As the snow starts to melt and the flowers start poking their heads through the frozen ground, hikers across the Puget Sound area are dusting off their boots and trekking poles as they prepare to resume their exploration of the vast Pacific Northwest! Will you be one of those hikers this year? Better yet, will you be PREPARED to be one of those hikers this year?? Below is a simple series of exercises designed to strengthen the muscles used while hiking. Most people tend to focus solely on quadriceps strength in regards to hiking. While the quads are very important (especially for the decent), the glutes and core muscles help prevent injuries to your ankles, knees, hips and back.
These can be incorporated into a regular, normal routine or at the completion of a cardio session!!
- Hip Bridges – 10 reps
- Knee Drops – 10 each side
- Walking lunges – 1 lap (feel a stretch in the hip flexor, keeping the stomach strong!)
- T walks/Birdfeeders – 1 lap (no weights. Take 3 steps in between each 1 to bring you to the next leg)
- Curtsey Squats – 10 each side
- Step Ups – 10 each leg (Stay on the same leg for all 10, then switch. Bring opposite knee up to add a balance component.)
- Walking lunges with 15lbs dumbbells – 2 laps
- Lateral quick steps over the BOSU – 10 each side (start at the side, move sideways over the BOSU staying as low as you can. Be sure to bring each foot down to the ground before you change directions.
- Standing squats with 15lbs dumbbells – 20 reps
- Band side steps – 1 lap
- Plank Mountain Climbers (knee to opposite elbow) – 10 each side
- Knee to chest stretch
- Figure 4 stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Hip flexor stretch
- Foam roll calves, quads, IT band, hip flexors