9 Step Hiking Workout To Stretch And Strengthen Major Muscle Groups

9 Step Hiking Workout To Stretch And Strengthen Major Muscle Groups


9 step workout to stretch and strengthen major muscle groups involved in hiking. Preventing you from injury and optimizing your preparation for a wonderful hiking experience. Plus alignment, core training and balance tips.


  1. Warm up: Alignment (standing): Stand legs parallel, hip distance apart. Check that your hips are in line with your heels and your shoulders in line with your hips. Core is engaged, feeling grounding through your feet and lifted through your head.
  2. Core or powerhouse: Formed by the abdominals and back muscles, together with the diaphragm and the pelvic floor, create a cylinder of muscle support in the center of the body.
  3. Neutral pelvis (NP): Neutral spine (NS): NP is when the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) and the pubic symphysis (PS) are in the same horizontal plane. NS indicates that the neutral curves of the spine are present.
  4. Foot work (ankles): Heel elevation ( 8x) Standing holding elastic with both hands. Parallel feet, “V” feet, ballet second position and inward rotation (8x each)
  5. Abdominal Work (core): Hundreds (100x) Breath in for 5 and out for 5 with arm bounces straight in front of you, in a curled up position holding an imaginary apple between chin and chest and elastic stretched between hands.
  6. Hip work (gluts): Doggie kick (10X each leg) On your hands and knees, lift one foot slightly and loop the exercise band around the heel. Hold the ends down with same side arm. Pulse leg straight back engaging gluts.
  7. FTD Florist: (10X each leg) : Same as doggie kick but flex and straight your knee, rounding your back when your knee comes to your chest.

1. Spinal articulation

  • Roll up and down (8x)  Lie on your back, legs straight parallel and together. Loop band around both heels and hold the ends with arms extended. Roll up using the resistance of the elastic, then roll down vertebra by vertebra.

2. Stretches (hamstrings & quadriceps)

  • Supine Leg stretches (8x each) Laying on the mat belly up, lift one leg up and straight , loop the band around top leg and pull the leg towards your face keeping the leg stretched. Parallel (8X), externally rotated (8X) flexing and stretching knee (8x) and side (8x)
  • Supine Leg Series (8x each) Same as supine leg stretches but legs straight to 45 degree angle, looping elastic around both heels. Lower down legs in parallel, “V” feet and flexing knees in “frog”

3. Full body integration

  • Insanity jumps/arms (6-10x) Standing holding elastic with straight up arms, squat and jump stretching the band and opening legs. Landing softly articulating the feet and bending knees to squat again and repeat.
  • Insanity jumps/legs (6-10x) Same as arms but now elastic is looped around knees with a knot.

4. Arm work (shoulders)

  • Pole motion/shoulder flexion (20-30x) Standing stepping on elastic holding the ends with each hand. Move arms as if moving your hiking poles.
  • Standing Angel or Lotus flower (8x) Abducting arms (lifting arms to the side) standing stepping on elastic holding both ends with each hand. Now try to bring the arms straight up until they come all the way up to the head.

5. Lateral flexion and rotation

  • Mermaid (6X each side) Sit on heels then move both legs towards the right lowering your hips to the mat as much as possible, loop the elastic under you legs, and hold one end with your left arm, now side bend to the right bringing the straight arm towards your head.
  • Sitting Spiral (6X each side) Twist the spine toward the right, then left.

6. Back extension

  • Swan(3-6x) Lie on your belly with hands over your head stretching the elastic. Head slightly off the mat eyes down. Inhale pull the navel and stretch away the band. Gently engage the glutes rising up with your head, neck and upper back in a spine extension like an elegant swan.

7. Balance (vestibular system VS)

  • The vestibular system sends signals primarily to the neural structures that control our eye movements, and to the muscles that keep us upright. When hiking you use it a lot in order not to fall. Stimulating the VS strengthens eye tracking, hearing, proprioception (the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body) balance and coordination.
  • Swings, Spins, tips and rolls in all levels and all directions

8. Cardiovascular

  • Jump the Rope (3 segments of 30 seconds with 30 seconds of rest in between) with or without rope, jump with both feet (30 sec), one foot up (30 sec) and opening and closing legs like a jumping jack (30 sec)

9. Cool down

  • Supine Spine Twist (right and left) Lie on your back with both knees flexed towards your chest. Imagine turning like a doorknob, with the pelvis , knees, and feet as one unit rotating fluidly from side to side.

About Jenna Tailor

Jenna Tailor is a serious health fanatic who loves nothing more than sharing her passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle with anyone who’ll read her articles! She was brought up in a family where healthy meals were the exception rather than the rule. As a result, she’s had close encounters with obesity, and its associated health problems. Enough to set her on a journey in the opposite direction, and inspire a desire to take others on that better health journey with her.