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8 Tips & Exercises for Summer Hikers!

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The best workouts for hikers include cardio and various strength training exercises. 8 Tips & Exercises for Summer Hikers! www.runnerclick.com

Before heading outside to stroll trails, climb mountains and jump over creeks, it is important to get the body as ready as the mind.

What do we mean by that?

You could do some exercises to get ready for spring and summer hiking after spending a long, cold winter exercising in other ways. 

Even if the athlete is an avid hiker, we can lose our fitness over time—especially when taking a season off from hiking.

Those new to hiking might want to 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 before hiking.

Should You Day Hike in the Summer?

Hiking is an excellent form of cross-training.

As you know, giving your body a break from pounding the pavement is always a good decision.

Sure, for many of us, running is our happy place. But running day after day can prove taxing on the body.

Mixing things up benefits your body in many ways, and hiking is a good way to mix it up. 

Benefits of Summer Hiking

There are many benefits of hiking, whether you are talking about summer hikes or some other time of year. Hiking can increase your stamina and endurance, which translates into stronger running. You get aerobic exercise, but it looks a bit different than running.

Another real positive of hiking is the scenery can be absolutely beautiful. Especially for those of us who do most of our running on roads and other hard surfaces, hiking can include softer surfaces such as dirt.

If you are going up and down hills and rougher terrain, hiking is a good way to build strength. You will use different muscles in hiking than you do in running or other types of aerobic activity.

Hiking is an exceptional way to improve your balance, which is something really needed (and often neglected) by runners.

How Hot is Too Hot for Hiking?

Since hot-weather hiking can be a strenuous exercise, you want to be careful on summer heat days. This is one reason why many people like to go on their hikes early in the day. As with any summer activity, you need to be smart as the temperatures rise. 

When temperatures rise up into the 90s, be extra careful.

There are many excellent products to help make your hike more comfortable during warm weather.

  • Wear light, quick-drying clothes and a brimmed hat.
  • Ensure you have good hiking boots/trail running shoes that won’t cause blisters or toe chafing.
  • You can keep yourself hydrated by using sports water bottles, a hydration vest or a backpack.
  • Also, make sure to use sun protection to protect yourself from UV rays, heat strokes and sunburns.

6 Exercises to Get Your Body Ready for Summer Hiking!

To get yourself conditioned to be ready for hiking, there are many things you can do. 

1. Cardiovascular exercise has a laundry list of health benefits. But for hikers, it means having the stamina and endurance to power through a climb or go the long distance before reaching camp.

Running, cycling and swimming are all great cardio exercises.

2. Take things up a notch and 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 the next move) to scorch calories and strengthen muscles.

3. Lunges are one of the best leg exercises to do. Lunges tone the muscles, especially the glutes. Lunges also improve hip flexibility, strengthen the core and enhance your balance.

Source: twohundredlunges.comlunges


4. Squats are another amazing exercise for the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Once you get good at bodyweight squats, you can use 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.

Source: bbamall.com

5. Step-Ups are a great exercise that you can do to get ready for hiking. Using a plyo box that is knee height, step up with the right leg with a 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.

step ups
Source: CrossFit, Youtube

6. The burpee combines a push-up with a squat to get that heart rate up. Start on the floor, crouching down, and place your arms out in a 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. They are the exercise we all love to hate. 

CrossFit Youtube

7. If you are invested in getting ready for hiking in summer, don’t forget the importance of strength training and stretching.

If you are doing a good job of diversifying your workouts, you likely already do these things. 

8 Final Hiking Tips for Summer Hikers!

Although you might be tempted to head out the door and go for a hike, you need to do a few things to prepare to do it right. 

  1. Have a plan. Getting lost could end very badly. Don’t leave your route to chance.
  2. Pack enough water and electrolytes.
  3. Bring fuel. Your snacks should be healthy and easy to carry. 
  4. Pack a light jacket.
  5. Dress for hiking. This includes comfortable shoes that will protect your feet and ankles. Dress in wicking clothes/long-sleeve layers. 
  6. Use waterproof sunscreen and insect repellent. 
  7. You should have emergency items, including a compass, pocketknife, flashlight or headlamp, whistle, and a first aid kit
  8. Tell someone where you are going. 

Hiking is a wonderful way to get yourself outside, enjoying the great outdoors while getting some cross-training. Just know that you should spend a little time getting yourself prepared.

This is best to avoid injury and enjoy yourself to the fullest. 


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

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