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Fitness Special—Hike Forever: The Exercises

Use these proven exercises to get in the best hiking shape of your life.

Box Squat
This key exercise builds leg strength for hill power and stabilizes ankles and knees.

How
Sit like you did for Hip Swing, but wearing a weighted pack (beginners go packless). Lift your feet, plant them in front of you, and push through your heels into a standing position. Keep your back straight and stomach muscles tense. Pause for one count, and return to a seated position.

Do it
6-8 reps; 1-2 sets

Progression
Beginner: Work eccentric muscles by standing fast and sitting slowly. Intermediate:
Load your pack with 40 pounds and do 3-5 sets: gradually decrease chair height.
Advanced: Use 40-50 pounds and alternate pack from one shoulder to the other. Do 90-degree squats with no chair.

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