Exercises to Increase Your Stamina for Your Next Hike
As relaxing and enjoyable hiking is, it can also be very challenging because of the rocky terrain and uphill elevation. There are ways you can train at home that will increase your endurance so that the next difficult hike you plan is a breeze so you can focus on the views more than the pain.
This machine is amazing in my opinion, two minutes on it gets your heart rate going already. It translates well to hiking because it mimics it almost entirely, going upstairs on hikes is normal, so this machine working your quads and calves while also increasing your cardiovascular strength is a great tool for training. I like to either start with a warmup of 15 minutes before my workout or finish off a workout with a five-minute burnout on this machine.
Weighted leg exercises
Like I mentioned above, going upstairs is typical, uphill walking is also expected, doing this requires good leg strength so the two kinds of exercises below can help build up that muscle so it gets used to being used.
Goblet squats (4 sets of 12 or more)
Walking Lunges (4 sets of 12 or more)
Running and walking on an incline
This is synonymous to hiking, obviously there is the incline, plus the endurance factor. Running on the incline is a great way to get your heart rate up and train your calves for high elevation hikes, walking on an incline on a treadmill is also handy. I like to do sprints on incline 10 for 15 seconds, or the usual 12% incline, 3 mph, for 30 minutes workout.
Like with any kind of sport, the core is very important, it supports your back and helps keep your balance, especially if you are going backpacking. I like to add a 10-20 minute ab routine at the end of every workout, it's a great way to cool down and feel the burn.
1 minute for each exercise:
Elevated leg crunches
Bosu ball plank hold/ alternating with slow mountain climbers on Bosu (twice through)
Those are a few I like to repeatedly use.
These can be incorporated into a high-intensity interval workout, these require power and quad strength, two great things when it comes to hiking.
Last but definitely not least is stretching, this is key to any kind of workout, the muscles need to be stretched to decrease the risk of injury and when you are hiking in the middle of nowhere, injury is the last thing you want happening. At least five minutes a day and more after exercising. I like doing forward folds, lunges, pigeons, and hip stretches.
The exercises I mentioned are just a few that came to mind, but any kind of exercise can help prepare you for a challenging hike, remembering to include cardio and leg strength especially you can build your own workouts around some of these exercises.