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  • Writer's pictureKirby Watkins, PTA

Preparing for Hiking This Summer

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

It’s important to have the right pieces of equipment before hitting the trail, but what about the most important piece – YOUR BODY! Strengthening and warm up exercises can be very helpful to prepare you for the demands of the hike and to avoid injury. Proper equipment may also be essential for a successful trip. Trekking poles can be used to help with balance or help decrease joint stress in more rough or steep terrain. Supportive footwear and appropriate clothing can keep you comfortable throughout the hike. A proper fitting backpack can allow you to hike further with appropriate supplies and be prepared for weather conditions. Make sure to check out your local sporting goods store for purchase and instruction of proper fitting hiking equipment.

The following stretches and exercises will help prepare your body for your hike and help you strengthen the necessary areas to improve your hiking abilities for more strenuous hikes in the future.

6 Warm-Up Exercises to work through before your hike:

- Walking knee to chest stretch (10 each Side)

- Walking hamstring curl (10 each Side)

- Walking lunge with trunk rotation (10 each Side)

- Body squats (20 total)

- Lateral Lunges (10 each Side)

- Calf stretch (30 Seconds each side)

6 Strengthening exercises to prepare for hiking season:

- Stairmaster or Incline treadmill walking - 20 minutes

- Squats (3 sets of 10)

- High step ups (3 sets of 10)

- Split squats ( 3 sets of 10)

- Heel raises ( 3 Sets of 10)

- Double or single leg deadlifts ( 2 sets of 10)

Get out there and enjoy your Montana Summer!

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