling brook, then an ascent of a massive peak with amazing views from the summit. But there’s one thing that’s missing from this image: the necessary sweat equity.
Getting active is a great way to relieve stress, but it requires a lot of muscle strength and endurance to get the most out of it. This is why it’s important to incorporate regular hiking workouts into your fitness routine.
This exercise will help strengthen and tone the muscles you’ll use while hiking. It will also improve your agility and speed. Before starting a new exercise program, it’s important to consult a doctor.
One of the best ways to improve your hiking fitness is by performing goblet squats, designed to target the major muscles you use while hiking, such as the glutes, quads, and hamstring. These exercises are also straightforward to do and can be added to any exercise program. It would be best if you held a dumbbell or a kettlebell between your hands to perform this exercise.
To start the exercise, set your feet about hip-width apart. As you descend, keep your weight in your heels. As you hit the floor, your knees should start to track over your feet. Then, with your heels straight, raise them up until your hips are extended.
The steps-up are designed to strengthen the glutes and quads, which are vital muscles when it comes to climbing mountains. They can be performed at any gym or at home, though if you don’t have a membership, you can use a school’s bleacher or staircase. To perform the exercise, stand facing the bleacher or box.
For new users, start with a lower box and aim for a height of 10-16 inches. As you get used to the exercise, increase the height of the boxes. Place one foot on the top of the box and raise the other foot off the floor. Keep your legs in a straight line as you step up and down.
Although lunges are great for hiking, one common mistake many people make is underestimating how much damage the downhill can do to their quads. Without fail, many hikers get carried away by the thought of the steep drops that lead to painful thighs. By performing these downhill lunges, you can prepare your quads for any potential hard ground.
A gradual downhill will make it easier to navigate. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and engage your core as you step forward with one leg. Press your front knee against the ankle and maintain a 90-degree angle.
Hanging Knee Raises
This exercise is very different from the previous ones since it doesn’t focus on the leg muscles. Instead, it focuses on strengthening the core. This is very important for hikers as it will allow them to carry a heavy backpack and keep their balance while navigating the trails.
You can do this by using a pull-up bar or a jungle gym. With your arms fully extended, hang from the bar and engage your abs muscles to raise your knees toward your chest, simulating a sitting position. Keep your hands behind your head and maintain a controlled hang.