Workouts to Improve Fitness for Hiking

Workouts to Improve Fitness for Hiking

Workouts to Improve Fitness for Hiking

These three workouts are all programmed to enhance specific aspects of your physical and mental fitness in order to improve your general physical preparedness for hiking, adventures in the wild and life out on the mountains.

Each workout contains options to “scale” the workout. This means to make it accessible to everyone that wants to try and improve fitness for hiking.

Feel free to adapt each workout to suit your own fitness levels and the practicality of what kinds of equipment you have available.

Workouts to Improve Fitness for Hiking Adventuring

Workout 1 – “Fell Fury” 

This workout is designed to test and improve your leg strength and endurance whilst in a fatigued state. Because of this will also improve your cardiovascular health because you will operate intensely over a 15-minute time duration.

Your legs will be required to work in several ways, whilst supporting loads, when your heart rate is high and your breathing heavy. This will also help you improve your mental toughness, another important skill for hiking.

15-minute AMRAP 

  • 20 Box Step Ups
  • 20m Farmer Carry
  • 20 Burpees
  • 20m Walking Lunges

Use a 24-inch box for men and a 20-inch box for women for the Box Step Ups

AMRAP means “as many reps as possible”. Start the timer then begin by completing 20 Box Step Ups. Move onto the Farmer Carry and complete the 20m then onto the Burpees, then Walking Lunges. Then go straight back to the beginning and start again. Perform this pattern until the 15 minutes has been completed. Rest as needed during the workout.

Your score is the total number of reps in 15 minutes.

Scaling Options:

You can add difficulty to this workout by holding dumbbells or kettlebells during the Box Step Ups and Walking Lunges.

To scale it down and make it easier, perform everything (apart from the Farmer Carry) with no extra equipment. You may also swap burpees for Air Squats.

Farmer Carry

With this exercise, hold any kind of weight in either hand with your arms straight down by your sides. Dumbbells and kettlebells work well but you can use anything that you have to hand, rucksacks full of clothes, full water bottles, Rocks etc. Be creative.

 

Workouts to Improve Fitness for Hiking Adventuring

Workout – 2 Leg Strength Building Workout

Complete the following:

  • Back Squat: 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift: 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Bulgarian Split Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Front Rack Lunges: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Cossack Squats: 3 sets of 12 reps

Rest 45 seconds between each set.

Rest 60 seconds after completing each exercise before moving onto the next one.

Choose weights that are challenging for you. The last few reps in every set should feel difficult.

Workout 3 – “Climb and Descend”

This workout emulates a rising then falling crescendo of physical work, great training for climbing peaks and fells. The exercises will improve your core, back, grip, glute and leg strength.

For time:

  • 10 Kettlebell Swings
  • 10 V Ups
  • 10 Box Step Ups
  • 10 Goblet Squats
  • 20 Kettlebell Swings
  • 20 V Ups
  • 20 Box Step Ups
  • 20 Goblet Squats
  • 30 Kettlebell Swings
  • 30 V Ups
  • 30 Box Step Ups
  • 30 Goblet Squats
  • 20 Kettlebell Swings
  • 20 V Ups
  • 20 Box Step Ups
  • 20 Goblet Squats
  • 10 Kettlebell Swings
  • 10 V Ups
  • 10 Box Step Ups
  • 10 Goblet Squats

Choose a kettlebell to use for both the Swings and the Goblet Squats.

Your score is how long it takes you to complete every single repetition of all the exercises listed above in order.

Scaling the Workout

V Ups are an excellent core exercise but are difficult, so feel free to swap them for sit ups.

 

Workouts to Improve Fitness for Hiking Adventuring

Movement Standards and Technique for Exercises

Box Step Ups

The Box Step-Up is both a scale for Box Jumps as well as a standalone unilateral movement designed to strengthen the lower body one leg at a time. Unilateral movements are important because they both diagnose and rehabilitate muscle imbalances. And since significant imbalances predispose athletes to injury, movements like Box Step-Ups are important to train.

Set-Up: Start with your feet hip-width apart. Stand close to the box—about a foot away. Set eyes on the landing spot—dead-centre on the box.

Execution: Step up on top of the box. Reach full knee extension before bringing the other foot up on the box. Once knee extension of the working leg has been reached, bring the other foot on top of the box. Stand tall at the top. Reach full hip/knee extension. Step down to begin the next repetition. Alternate legs on the up and down to keep the body balanced.

Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:

  • Reach full hip/knee extension at the top
  • Use the prescribed height (It’s common for men to step up to a 24-inch box height, and women to step up to a 20-inch box height)

Pro-Tip: To achieve significant muscular fatigue (and build really strong legs) hold Dumbbells either at your sides or in the front rack position during the Box Step-Up.

Workouts to Improve Fitness for Hiking Adventuring

Burpees

Why: Burpees build bodyweight strength, metabolic conditioning, and mental toughness. You don’t need any equipment, and hardly any space. Burpees are an ideal movement to add to your training: they crush the souls of the beginner, intermediate, and advanced athletes alike. 

Set-Up: Stand in an athletic position with your core braced.

Execution: Place your hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Jump out to a push-up position. Lower your chest and thighs to the ground. Jump your feet up to your hands. Jump vertically with full hip/knee extension. Extend your arms and touch your hands overhead during the jump.

Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:

  • Your chest and thighs make contact with the ground
  • You reach full hip/knee extension at the top of the vertical jump
  • Both feet leave the ground during the vertical jump

Pro-Tip: Need a break during burpees? Rest while you stand. Burpee efficiency comes from the bounce off the ground. When you rest on the ground, you lose the bounce. You can also take better recovery breaths in a standing position.

Walking Lunges

Lunges are a unilateral (single-leg) movement. Unilateral exercises are important because they both diagnose (you’ll quickly notice if one side is stronger than the other) and rehabilitate muscle imbalances. And since reducing imbalances can reduce the risk of injury, you’ll want to include unilateral movements into your training to stay healthy and strong.

Set-Up: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Brace your core.

Execution: Step one leg forward. Keep the heel of your forward leg down. Lower your torso until your back knee touches the ground. Keep the shin of your forward leg vertical. Step one foot to meet the other. Complete the movement at full hip and knee extension. Your opposite leg begins the next lunge.

Points of Performance: To get a “good rep,” ensure the following:

  • You start and finish the movement with full hip/knee extension
  • Your trailing knee makes contact with the ground at the bottom of each lunge
  • For walking lunges: you travel the required distance

Pro-Tip: Put on your knee sleeves prior to 3…2…1…GO! The extra padding helps make contact with the floor safer and more tolerable.

Have fun and enjoy the workouts.

Article written by – Hafthor Sigmundsson from Outdoor Fitness Society.

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