No matter how many sets of Wii tennis you played this winter, most indoor workouts can’t replicate the conditions of an actual trail. Make sure your first hike is a safe one with these three drills designed to protect your joints from early-season injuries. For added realism, exercise in your hiking boots. High-tops might turn heads at the gym, but they could keep you from turning an ankle.
Over-developed quads can stress knees. This exercise builds muscles to protect this joint.
Overlay two jump ropes to create a plus sign (+) on the floor. Visualize the bottom right space as 1, and the other spaces as 2, 3, and 4, counter-clockwise. Step into space 1. Keeping your feet together, make a two-footed leap from square 1 to 2, then count up, jumping into 3, 4, and back to 1 in rapid succession. Repeat the pattern for 2 minutes.
Side-to-side leaps add corrective power to muscles that surround your knee, minimizing the impact on your ligaments.