UPHILL hiking is indeed diverse comparing to countryside trails. Although the views are always spectacular, the physical challenge often threatens my confidence to get going.
At first, I did not know that I need to prepare. My legs were shaking, I’ve had short breaths and felt I was about to puke. If my supportive fellow backpackers weren’t there to encourage me, I could have quit halfway.
For stronger legs and hiking stamina, we need to prepare ourselves before hitting the uphill trail. Now, my mind is already set to go. What’s left to do is to condition myself physically to survive.
But, which exercise helps prepare for UPHILL hiking?
Exercise programs should be suitable to the nature of hiking you like to try. So, it is significant to know where your hiking trails are first.
Why is it essential to exercise before uphill hiking?
I don’t worry much about really conditioning myself if the hiking route is flat terrains. That means it doesn’t require much effort compared to the steep slopes of uphill places.
Going UPHILL indicates a new challenge for me. But since I’m not yet used to it, I am not substantially suitable for the activity. On top of the right hiking boots and other gears, Pre-hiking exercises in essential because of the following reasons:
Ever since I got used to preparing myself before hiking, I’ve been able to grab the chance of joining more tough but fulfilling escapades.
Here is a combination of pre-hiking exercise ideas to elevate your endurance. I’m sure these would be a great help. Check what’s right for you!
Do Your Stretches
Why is stretches important? Stretching makes your body flexible. Hence, it will prevent injuries during a vigorous exercise routine.
This advantage will also be real when it comes to UPHILL hiking. This activity makes use of muscles, ligaments, and joints.
Nevertheless, you must remember that a bit of warm-up is required beforehand. A few minutes of jogging will do. Don’t overstretch. Know your stretch limit. If there are aching and discomfort during the process, stop!
Feel those big muscles that cover the front and sides of your thighs? You call it quadriceps. When I stand on my right foot and pull the left one behind my back, I am already stretching my quads.
I find support by leaning on a bench to keep my balance. I can do this for less than a minute alternating both legs.
The powerful muscle that you have at the back of our thigh stretches by sitting flat on the ground with both of your legs right in front. Try to bend one knee in sideward position and place the foot inward to the thigh.
Then, reach out for the other foot using both hands until you can touch it. Do this for at least 20-25 seconds. Do the same with your other leg.
Now let’s stretch our calves. The calf muscle is at the back of our lower leg. Place one foot in front and one behind.
Bend the knee of the leg in front, keeping your back straight. Try to transfer all of your weight onto the leg behind. Feel the stretch.
Do this for 20-25 seconds for both legs.
Back and Abs Stretch
It is important to stretch our back and tummy muscles too. It’s common to strain the back when hiking. It's the same when you are carrying backpacks.
First, you need to lie on your front, place your legs together on the floor. Place both your hands in front touching the floor. Bear your weight by pushing up and arch your back.
Do this in 20-25 seconds.
Glutes muscles are around your hips and your buttocks. Lie flat on your back, with your legs on the ground. Grab one leg and pull it up by bending it close to your heart. Do this for half a minute.
In this position, pull the same leg over to the other one and hold again for another half a minute. Do the same with the other leg. You can do this sequence, with both your legs together too!
I want to build enough strength for UPHILL hiking; I got ready by choosing a combination of these regimen. All you need is time and effort. You can do this anywhere, and it does not require the gym.
Begin by standing straight before bending the knees. When your thighs are already parallel with the floor, hold on the position for 15 seconds before moving back to the standing position.
You can do this also by alternating both legs. Squats will prepare you with carrying your backpack during hiking.
Easily done, it’s just climbing the stairs up and down. You can do these as much as you can. Imagine climbing the hill?
I do this when I watch a movie or when sitting on a bench. Simply sit down with the back straight. Raise a leg and hold for a few seconds before lowering it. Do the same to the other one.
Raise one leg while you lie on your side and hold it for 20 seconds. Do the same with the other leg.
Lastly, let’s work on our cardio. The best exercise for this is biking, jogging or running. If you love the waters, swimming is a good alternative too.
We need exercises before an UPHILL hike. However, bringing accessories can help too. Try hiking poles and knee braces for additional support.
Performing these exercises don’t need to be in a gym. There are plenty of creative ways on how to do this. It could be home or anywhere you like. You can insert these exercises into your usual daily routine.
For example, apply the steps by choosing the stairs instead of the elevators and leg raising can be executed before you get up in the morning. Even a walk in the park is already an exercise.
It is advisable though that you must not overdo any exercise. Go only to what your body can sustain. Establish a routine is making these suggestions to build stamina. Hiking is not challenging once you are ready.
Do you already know which exercise helps prepare for UPHILL hiking? Make sure that you are physically healthy to enjoy the fun.
Now, let’s go!