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Exercises To Do To Get Ready For Summer Hikes

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The best workouts for hikers include cardio and various strength training exercises. Exercises To Do To Get Ready For Summer Hikes www.runnerclick.com

Nature is calling. The weather is warm and the birds are chirping. After spending lots of time working out at home and at the gym, we can’t wait to explore the great outdoors. But before we start strolling along the trails and climbing up those mountain inclines, we need to make sure our bodies as ready as our minds and spirit for the activity. This means doing a few exercises to get ready for those summer hikes after the long winter.

Even if the athlete is an avid hiker, we can lose our fitness over time—especially when taking a season off from hiking. Those who are new to the world of hiking might want to first incorporate some exercises that benefit hikers to build up muscle strength and endurance. It can also prevent injury since less strain is on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments if some beneficial exercises are worked in prior to hiking.

It might be silly to think that we need to train to go for a hike. A person really doesn’t have to, but expect to feel sore the next day depending on the trail and distance. This is why it’s best to work in cardio, strength training, and even balance exercises into a routine to feel fit during the hike.

Photo by Jan-Niclas Aberle on Unsplash

Exercises For Hikers


Cardiovascular exercise has a laundry list of health benefits. But for hikers, it means having the stamina and endurance to be able to power through a climb or go the long distance before reaching camp. Running, cycling and swimming are all great cardio exercises.

But take things up a notch and really get in shape for hiking this summer by doing full body workouts. Try Tabata rounds of the following exercises (30- to 60-sections of the exercise followed by a minute of rest before moving to next move) to scorch calories and strengthen muscles.


Lunges are one of the best leg exercises to do. It tones the muscles, especially the glutes, improves hip flexibility, strength the core and enhances balance. Walking lunges are a great option if in open space like outdoors or in a gym, or stand in place. Make these harder by doing downhill lunges. This works out the things and quads, while further working on those core muscles.

Photo by Gesina Kunkel on Unsplash

Goblet Squats

Squats are another amazing exercise for the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Maximize the benefits by doing this variation of the move. Goblet squats require a dumbbell or kettlebell. Holding it near the chest with feet at hip width, drop down until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure your knees are over the toes and push back to stand up. Increase difficulty by adding weight each week.


Using a plyo box that is knee height, step up with the right leg with bended knee. Lift the left leg to follow, focusing on extending the hip flexors. Then lower the left leg to step back down, then the right leg. Switch the leading leg to now do the left. Add dumbbells in each hand with arms remaining at the sides to increase difficulty. This increases stamina and works out the hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

Assisted Pistols

This is another variation of a squat, one that requires lots of core strength and balance. Hikers will feel the burn in their quads and glutes for sure. Standing tall, pretend you are about to sit down in a chair. However, as you go low, stand on just one leg raising the other one. Push your butt back while lowering and keep your back straight. Meanwhile, the other leg comes out straight in front, hovering over the ground. Slowing stand back up. Repeat on the other side.


This move combines a push up with a squat, while really getting that heart rate up. Start on the floor, crouching down and place arms out in push-up position. Complete a push-up and bring the feet under, jumping up and then coming down in a squat. Burpees can be hard but are a full body workout that increases endurance, strength and anaerobic capacity. Start with a few and work up to as many as you can do each workout.

Strength Training

Strength training is great for hikers because it helps improve overall fitness. Strengthing and toning muscles, these types of exercises can be done at home or at the gym.

These include bridges to strengthen the glutes, hips, lower back and core, and mountain climbers to work out that core and arms.

Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

Kettlebell swings are great for the core and back, but kettlebell deadlifts are even better for hikers. With feet hip-width apart, hold the kettlebell with both hands in between the thighs and have a slight bend, sticking the butt out. With a straight back, squat so that the kettlebell reaches the ground. To come up, straight the knees ten Bring hips back to starting position.


It’s important to stretch before and after a workout, but hikers should also stretch before they hit the trails too. Instead of static stretches where the hiker holds a pose for a few seconds, opt for a dynamic warm-up with runners do. Think jumping jacks, butt kicks, high knees, and toy soldiers to get the muscles warmed up and start to go.


  1. Rei, Training for Hiking, Outdoors Website
  3. Brain Willett , Burpees Benefits, Health Website

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