Are you planning to go on a hike? You should know, hiking requires a lot of mental and physical endurance. If you aren’t fit enough, those countless hours striding and sometimes climbing will seem impossible.
So, the best way to ensure you have a good time and a successful hike is to improve your mental and physical strength.
So, how can you do that? Well, the answer is pretty straightforward, exercise! Training your body not only enhances your physical prowess but also makes you mentally robust and more confident.
Now, the bigger question! Which exercise helps prepare for uphill hiking? You will find the answer right over here. By the end of this article, we are confident you will know every workout that will make hiking easier for you.
Shall we get started?
Why Is Exercising Beneficial for Hiking?
Apart from getting rid of a dadbod or looking all ripped for the summer, exercising has tons of perks. You can train your body to be more powerful and flexible. So, yeah, if you have been curling some dumbbells and squatting weights, it will finally pay off.
Even if you have not been lifting weights, some simple workouts could help improve your physical capabilities. Now, that statement disproves the hoax that you need powerlifting to enhance your physical abilities. Anyways, the exercises that you need to perform will be stated later on in the next section.
In addition to strength, a workout will significantly increase your stamina and endurance. You need the vigor to do rigorous physical activities.
So, in the case of hiking, having superior endurance can be the key factor. Also, it strengthens your endurance, which is necessary to withstand the pressure.
Plus, working out has another benefit. If we exempt the muscle improvement and endurance part, training further helps with your mental integrity. If you feel stronger, then you should be feeling more confident. And hiking is something where mental strength can determine several things.
Now that we have covered all the pros of training, let us see the workouts that will help us during a hike.
Exercises That Help Hiking!
Do you want to know what exercise will assist your hikes? Well, this is the section that you were looking for all this time.
Here you will find numerous workouts, routines, and everything that will support you to prepare for a hike even if you are a fat person.
Without further ado, let us get started!
If you want to have an enjoyable experience while hiking, you need to have top-notch strength. You should know that you need to walk upwards during uphill hiking, and there are times when you need to climb.
Without active and strong muscles, that might be a pretty strenuous chore. Thus, start doing some strength training.
Here are the workouts that should help you train the respective muscles for hiking.
Ask anyone who works out about leg day!
Their answer: it is hell.
And it is true! Of all the muscles in your body, the legs arguably do almost everything. Your legs are doing pretty much everything starting from standing and walking. Therefore, you need to train your legs. And one of the best workouts for training legs is squats.
Now, you can either choose to do squats with weights or without. However, if you are planning to improve the overall strength of your legs, then adding weights might be a wiser decision.
The following steps will tell you all the essential steps to do the workout.
Step 1: Choosing the Method
If you are planning to perform squats without weights, you might not need to worry about this. On the other hand, if you belong to the other portion of the group, you have to decide whether you will squat with dumbbells or barbells.
You have to pick only a single one with dumbbells, like a 20 (20 kilograms). Now, if you are planning to do it with barbells, then move to the squat station.
It should have an Olympic bar or any variant of a barbell. All you need to do is attach the weight onto the barbell, and you are ready to go.
Step 2: Squatting
It is similar to getting up and down from a sitting position. These are the steps that you have to follow.
It is not much you have to do.
- Pick up the dumbbell that you are comfortable with.
- Hold the dumbbell underneath your chin with both of your hands on the round side of the dumbbell. In short, the dumbbell will be vertical, where the handle will be facing towards you.
- Your elbow should be tucked, and your hand must be in a neutral stance. Once you have the perfect stance, it is time that you start the squat.
- Slowly drop while ensuring your back is perfectly straight.
- Keep lowering your body until your butt is parallel or almost parallel to the ground.
- After that, rise with the strength of your legs. Even here, you have to make sure that your back is straight.
If you are planning to do the proper squat, it could get a little tricky.
- Move to the squatting station (every gym has one).
- The barbell is conventionally locked on a rack or the smith machine.
- You must slide in a comfortable number of weights on both sides. By the way, if you place two pairs of 10, you will be squatting 20 kilos plus the bar’s weight. So, keep that in mind.
- After that, go underneath the bar and place your shoulder/traps under the bars. Once you have a comfortable placement, start squatting. It is similar to dumbbell squats.
