How to Training for Hiking: Tips & Exercises

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You might be asking yourself, “Don’t you just train for hiking by going for a hike?” That’s one way to do it, but if you’re getting back into hiking after taking a season or two off or you aspire to hike longer distances and reach loftier summits, proper training becomes ever more important.

In this article, we recommend strength, balance and cardiovascular exercises that can be done as part of a three-month training plan. While that might initially sound like a lot of work, most of the exercises mentioned here are simple and can be done in your home or around your neighborhood.

In this article we’ll look at:

  • Benefits of training for hiking
  • Strength training exercises for hiking
  • Balance training exercises for hiking
  • Cardiovascular exercises to prep for hiking
  • A sample 3-month hiking training plan

Before beginning any new workout routine, we always recommend that you check in with your doctor.

Benefits of Training for Hiking

a hiker walking along a downed tree on a water crossing

One of the wonderful things about hiking is how simple it is: With a quality pair of shoes and sense of adventure, you can be on your way into the wilderness. But, don’t underestimate how strenuous hiking can be and the toll it can take on your body. By training for a season full of hiking or an ambitious multiday adventure, you’re likely to experience a couple of noticeable benefits:

You’ll have more fun: When you’re in shape for hiking, you’ll feel strong and be able to move more swiftly, which will allow you to enjoy the beautiful sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors rather than suffering through your trek.

You’ll put less strain on your body: When your muscles, ligaments and tendons are strong and well-tuned, they’ll be ready to respond if you stumble or slip on the varied terrain of the trail. In addition to being physically prepared for hiking, you need to make sure you always carry the appropriate gear for a day on the trail. Touch up on the Ten Essentials before heading out the door.

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