|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive
These exercises will help you develop the full package–strength, endurance, balance, and uphill power. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps of each exercise, unless otherwise noted.
1. Single leg squat
Builds: Quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, hips, core, balance
Stand on your right leg, keeping your left leg bent with your knee behind you. If necessary, touch a table or chair for support. Slowly bend your right leg to 90 degrees, then return to the starting position. Do all reps on the right side before switching to the left.
2. Step-off lunge
Builds: Quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, descent-specific strength
Standing on a 12-inch-high bench or rock and facing out, lunge forward with your right leg until your left knee hovers above the ground. Keep your abs tight and chin up. If necessary, put both hands on the ground to help get your right leg back on the bench. Step off with your left leg next round to complete one rep.
3. Hop and stick
Builds: Overall leg and core strength, ankle stability, balance
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, with arms relaxed and elbows tucked at your side. Jump to the right as far as you can, land on your right foot, hold for two seconds, then jump to the left and land on your left foot. Focus on sticking the landing quickly and stabilizing your body.
4. Power jack
Builds: Quads, explosive power
Begin with arms extended, shoulder-height, and your feet hip-distance apart. Jump and spread your legs wide–think of a jumping jack–and land in a squat position, then return to start. Do three sets of 10 reps, holding the squat on the last rep for 10 seconds.