Hiking seems easy — after all it's just walking for a while — but it can be a big challenge. From varying and sometimes difficult terrain to the fact that you use different muscles for longer periods of time than normal, a good hike takes working up to. Here are three exercises you can do to make sure you're in hiking shape. Besides being able to hike hilly terrain without having to stop every few metres to catch your breath, it's important to be in shape so that you can get to safety quickly if there's a weather change or emergency. Add these exercises to your workout so you're ready for whatever your hike holds.
- Lunges: Works on your legs and balance. Take this exercise to the next level by holding weights.
- Poor Man's Leg Curl: Strengthens your core and helps you maintain balance and coordination.
- Band Walks: Improves your coordination, core strength and legs.
If you plan to go on really long hikes, you should also work on your endurance by increasing the length of your workouts or adding cardio. Since you'll usually carry a pack, even if it's small, add a weighted bag during your workouts to better simulate hiking conditions. Check out the video above for a visual demonstration of a sideways band walk, you can find demos of the other two exercises on the same site.
How to Get in Shape for Hiking [Backpacker.com]