Use these exercises to increase your endurance, strength, and balance.
Twice a week, do two sets of 15 to 20 reps of each exercise, unless otherwise noted. Focus on quick movements, without sacrificing form.
1. Rotating Lunge
Builds: Quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, core
Place your feet hip-distance apart and shoulder a light pack (10 pounds max). With both hands in front of you, lunge forward with your left leg, making sure your left knee and ankle stay in line. As you bend your front knee to 90 degrees, twist your upper body to the left, keeping your back straight and shoulders back. Then, in one motion, twist back to center and return to the starting position. Repeat on the right to complete your first rep.
Builds: Quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, climbing strength
Stand in front of a 12-inch platform–a step, stable rock, or low chair. Step up with your right leg, placing your whole foot on the platform, then follow with your left leg. Step down, right leg first, then the left. Do 15 reps on each side.
Builds: Core strength
Starting with your feet a few inches apart, bend at the hips and place your hands on the ground a few inches in front of your feet. With tight abs and glutes, slowly move your feet back until you’re nearly horizontal (think of a push-up). Then inch your arms back toward your feet to finish one rep.
4. One-leg hop
Builds: Leg strength, ankle stability, balance
Stand on your right foot, keeping your left knee bent at a 45-degree angle. Push off from your toes and hop 6 inches to right, then 6 inches to left; continue hopping across imaginary line for 30 seconds. Change legs, and repeat.