Tips on Training for a Hike

Irony of all ironies, I had planned on writing a post about hiking for today (I’ve been getting requests) and what did Steve do yesterday?!? A hiking post… unbelievable! Maybe this week will be SAPT's unofficial training for a hike week or something. So, I'm sticking with my post for today and felt is was appropriate to post a picture of one of the hikes I went on last week - this one is in Red Rock State Park. Tips on Training for a Hike

  1. Single Leg Strength Work is Essential! A large percentage of training should be dedicated to Step-up and Step-down variations. This is pretty much what a hike is after all. The step-up will help you get up to the peak, but what about when you’re on your return trip and your legs are fried? That’s when the step-downs will become crucial. Having exceptional eccentric strength in a fatigued state will not only allow you to return safely, but more quickly, too! I’m afraid I may sound like I’m hopping on Mike Boyle’s anti-bilateral movement crusade with this, but I think ditching the squats and deads may be a great move for a focused time leading up to an important hike.
  2. Bracing Variations. As Steve pointed out in his post yesterday, hikers will usually be loaded up with all kinds of gear (think added weight) and they need to be able to easily brace and stabilize to carry the loads without undue fatigue. How can you train this in the gym? Give BB Squat Hold Variations, Mis-Loaded BB Hold Variations, Plank Hold Variations, and Band Swing Hold Variations a try.  Notice the theme word for these exercises is “hold” a.k.a. isometric – a hiker needs to have an extremely strong “core” (gasp, I can’t believe I just used that word) to ensure the muscle groups that should be doing the bracing do their jobs.
  3. Mobility Work. This will be critical for the entire body. Especially considering that hikers often stay in a fairly upright position, so when they need to call on some extreme hip mobility to traverse certain terrain you want that mobility to be present. Otherwise, injuries will pop up.
  4. Lastly, if I seriously wanted to show my hiking prowess off, I would implement Steve’s HICT training. Add this in twice a week plus a long hike on the weekend.

***I'm going to get some videos up this evening, so please check back if you want to see some of the variations I mentioned!

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