Doing a squat will build your quads, back, and butt. These are the main muscles that help with walking up on an uneven surface. Also, while you are doing a squat, your core is activated, which will develop its strength.
When you are doing a squat, controlling your breath is crucial. Imagine you are in the water, where half of your body is above it.
Whenever you are dropping, make sure that you take a long breath before you descend, hold it throughout the process, and exhale when you are almost back to your standing spot.
If half of your body is submerged in water and you are slowly diving in, you will take a deep breath, hold it underwater, and as you arise, you shall breathe out. During a squat, you have to do something similar.
Your legs contain numerous essential muscles. So, aside from the quads, you have to focus on a few other muscle groups if you want to have a fun experience while hiking. One of them is your hamstrings. These are responsible for providing strength and help with your overall balance.
If you are a professional, the lunge is considered one of the most effective methods of building hamstring strength. It is surpassed only by the deadlift (Romanian deadlift), which is not very easy to perform. Hence, if you use lunges, you should be able to build stronger hamstrings in no time.
Like the squats, you can choose to do this exercise using barbells or dumbbells. Allow us to provide you all the necessary info. By the way, you can do this without weights, but you will have to increase the intensity if you want to see results.
Unlike squats, in this, you have to pick a pair. For example, you can choose to pick a pair of 20s (20-kilo dumbbells).
- Choose two same weighted dumbbells.
- Let the weights hang by your side.
- After that, take a long stride and make sure that you are lowering your body when you are walking. Your knee should come as close to the floor. In short, the front foot and back foot should make a rectangle. Not a square, though!
What you are going to do with the barbells is:
- Take a barbell. If your gym comes with fixed barbells, then you do not have to go through the hassle of putting weight plates on them.
- Anyways, once you have chosen a weight that is comfortable for you, place the bar on your shoulder.
- After you have placed it properly, you have to follow step-3 with dumbbells.
Lunges will activate your core, glutes, and hamstring muscles. These are ideal for a strong leg, which will enable you to use the item for doing all the heavy-duty activities that take place during a hike.
Also, it improves your overall balance, which is an essential factor whenever you are hiking.
Whenever you are performing the lunges, we suggest that you start slow. You see, the hamstrings are strong, but they are also one of the most undertrained body parts. Therefore, if you feel uncomfortable or have any type of pain, stop immediately.
Furthermore, your lower back will be engaged during the workout, so do not be worried if you feel soreness there.
If you are looking for an easier way to work on your legs, this might be best for you. Moreover, to perform this exercise, all you need is an elevated platform.
Allow us to explain the process of this exercise.
Step 1: Placing the Tool
Well, in this case, you do not need a tool. Any elevated platform will do the trick.
Step 2: Doing Step-Ups
Now that you have the set-up, it is time to do the step-up. The name of the workout should be pretty self-explanatory. What you have to do is place your legs on the platform at a fast pace. It is not a very troublesome task.
However, it does need a lot of endurance as it is a very heavy-duty task.
Unlike the hefty workouts stated previously, this is very easy to do.
#4. Some Other Workouts
The workouts we have previously mentioned are perfect for building the muscles that will help whenever you are hiking with large backpacks. However, there are few more exercises that you can do to ensure that best experience whenever you are working out.
- Calf raises
If you blindly keep doing your workouts, then there is a strong chance that you will not see good results. Ergo, you need to make sure that you are doing everything in a routine and make sure that you are doing the necessary reps and sets.
We have provided a list of reps and sets.
Cardio is an essential activity for improving your stamina and balance. Now, if you thought that running would do the task, then you are highly mistaken. Yes, running will indeed help to build superior stamina, endurance, and several other things. Nonetheless, it is not enough.
Now, there is no specific workout that you have to perform. You can do any type of cardio. To make things easier for you, go to YouTube, and search cardio workouts. Select the workout routine that you think is the best for you and commit to the training.
Preparing your body for a hike is one of the most necessary factors. Hiking can be very stressful and dangerous.
So, if you are not ready, then it might not be a very smart thing to do. And one of the riskiest forms of hiking is uphill. Hence, knowing which exercise helps prepare for uphill hiking is a must.
Lucky for you, you will find all of them here. All you have to do is go through these exercises and follow the routine. And, if you do that, then you will be ready for a hike within no time!