GET FIT FOR HIKING SEASON: EXERCISES FOR THOSE WHO USE TREKKING POLES


 

Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness

If you like to use trekking poles on the trail, train with this exercise recommended by David Musnick, M.D. and Mark Pierce, A.T.C., authors of Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness, 2nd Edition to ensure that when hiking season arrives you're fit and ready to hit the trails.

Dips

Equipment:
Dip machine that will unload body weight, or 2 chairs.

Purpose:
Improve your ability to push your body vertically and push yourself with poles. Target muscles: triceps and pectorals.

Technique:
Use a setting on the dip machine that will unload about half of your body weight. Lower yourself and then raise yourself up with your chest and arms. Do 12-15 dips in a set and decrease the amount of weight assist if you are not fatiguing by the end of the set. To do a dip with chairs, place them facing away from each other and start by balancing on your toes, holding onto the backs of the chairs while in a semi-upright position. Lower yourself between the chairs until your chest meets the level of your hands. You can assist with your legs to make this easier. Perform 2-3 sets of 15 reps.

Variations:
Angle isolations: try isometric holds of 3-5 seconds at various locations during the dip. This is a good exercise for climbers.

Tips and Precautions:
Using machines (e.g., Gravitron, Cybex) to unload part of your weight during dips allows you to reduce the workload of the exercise until you are able to perform the exercise safely.

 

--Adapted from Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness, 2nd Edition by David Musnick, M.D. and Mark Pierce, A.T.C. (The Mountaineers Books, $26.95 paperback)

 

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