Planning your next hiking trip? These exercises will help you conquer tricky trails more effortlessly.
If you’re struggling on hikes, training for a trip, or simply want to hike more (especially with the new 36km trail that allows you to walk from Jurong Lake Gardens all the way to Coney Island Park), do these hiking exercises to prevent muscle aches and shortness of breath.
(Also read: The Most Scenic Hiking Trails in Singapore)
Hiking is similar to climbing stairs, but with the added resistance from uneven terrain and varied steepness. Your quads often feel the burn when you are hiking because of the constant upward movements. Using the stairwell or stair master machine will familiarise your leg muscles with the movements, and train the necessary muscles that will help you conquer your next hike with more ease.
Walking uphill engages your calves a lot more than walking on flat ground. This could be why some people feel aches or get cramps in their calves when they go on hikes. Doing seemingly simple calf raises will help to strengthen your calves. Remember to stretch afterwards to avoid muscle tightness.
(Also read: 5 Best Hiking Shoes For Women)
Walking or running on an incline
To practise going up steeper hills, simply increase the incline of your regular cardio activity. It will activate your thighs and calves in a similar way as stair climbing. Of course, doing both uphill running and stair climbing will be even more effective.
On top of being a full lower body workout, squats also help to keep your knee and ankle joints strong and healthy. Just remember to use proper form by keeping your back straight and knees behind your toes. Use your heels to support most of your weight. If you are using additional weights, don’t go too heavy until your form is compromised.
(Also read: 5 Hiking Tips Every Beginner Should Know About)