Fit for the Trail: Get in Shape for Hiking

Enjoying the hiking trails is good for the body and soul. It is an excellent way to exercise and get fit. But when you have a significant hiking trip planned and need to get fit for the trail, these workouts will get you in shape for hiking to face the more challenging trails out there. You can choose between a list of bodyweight, kettlebell or dumbbell workouts and a few Tabatas.

Disclaimer: Use caution when exercising and performing movements that you are not familiar with. This website offers fitness information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult your doctor or a physician before starting a new workout regimen.

The workouts in this article require little equipment. You can complete any exercises from this list if you have a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells. However, if you don’t have any equipment, the bodyweight workouts will get you in shape for hiking, and so will the Tabata workouts.

Crossfit Lingo Explained


AMRAP: As Many Rounds As Possible means completing as many rounds of the specific workout as possible within the timeframe.

EMOM: Every Minute on the Minute means doing the specified number of repetitions of a particular exercise on the minute for a number of rounds.

For example, 12-minute EMOM of minute 1: 10 sit-ups and minute 2: 12 squats (minute 1: 10 sit-ups and rest until minute 2: 12 squats and rest until minute 3: 10 sit-ups and rest until minute 4: 12 squats and rest until minute 5 and so on for 12 minutes)

RFT: Rounds for Time means completing the specified rounds as quickly as possible.

Tabata is a type of workout where you complete the specified exercise as many times as possible in 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. This equals one round. A Tabata is typically eight rounds (20 sec on, 10 sec off x8).

The Crossfit YouTube channel has a Crossfit Foundational Movement video list showing the basic movements. I find it always easier to execute a move after seeing it done.

Bodyweight Workouts to get in shape for hiking


These workouts do not require any equipment, only for you to move your body. You set the pace; the faster you go, the higher the intensity. You can change some numbers to either scale the workout or make it more challenging.

Kettlebell Workouts to get in shape for hiking


These workouts require a kettlebell. The weight of the kettlebell depends on your ability. Some movements will use a lighter kettlebell (5 or 10 pounds will be enough), whereas others can be made with a heavier kettlebell (25 or 30 pounds).

Dumbbell Workouts to get in shape for hiking


These workouts require a pair of dumbbells. You can pick the weights you are comfortable with without compromising your safety. The weights and the pace will dictate the intensity of the workouts. Don’t hesitate to add a round or up the reps to make it extra challenging.

Tabatas


Tabatas are short, high-intensity workouts of one or two movements. They are usually 20 seconds on (maximum repetition of the movement) and 10 seconds off (rest). This is repeated eight times for a total of 4 minutes. You can repeat the Tabata twice (16 rounds for 8 minutes) for an extra challenge.

Don’t underestimate cardio workouts

The workouts above are good for building some muscles and will get your heart pumping depending on the pace you set and the weights you use. However, I always add a cardio workout to my routine. A bit of running, climbing stairs or brisk walks uphill are great ideas for a cardio workout.

Below is my running workout to get back in shape to hike and climb mountains. You can use this 12-week workout to learn to run up to 3, 5 or 10 kilometres. No prior experience is needed!

The start-to-run program

LSD: long slow distance, you run at a slow pace (you can alternate between running and walking for one minute, for example, run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute, run 5 minutes, walk 1 minute).

Steady: run continuously at a constant medium conversational pace.

__:__ running minutes:walking minutes (ex: 10:1 = alternately run 10 minutes and walk 1 minute)

Hill training: find a 400-metre hill with a steady climb (not too steep), run up the hill, slow your pace for the downhill or walk down, and repeat with the specified number of hills.

WeekSunMonTuesWedThursFriSat
12 km
2:1
2 km
2:1
2 km
2:1
23 km
LSD
2 km
5:2
3 km
5:2
2 km
5:2
33 km
LSD
3 km
5:1
3 km
5:1
3 km
5:1
44 km
LSD
3 km
8:2
4 km
8:2
3 km
8:1
54 km
LSD
3 km
10:2
4 km
10:2
3 km
10:1
65 km
LSD
3 km
Steady
4 hills
3 km
4 km
10:1
4 km
Steady
76 km
LSD
3 km
Steady
5 hills
4 km
4 km
10:1
4 km
Steady
88 km
LSD
4 km
Steady
6 hills
5 km
6 km
10:1
5 km
Steady
98 km
LSD
5 km
Steady
7 hills
5.5 km
6 km
10:1
5 km
Steady
109 km
LSD
5 km
Steady
8 hills
6 km
6 km
10:1
6 km
Steady
119 km
LSD
6 km
Steady
9 hills
7 km
8 km
10:1
6 km
Steady
1210km
run

Fit for the Trail

These workouts will get you in shape for hiking in no time. You will feel more energy, your legs will bring you up those climbs without fatiguing, and you won’t feel out of breath as fast as you might without exercising. The core and leg workouts will empower you to move faster and longer on the trails.

Don’t forget to check out all the amazing hiking trails on this blog. Some are easier, others are more challenging, but they are all rewarding!

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