Ultimate Guide On How To Train For Hiking
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Hiking isn’t just a stroll in your street. It is a sport that requires physical strength and stamina. The person should also be strong mentally. From trekking the K2 base camp to hiking to Everest Base Camp, you must put in the correct training beforehand. Here is an Ultimate Guide On How To Train For Hiking!
Also make sure you check out Best Hiking Trails Around The World, shared by various hikers.
Table of Contents
1. Schedule Your Training
Suppose you plan to hike a mountain, so it is better to get into the training eight weeks before the hiking. There should be two days of continuous strength exercise. Then, two days for nothing. Only rest. It can take more days if you want. There are three weekly cardio sessions until the last two weeks left for significant hiking.
When the two weeks are left before your trip: You should change your cardio sessions days to the long day hikes with 60+ minutes each. You will hike with the pack that’s close or equal to the weight you’ll be carrying on your trip. Also, add a fourth day-hike training session to one of your strength-training days. One or two days before your trip, no hard exercise. Ease up on all training.
If you are interested in another hiking activity, check out our article on Thru Hiking.
When you are training for hiking, keep this in mind: exercise keeps the body fit. If you are hurt, you can modify the exercise schedule. You can rest as much as you want. Exercise to your ability. Start from slow, then grow to hard.
Don’t burden your body by doing everything at a time and doing more than the limit. Always get warmed up before starting the exercise by brisking. A 5-10 minutes walk is necessary. Inhale as much as you can, especially at the initial times of training. Then exhale and keep your breath normal. You should rest after each exercise for around 30 to 45 seconds.
3. Exercises (Jump Squats)
Jump squats are always found in many exercise plans because they provide an excellent all-around workout for all of the muscles of the lower body and legs, which is also your body’s hiking engine. Adding a jump helps further develop power in the lower legs.
Method to do: Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and then squat down until your thighs are at the minimum parallel with the ground. Keep your chest up, your feet will be flat, and your knees will be over your toes. As you come up from the squat, push through heels and explode up and jump a few inches off the ground. Land softly and quietly and immediately go into another squat. Do the same exercise 15-20 times.
4. Hip Roll Exercise
Because of our daily routine, we spent the most time sitting. Weight rides on our hips. Hip roll exercise works the glutes and other muscles that support the hips to improve their firmness and tolerance.
Method to do: First, you have to stand on your left leg then lean your body forward at your hips. Keep your back straight and lift your right leg back behind you. Slightly off the ground. Roll your hip away from your standing foot. Keep your body in a straight plane when you roll your hips back. Repeat 10-15 times on each side.
5. Step Up Exercise
Hiking with weight on you involves an endless amount of stepping up and moving things. Step-up exercise builds strength and increases tolerance in your glutes and quad muscles so that you can handle whatever obstacles you’ll face along the trail. Also, this exercise will need a prop. But if it is unavailable then you can do it on the stairs. Method to do it: When you start, start with your left foot on the ground, and your right foot will be on top of the step. Your right knee will be bent.
Step up till you can stand with your right leg nearly straight and you are balanced on top of the stop. Your left leg should be bent slightly, and your left foot poised an inch or so above the step. Pause in a balanced position, then step down, returning your left leg and right foot to the starting position. Do this 15 times, then repeat the exercise 15 times on the other side.
6. Step Down Exercise
Another exercise helps in controlling the weight and also to make your heels stronger. This will also help you when you have to get down after you step on top of a rock or a branch of the tree. You will need to be able to lower your body and pack weight under control. It is grand to prevent knee injuries and stumbles.
This exercise works your glutes and quad muscles, so you have the strength and the balance between doing that smoothly and efficiently. You have to start by standing on top of a step. Try to balance your right foot with your left foot hovering to the side. Lift the toes on your left foot up, then bend your right knee as you slowly lower your left leg until your left heel is barely touching the ground or poised just above it.
Power back up with your right leg until you are back to the starting position. Do this 15 times, then repeat the exercise 15 times on the other side.
7. Cardiovascular Activities
When you have to build up your stamina, always make sure you get some cardio into your training plan. Running, swimming, or walking, will help you prepare for the long days in your hiking boots. Also, raise your heart rate by doing regular cardiovascular activities. A couple of times a week will improve your overall fitness and make your mountain hiking experience a lot more enjoyable and memorable.
There are some tips which hikers always remember when they consult their doctors before starting a new training program or signing up for a hiking trip. They start slowly because it’s straightforward to start by doing too much too soon, but it doesn’t give any benefit and only destroys your body.
Gradually increase your training intensity through time to avoid any serious or even minor injury. Also, get your friends and family involved in your plan and motivate each other by your side on the way and make your training a party.
Never forget that when you’re going on a training hike, make sure you wear the kit you’ll be using on your challenge, from your hiking boots and socks to your backpack and walking poles. It is a better idea to train on the locations where you decide to hike with variable terrain to get your body used to uneven surfaces and different gradients.
In case you need a checklist to go through before your hike, here is a list prepared on the essentials to bring.
[ Further reading: How to read a topographic map (to understand variable terrains) ]
Break in your old boots! Don’t buy new boots just before an adventure. Stepwise, wear them in by going on some shorter walks first. Make sure that you are kept hydrated and well fuelled during your training. Experiment with eating and drinking on the go. So, you know what foods work best and which to avoid.
Hiking is a very beautiful sport. Your training beforehand will make it more enjoyable, but carelessness can also risk your life.
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