Professional hikers are not born; they are made. The key to becoming an amazing hiker is training. You need advanced hiking and backpacking skills, core strength, leg strength, and flexibility. Hiking is the only way to revel in the wilds. It takes you away from the well-trodden paths into exciting new places and lets you witness such wonders of nature that rare few ever get a chance to.
You need to engage in certain functional exercises suggested by emeds specialists if you wish to become a hiker. Functional exercises are called such because they mimic natural movement. They get all different muscles and body parts working together in synergy in preparation for the actual activity. These exercises help you develop more strength, better balance and coordination to walk on rough trails and terrain easily.
Squats target all the big muscles in your legs, hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps. These are the muscles that primarily help in hiking. If you wish for extra resistance upon perfecting the technique, please increase the weight in your backpack. It will allow you to build greater strength and muscle mass.
- Stand straight and upright with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grab a kettlebell or a dumbbell between your hands, near your sternum.
- Tip your torso forward while sitting the hips backwards.
- Slowly descend until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Make sure your weight is distributed evenly.
- Make sure that your knees track over your toes, not bow inwards.
- Keep your head upright throughout the exercise.
- Power through your heels to stand up once more.
- This is one rep. Do 10-15 reps of squats per set.
2: Downard Lunges
Lunges help strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, quads and core. They prepare you for hiking the rocky passages and uneven terrain. People think it’s climbing up that’s going to be challenging, but it’s always the descent that leaves you with sore thighs. Upon mastering the basics, you may even add weight to your backpack. It will help you gain greater strength.
- Stand straight and upright with your feet together.
- Take a big step forward with the left foot.
- Lower down, so your front knee is bent parallel to the ground.
- Make sure your knee points directly above the ankle instead of pitching over your toe.
- Keep your weight on the heel as you slowly stand up.
- Repeat the same process with the other leg.
- Do 10-12 lunges for each leg.
3: High Box Step Up
High Box Step Up is a great exercise that helps strengthen the glutes, quads, and hamstrings. As you increase the height of your step, it becomes increasingly hard to remain stable. It forces tabilizing muscles to work together to help keep your balance. Additionally, this exercise is also a great hamstring stretch.
- Place a foot on the platform that is set slightly higher than your knee.
- Drive forward and press down through the forward heel to lift your other leg.
- Reverse the motion.
- Control your leg’s descent to avoid jarring it on the way down.
- Repeat the process with the other leg.
- Do 10-12 reps for each leg.
Burpees are an advanced form of a compound exercise. You need a solid core to do Burpees properly. It improves your endurance, strength and agility –everything required to turn you into an amazing hiker.
- Stand straight and tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your arms at your side.
- Lower yourself down in a squat and touch the floor with your hands in front of you.
- Shift your weight to your hands.
- Jump your feet to land on the balls of your feet softly.
- Strongly engage your core.
- Now, your body should form a straight line, all the way from your head to heels.
- Do not let your back sag or tilt your butt upwards.
- Jump your feet back to the form of a squat.
- Reach your arms over your head and jump explosively into the air.
- Repeat the process.
- Do up to 20 reps.
5: Mountain Climber
A Mountain Climber helps strengthen your core and legs. In addition, it gives you a suitable cardio burn.
- Start in a plant position.
- Make sure your body is in a straight line from your head to the heels.
- Bend the knee towards your nose and crunch into the core.
- Send the knee back to the default plank position.
- Repeat the process with the other leg.
- Alternate the legs while increasing your pace.
- Work up to a minute.
The first step to getting fit for hiking is to start hiking, but that may not be possible initially. These exercises will help you get fit. They are easy to do anywhere with no special equipment required. Additionally, these exercises keep you healthy. They help keep you in good shape whether you go on your hiking trip or not.