The To­tally Trail-ready Work­out

Prep your body to hit the trails with this pro­gres­sive pack-weighted work­out.

Muscle & Performance - - Contents - By Lara Mc­glashan, MFA, CPT

It’s fall — the air is crisp, the tem­per­a­tures cool — the per­fect time for a long, lovely hike, maybe even an overnight so­journ in the great out­doors. But even if you’re a reg­u­lar gym-goer, you’re prob­a­bly not used to haul­ing stuff around on your back, let alone 20 or 30 pounds of food, wa­ter and/or camp­ing gear.

Time to shoul­der the load with this work­out that uses a back­pack, a bench and a hill. Start to­day and be trail-ready in about four weeks — just in time to see the leaves change.

Prep Work

Find a short, grad­ual hill, or sim­i­lar trail­head, with a nearby park bench or small set of stairs.

Ad­just the shoul­der and chest straps on a back­pack so it rests com­fort­ably yet snugly against your body and does not shift or bounce around when you pick up the pace. Load your pack with some heavy ob­jects — rocks work well, or, if you’re su­per­pre­pared, the gear you’re plan­ning on tak­ing with you.

Wear or carry the cloth­ing you plan to hike in, in­clud­ing rain gear, socks, hats and es­pe­cially shoes; break­ing in your boots now will save you some gnarly blis­ters come hike time.

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