Imagine you are an average person with little to no fitness activity and now you have to find the fastest way to get in shape for trekking because your company has organized a recreational trip to the mountains. Well, you may think it is impossible but trust us, it is achievable.
Whether you plan to do month-long trekking around rugged trials or a short trek around local trials, some pre-trip training or basic fitness level is crucial before you head for your adventurous journey.
Training yourself will improve your strength, stability, and resilience, leading you to have more endurance and be injury-free during your actual hike.
By this, we do not mean you have to join a gym or make yourself go through a strict training regimen. There are several ways and workout steps you can adopt to make yourself fit for trekking, even at the comfort of your own house.
The fastest way to get in shape for trekking: tips
To make your life easier, here are some tips and tricks you can follow to get in shape for your trekking quickly.
Walking may not be the fastest way to get in shape for trekking but it sure is a good way to start.
Walking must seem like an obvious point, but the option and popularity of working from home cause many not to do it. So, go for some long walks.
Walking can help you build strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs. Likewise, it will also help you strengthen your core and is excellent for you to increase your cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness.
To start, you can walk for a short distance and eventually increase it till the date of your trip arrives. Walk for at least 4-6 hours to train yourself got your trip.
Also, make sure you are walking correctly. We know walking is something you do in your daily life, but it is crucial to make sure that you are hitting the ground with your heel first, then rolling onto your toe, which pushes you onto the next step. Walking correctly during hikes can help you from avoiding shin splints and tendon pulls.
Cardio with a primary focus on strengthening the core and leg muscles
Although walking also counts as a cardio workout, you should also add some other cardio steps to your daily routine that mainly focuses on strengthening your core and leg muscles.
While playing sports like soccer, football, or going for a swim can count as a great cardio workout, we think cycling would be better and intense to build your core muscles.
However, if you are more comfortable doing workouts in the gym instead of taking up the sports listed above, do not worry. We have got you covered for that too. Here are some of the fastest ways to get in shape for trekking workouts you can do in your gym or even in your house:
- Goblet squats: The most used leg muscles during the hike are quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Goblet squats target all these muscles and help you to strengthen the core muscles before your walk.
- Downhill lunges: While lunges themselves are an excellent workout for trekking, making a downhill lunge can shred your quads better and faster. While many hikers think ascending through trials will be more challenging, but it is the descent that causes sore thighs. Thus, downhill lunges can help you to prepare for steep descents.
- Poor Man’s leg curl: This workout step does not just help you strengthen your core, but it also allows you to maintain balance and coordination. To do this step lay on the floor close enough to a bench with your hands at the side. Then press one foot on the bench and use your hamstrings and glutes to raise your butt off the ground until your hips are at their full extension.
- The band walks: This helps you to improve your walking coordination, core strength, and legs. To do this workout, you need to tie a resistance band just above your knee. Then stand straight, put your hand on your hips, and walk sideways while maintaining a sort of tension between the band and your shins.
- Step-ups: This workout helps to focus on your quads and glutes. If you use the gym, you can do this step with a box’s help. However, if you are working out in your house, you can use a staircase or even bleachers at your school.
- Hanging Knee Raises: This workout mainly focuses on strengthening your core rather than your leg muscles. With a fit body, you will support heavy backpacks that you will be carrying during your hikes. Likewise, you will also be able to move through rough trials swiftly.
To do this workout, you need to hang in the bar with your arms fully extended. Furthermore, you can do the steps by engaging your abs by pulling your knees upwards towards your chest.
- Kettlebell Deadlift: This step will target the hamstrings, which are important muscles for the trekker. Perform kettle deadlift by standing with your feet wide apart, and your toes pointed forward. Hold the kettlebell in your hands and gently lower to a squat until the kettlebell touches the ground near your feet.
- Stairmaster: Stairmaster is a fitness machine that rotates steps just like a treadmill. It allows the user to climb upward at the speed and duration he/she sets. It can help you work your cardiovascular endurance while also strengthening your climbing muscles at the same time.
Work on the machine for at least 20 minutes for best results.
Circuit training is a type of body conditioning that involves endurance training, resistance training by doing exercise in a circuit without any rest. This training can be mainly beneficial for the people who like to train in their house instead of going to the gym.
Some of the workouts you can do for circuit training are squats, pushups, squat jumps, mountain climbers, Russian twists, and split squats. By doing the exercises in less than 10 minutes, you will target major hiking muscles and even build endurance and resistance faster.
TRX suspension training
Total Body Resistance Exercise (TRX) is the fastest way to get in shape for trekking as well as to build endurance. It is a type of suspension training that uses bodyweight exercise to develop balance, flexibility, and core stability, which is essential to possess during trekking, especially around rugged trials.
To do this training, you require a TRX suspension trainer, which can be found in your gym or even in stores if you plan to train at home. The TRX suspension is a tool that depends on gravity and the use of body weight to complete the workout.
With this training, you will be able to improve your core stability as you will be working your core muscles by keeping your balance and posture while working the muscles you are moving throughout the process.
Try to do at least 2-3 sets in the TRX suspension trainer daily for the best and fast result.
Taking the stairs
Taking the escalator or the lift can be quite enticing when you live or work in a building with several floors. So, try not to be lazy and take the stairs, as climbing stairs can be an excellent and unintentional workout to build your calves and quads.
Although not every day, going for a practice hike occasionally could be a great idea before your actual trek.
Practice hikes are mainly crucial to get used to the slow pace while going uphill for long-distance. Practicing to hike is also a great way to build your cardiovascular endurance, mainly when you are about to trek around the high altitude trials. The gradual increase in altitude can cause you to have difficulty breathing or lead you to tire out quickly.
Try to hike around trials with similar terrains to the trek trials, as it is unlikely you will be walking on level footpaths or roads. So, look for trials that are uphill, unstable and rocky. It would be best if you started it off by hiking for at least one or two hours and gradually increase your way up to 5-6 hours.
Here we have it, the fastest ways to get in shape for trekking.
We highly recommended that you start training yourself to be fit for your hike at least 3-6 months before the actual date arrives. However, there can occasionally be impromptu plans giving you no time to train yourself for the trip. So, make sure to follow the tips and workouts mentioned above to get in shape faster for your big trip.