Hiking Exercises


Hike farther, faster, and pain free with these training tips and exercises. These tips will help you build lung power, prevent shin splints, banish blisters, treat muscle cramps, and put an end to ankle rolls.


Iron out your core. By fortifying your abs, hips, and back, you can carry heavy loads easily. Lie on your belly. Come up onto your toes and elbows. Hold this ‘plank’ pose for 5 breaths and lower down. Do 8 to 12 reps, three sets.


Sculpt 3D Legs. Train in multiple planes with “around the clock” lunges, so you can handle uneven terrain.

Lunge forward with your right foot into the 12 o’clock position. Then lunge to 1:00 (your torso and left leg still face noon). Travel around the face until 6:00 (a backward lunge). Switch to your left foot, and go clockwise from 6 to noon. Do 4 sets, weighted pack optional.


Beef up your lower back. To prevent aches in your lumbar region, tone the muscles with the Superman.

Lie on your belly, then lift your legs, chest, and arms off the ground. Hold this arched, crescent position for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.


Cure outer-knee pain. This common affliction often results from a tight, irritated iliotibial (IT) band, which runs along the thigh. After warming up, slide the right leg behind the left; bend left at the waist. Hold for 20 seconds three times on each side. Also, build the glutes to promote proper hip alignment (try one-legged squats).


Get explosive strength. Nothing beats squats. With (or without) weighted pack, stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Lower until thighs are parallel with floor; keep your spine straight. Do three sets of 6 to 12 reps.

Variation from the squat, jump as high as possible; bend your legs as you land.