Best Strength Training Program for Hikers and Backpackers!

Wish you could backpack tall mountains with comfort and ease? You can after using the Best Strength Training Program.

Tall Mountains
Tall Mountains, best strength training program

Thoughts drift to summer backpacking adventures and winter is winding down. Stopping to enjoy the view without panting or wheezing, imagine hiking up rough trails easily. Ready for action and muscles rejuvenated, picture yourself springing out of your sleeping bag each morning.

Backpacking Adventures
Backpacking Adventures, best strength training program

Ready to hike backpacker, the question is how do you make the transformation? By beginning a program that builds aerobic endurance and strong muscles.

Aerobic Endurance
Aerobic Endurance, best strength training program

Aerobic Conditioning

Get your doctor's approval before starting this routine, if you haven't exercised recently.

Backpacking and hiking is all about moving those legs and breathing. Aerobic activities, such as:

  • walking
  • running
  • step aerobics
  • cycling
  • swimming

are the foundation of your training program.

Maintaining a steady pace is what hiking is all about. That means training at sixty to seventy percent of your maximum heart rate. Start and end each excersize with a short warm up and cool down.

Hiking, best strength training program

Focusing on walking, this aerobic conditioning program includes:

  • forty minute fast walk twice a week
  • thirty minute fast walk twice a week

Fast Walk
Fast Walk, best strength training program

Take one low intensity, long hike in hilly areas or on trails, six weeks before your first backpack trip. Gain no more than half the elevation and walk no more than half the distance that you expect to hike on your trip. With little risk of injury, this approach builds strength.

Long Hike
Long Hike, best strength training program

Begin walking for fifteen or twenty minutes three times per week, adding a minute to each cross training activity or walk until you reach thirty minutes, if you don't feel you're ready for this much activity. Give yourself four to six weeks to reach thirty minutes, then go back to the above program.

Best Strength Training Program

Use a curb and household weights to strengthen your pack carrying, hill climbing muscles, in your backyard. Which muscles are we talking about? A certified athletic trainer in Bellevue, Washington, Mark Pierce says, our butt! More specifically, he is referring to all the buttocks supporting muscles:

  • hips
  • thighs
  • calves
  • abdominal muscles and hamstrings.

Also strengthen chest and shoulder muscles.

Beginning six to eight weeks before your trip, the Best Strength Training Program exercises will get those muscles in gear, so add them to your routine three times per week. Decreasing weight and reps for each following set, do two to three sets, using the heaviest weights and performing the most repetitions in the first set.

Lunges with Bicep Curls

1) With your arms hanging at your sides while holding a weight in each hand, stand with your feet apart and in line with your hips.

Weight, best strength training program

2) Letting your knee bend when the foot lands, step forward with one foot. When you land, make sure that your bent knee remains over your foot. Flex the opposite arm so that your palm lifts toward your shoulder at the same time. Push back to a standing position by stepping back as you lower your hand and straightening your knee. Repeat on the other side.

What to Do When You Have No Weights

Try the homemade variety, for strength workouts requiring weights:

  • cans of food
  • plastic bottles with sand or water

Plastic Bottles With Sand Or Water
Plastic Bottles With Sand Or Water, best strength training program


Squats, best strength training program

In line with your hips, stand with your feet apart. Lower your butt by bending your knees. Keep your abs tight and back straight. While keeping your heels on the floor and your torso upright, squat as low as you can. Return to standing up position. To help you maintain a straight posture, hold a ball behind your head.

Assisted Dips

1) With their backs toward you, stand between two chairs. Balance on your toes, by putting your hands on the backs of the chairs, and move your feet behind you and bend your knees.

2) By using your arm and chest muscles, lower your weight between the chairs. Put more weight on your toes, if your arms feel stressed. Keep your back upright. Return to a standing up position, by pushing up with your arms and chest.

Step Ups

Step Ups
Step Ups, best strength training program

Stand facing a curb. With your right foot, step up onto it. Place your left foot on the step next. Step down to the starting position. Then switch to the left foot after you complete the set's repetitions with the right foot.

Start with two Best Strength Training Program sessions per week, and use no or lighter weights, if this seems to be too much for you. For less weight add a few more repetitions. Do squats with trekking poles, or a chair or bench in front of you, for safety. Choose a low curb, for step ups. Rest more of your body weight on your toes, for assisted dips.

You should be ready for the trails, after the Best Strength Training Program! Have fun!

Ready For The Trails!
Ready For The Trails, best strength training program

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