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Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe
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Fit for hiking

Updated on 15.04.2021 in Sports

Foto: Tirol Werbung.
Foto: Tirol Werbung.

Hiking is a sport open to everyone, but after a long walk in the mountains you may well find yourself with tired legs. That’s why good cardiovascular fitness as well as strong muscles are important. These also help keep you safe when negotiating rough terrain and make walking and hiking a more relaxing and pleasant experience.

Roland Luchner, trainer at the Innsbruck Olympic Centre, shows you five exercises to get fit for hiking. Let’s go!

We recommend 3-4 sets with 10-12 repetitions per exercise. These exercises are also a good way to warm up before setting off on a hike.

1. Squats

This classic exercise uses many different muscles and is an excellent way to strengthen your legs and bottom.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart
  • Tense the muscles in your stomach and bottom
  • As you go down, keep your back straight
  • Go all the way down until your legs are at a 90° angle

Important: Make sure that your knees stay in line with your toes at all times in order to carry out this exercise properly.

2. Split squats

Split squats are a variation of standard squats where you can also train your cardiovascular fitness and balance.

Here’s how it works:

  • Slowly squat down until the rear knee is almost touching the ground
  • The front knee should stay behind your toes
  • Keep your upper body straight throughout

Important: Push yourself back up using your front leg and try to put as little pressure as possibleon your rear leg.

3. Back extensions

Hiking requires not only strong legs but also a strong back. This exercise is a good way to strengthen the lower back.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart
  • Bend your legs slightly
  • Arch your back and touch your toes
  • Slowly straighten your back
  • Stretch your arms up above your head

Important: Try to start the movement first from your lower back and then move your arms upwards.

4. Calf raises

A simple but effective exercise for strong calf muscles.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stand with your feet parallel
  • Make sure your body is straight
  • Push your heels off the ground
  • Slowly and gently bring them back down

Important: Use your calf muscles to push yourself up and make sure these muscles stay tense as you bring your heels back down again.

5. Glute bridge

The glute bridge is an effective exercise for the muscles in the legs and bottom.

Here’s how it works:

  • Rest your upper body on a raised object such as a bench
  • Move your body weight to your heels
  • Make sure your lower legs are at a 90° angle to the ground
  • Tense the muscles in the back of your thighs and your bottom
  • Move your pelvis up and down in a controlled manner
  • Keep your back straight at all times

Important: At the end of this exercise your thighs, bottom and back should form a straight line.

Check out the following video for more tips from Roland on how to get fit for hiking:

https://youtu.be/TVe7XL7tqx0

An outdoorswoman with a passion for sports, Mathea is always looking for authentic stories about Tirol. You can usually find her in the backcountry, surrounded by good people.

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