Workouts on the Trail – A Workout for Your Next Walk.

For many, working out is as easy as walking out our backdoor. Here’s a walking workout you can do during your next walk around the block, up the mountain, or around the park. Just find your favorite trail and GO.

Interested in packing your own exercise bands for an even easier way to workout while you hike? – check out Thera Bands – they are easy to pack. I have a set with handles I’ll bring when I know I can use trees or want the ease of a handle and I have a set without handles I’ve cut to the length I want and can tie/wrap around anything. I  tie these around my waist during a run for less to carry.

In addition to hiking a great trail for cardiovascular exercise, you can add strength training to your routine with a few simple movements. First focus on your lower body. As you move forward make your step wider. Lower your back knee towards the ground (be careful not to hit your knee on the ground – this hurts) and be sure to maintain alignment with your front foot out over your front ankle. This helps make sure you do not have too much force on the knee joint as you overload the body. Do 20 alternating lunges then continue your walk as normal.

After 2 minutes stop and do 10 push-ups. You can choose a rock or tree branch to elevate upper or lower body or just remain as level as you can, choosing to complete full body push ups on your toes or perform the movement from your knees.

Return to the hike. 2 minutes later, stop and begin to squat. Pretend you are sitting in a porta potty at the end of a long music festival. If you’ve never experienced this – you don’t want to touch anything with any part of your body. With your feet firmly on the ground, sit back and hover as though you didn’t want to touch anything and you don’t want to soil yourself either, but pretend you really have to go to the bathroom, so you’re going to have to figure this out. Pull your belly button towards your spine and length through your lower back. Again make sure your knees are not pushing out over your toes and focus on a nice diagonal line from the top of your head through your tailbone. Try to keep from resting your belly on your thighs. Again resume walking.


Next, it’s time for back work. You can choose a tree branch at a good height and grip circumference for you to do pull ups or find a rock you can grip to do rows. When doing rows I like to alternate between high and low rows to target the entire back. Take a lunge stance, support yourself with a hand on your thigh, and place the rock in the opposite (to front foot) hand. Using the rock as weight begin to pull your elbow up close to the body until it is behind you. Squeeze your scapula toward your spine and focus on the small muscles between them and along your spine. Next movement is the high row. This time move your arm straight out from your shoulder – same lower body position. Bend the elbow at 90 degrees and pull up, again focusing on the small muscles between the scapula and spine. Do 10 of each on each arm and return to walking. There are a few options in the video below that target your back. Get creative and see what you can add into your hike based on your environment.

At this point your could choose to be done or add in an “Arnold”. This move is a combination move targeting the biceps and deltoids. Begin with rocks in both hands. Make sure they are heavy enough to provide overload for you in both the shoulder press and a bicep curl but not too heavy that you can’t complete both with good form. Start with your hands down by your sides arms fully extended. Curl the hands toward the shoulders and then continue the movement by lifting the hands above the head.

To complete my arms, I like to add in a tricep move at the top of my arnold. If you feel comfortable with your weights in each hand go for it. If not do this as a separate move after 2 more minutes of hiking. Squeeze your elbows to your ears and drop the rock behind your head (be careful not to hit yourself in the head as this really hurts when you misjudge placement). Extend the arms back above the head, lower hands to the shoulders and extend the arms once again returning to the starting position. Complete 10 and then return to walking.

Now you can choose to add a few plank holds, back extensions, and quadruped curls (on all fours, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips, lift one leg and the opposite arm, curl the knee and elbow together and hold for a 3 second count.


Return to the starting point and repeat on the other side). Again return to walking.

Congratulations!! You have done a full body strength training session and created a walking workout on your favorite trail! Now you have the choice to continue walking without interruption or complete another set or two. Your choice will depend on the difficulty of your trail, your allotted time, and your current fitness level. Here’s to making every workout count!

If you liked this article, please leave a comment below and let me know how your workout went. You can check out more on Exercise on the Cheap and look at how to get creative on your vacation and find workouts all around you.

#fitnesspsychologist, #healthy, #walkingworkouts

Three Exercises To Do When You Are Short On Time

You are into your workouts. You know when, where, and how long you are going to workout. You know which exercises you are going to do and why you are doing them. You are almost to your workout time – when something derails you! Now what are you going to do? You know you need to workout and you really want to but your time just got cut way short. Here are three exercises you can do to work the majority of your body quick!

The Push-Up – push ups focus your work on the chest and triceps (back of the upper arm). Remember safety. Keep your core tight. This allows you to work the abdominals and lower back as you stabilize your movements. You can do push-ups on the wall, on your hands and knees, or on your hands and toes. You can also change arm positions to emphasize the muscles differently.

The Squat – A basic squat gets most of your lower body. Your quadriceps work to extend your knee as you stand, your glutes and hamstrings work through the hip extension, your tibialis anterior (front of the lower leg) may do work as you flex at the ankle and your gastrocnemius and soleus (calfs) may work if you finish the movement on your toes. Add in plyometrics and jump and you’ve added another layer of work.

The Pull-Up – pull-ups work your latissimus dorsi in either shoulder adduction or shoulder extension depending on where you choose to place your hands (your grip can be narrow or wide depending on the bar you are using). As you pull yourself up you must bend the elbow which is accomplished by your biceps. Again, this can be a very difficult exercise but can be modified to meet your needs. You can lie flat on your back with a chair on either side of you. Place a sturdy bar over the chair seats (make sure the chairs or the bar are not going to move) and pull up only your upper body. You can use a table, counter, playground equipment, etc to modify the height you are pulling up from. The lower the bar the less weight you’ll have to lift. As you become stronger you’ll be able to lift more of your body weight – until all the sudden you’ll be able to lift your entire body weight!

So in just three exercises you have trained your:

  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Possibly your calfs and front of the lower leg
  • Back
  • Biceps
  • And throughout your abdominals, lower back, and shoulders have stabilized your movements and worked in an isometric contraction.

Check out my YouTube Channel for home workouts, exercises, and equpiment ideas to set up your home gym… And yourself up for success. 

And you thought your workout had to be long!