Exercises For Hikers and Backpackers

-Go Further, More Efficiently, And Explore More!-

-To help increase knee, hip and ankle strength and stability while maximizing resistance to injury.-

-Complete these exercises 12 times apiece, 3 times through!-

  • Some of the most common injuries while hiking are twisted or sprained ankles, and knee pain and joint inflammation.

  • As a result, at the very least, whole trips can get cut short. At the worst, we end up with a lingering, recurring injury- as once we damage those nerves in an injury just as an ankle sprain, we are then more likely to sprain that joint again in the future.

    By strengthening the muscles surrounding our joints and increasing our stability threshold, we can improve our resistance to injury by both hiking in a more efficient manner, and being more able to keep ourselves upright on the trail.

  • Important note 1: These exercises are designed to be most effective when performed in a slow, controlled tempo. When utilizing step-downs, or when returning a foot to the ground, we want to resist gravity to maximize our benefit from the exercise

  • Important note 2: These exercises should be performed regularly for maximum benefit. Muscles, tendons, and stabilization systems take time to grow. Perform these exercises often, so that when you go for a hike, you're ready!!

Single Leg Negative Step-Down

  1. Stand on elevated surface

  2. Lifting one leg, lower self with supporting leg

  3. Lightly lower self to touch heel of non-supporting leg to floor

  4. With a controlled motion, raise self back to standing with supporting leg

  5. Alternate legs and repeat

Goblet Squat

  1. Standing with legs armpit-width apart, feet angled out slightly (25°-30°)

  2. Keeping core engaged and braced, raise weight to under chin

  3. Keeping core engaged and braced, slowly lower into a comfortable squat

  4. Pause at the bottom of the squat, and slowly raise back to starting position

  5. Keep knees over toes, not letting knees fall inward.

Step-Up To Balance

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, facing aerobic deck

  2. Place foot on Aerobic deck, and step up

  3. Raise self with foot on Aerobic deck, pausing at the top and regaining balance

  4. Slowly lower self to beginning position, resisting gravity on the way down

  5. Arms may be utilized, but tempo should remain slow for maximum benefit.

Bulgarian Split Squat

  1. Beginning position is a rear lunge with back foot elevated

  2. Enter lunge, keeping weight on front leg

  3. Raise self out of lunge and repeat for full set of repetitions.

  4. Rest, Switch legs, and repeat.

  5. - NOTE- The Rear leg should not be elevated so high that the hip twists outward during the lowering portion of the exercise. The hips should remain facing forward to avoid movement compensations. If the hips can't remain forward during this exercise, lower the rear leg.

Lateral Lunge

  1. Enter into a side lunge, with feet turned out slightly (25°-30°)

  2. Keeping the knees in line with the toes, and core braced,

  3. Hold side lunge, and slowly shift into a side lunge on the other side.

  4. Keeping center of gravity low, slowly repeat and shift weight.

  5. Keep core braced and chest proud during entire exercise.

This selection of 5 exercises will help activate and strengthen the muscles and stabilization systems we use while hiking.
If you'd like a custom exercise program, designed specifically to help you boost your personal performance, please reach out at Adam@WorthItHealthyLiving.com - I look forward to hearing from you!