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KBob
2006-12-12, 12:15
A couple of months ago I started going to the gym in the mornings. I spend about 60 minutes on the treadmill, and bike. Anybody got any good workouts to improve their hiking abilities? Too old and bad knees to run. and no I don't want to take ALICE for a 20 mile run.

Jim Henderson
2006-12-12, 13:22
Not that I actually exercise myself, but I would bet a stair step machine would really help if you are planning any hikes in the hills.

Hiking in my couch potato opinion is mostly a cardio exercise so I would do what ever gets my heart rate and breathing capacity up. Swimming, biking, rowing etc would probably do it.

I actually did do a "hell hike" with my two young teen sons last month at Kern River Ca. with a lot of traversing the ravines and humps down to the river. The failings I noticed for myself and for my boys was that we really needed more breathing capacity(6,000feet) and I forget the muscle group, but the front of the thighs kept cramping on all of us to the point where we had to stop at dark and flop out right on the trail, short a half mile and 200 feet of our truck.

Also if you are going to carry a heavy backpack I would work on the shoulders. Mine are still sore several weeks later, but then I guess I am in the early stages of old fartdom, my kids would say advanced.

Jim Henderson

JAK
2006-12-12, 16:15
I would say if you enjoy the gym keep at it, but add a good long walk at least once a week even if you can't get out of town. You don't need to carry weight, but the occassional hill is helpful. Rain is optional.

Frolicking Dino
2006-12-12, 17:23
Stairstepper helped me a lot as did a Trotter Hip machine (not available in a lot of places) and extensive work on the quads. The abductor and adductor machine was also quite helpful.

TeeDee
2006-12-12, 17:54
I like stair step - nothing fancy. I just use a 12" x 12" platform, 10" high. I keep it at 24 to 26 steps per minute. I started with 1 minute and worked up to 20 minutes. Great for the heart, lungs and thighs. Also, helps the balance a lot. Great for hiking hills. I don't get winded anymore.

For the upper body (above the hips), I like situps, chinups and pushups. I don't like to go to a gym - I like to use my own body since I have that anywhere I go and thus can always do my excercise regimen.

To keep my back limber I like two excercises: 1. touch your toes, knees locked, feet together and 2. lay flat on your back, lock your knees, lift your legs up and over your head and touch the ground above your head with your toes. The latter one takes a while to do at first, but if you keep at it, you get there. Both keep my back limber, otherwise I get muscle cramps in the small of my back that are incapcitating. Tried a lot of things, except medications, before I found the above two simple excercises.

jimtanker
2006-12-12, 20:28
Lunges or what we call "iron mikes" are great for the legs and glutes.

Dont forget the back and shoulders and got to hit the abs to get the opposing muscles for the back.

Skidsteer
2006-12-12, 20:38
If you can't run then try walking up and down stadium bleachers. You can make it as aerobic as you want to and it builds your quads and lungs.

Take-a-knee
2006-12-12, 21:30
Walking up and down stadium steps is great, if someone will let you in the stadium at your convenience. The only problem is once you go up, you have to walk back down, and that is what is hardest on your knees. If you can find one of these, you'll be ahead of the game:

http://www.gymcor.com/stairstep70p.html

This is the most challenging, and least destructive, cardio workout ever concieved. Don't do it everyday, about twice weekly is plenty. I advise the use of a heart rate monitor, especially if you are over forty, you'll only need to wear the transmitter belt on you chest, the machine will read your heartrate and give you your avg for the workout. If you find one of these and can only last about 3-4min at first, don't get discouraged, you'll get there. Once you build up to 30 min at level 7 or 8 go down one level and don't touch the hand rails at all, it'll do wonders for your balance. This step is fixed so, if you are short, this might tax your knees but there is no impact. An elliptical trainer (I reccomend a Precor 546) is an excellent "easy day" workout. A really good gym will have both of these machines, if they don't, keep looking. A weight lifting program is essential, but that is another thread. I investigating kettlebell training now. What TeeDee said about bodyweight exercises is true, but most people are so out of shape they can't do one proper pullup, so how will they work out by doing pullups? Situps are not a healthy exercise, the single-best ab exercise uses carabiner/upper arm straps on a chinup bar, you hang and slowly raise your legs, it works all three ab levels, your back, and your hip flexors. Don't overdo it the first time, you won't be able to get out of bed the next morning.

Iceman
2006-12-12, 23:40
Elk season.

KLeth
2006-12-13, 01:34
I do what I always have done - Add 6-10kg of lead to the daypack on we are off on 20-30km once a weekend.
Training on stairmaster or running will give a foundation for the march-training and might help to shed a pound or two around the waist. But the actual march-training can not be simulated since it is mainly endurance.


If you can find one of these, you'll be ahead of the game: http://www.gymcor.com/stairstep70p.html
Service on these are readily available in most department stores, they are normally located on the opposite of the escalator going up. :bandit:
Mind that the service includes obstructions that have to be avoided.:ahhhhh:

dropkick
2006-12-13, 04:54
I do alot of my exercises in the morning, while I'm getting ready.
I do some back exercises in bed before I get up (knees to chest, on back rock knees side to side, etc.) Plus leg raises.
A few calf exercises while on the can (feet flat pointed straight forward raise to tiptoe and down)
A few knee bends and toe touches in front of the sink.
I do thigh exercises in the shower (back flat against the wall in a sitting position) while I'm soaping down.
Plus I do a few tension exercises and a few basic yoga poses (took an adult ed yoga class last winter) during the day.

Since I started doing this I'm getting in more exercises than I used too.

JAK
2006-12-13, 10:37
I do what I always have done - Add 6-10kg of lead to the daypack on we are off on 20-30km once a weekend.I currently have at least 6-10kg already built in. More like 20kg, but I'm working on it. :beer:
Oops. Wrong smiley.

Anyhow, I like the idea of a good long walk once a week. We have a good neighbourhood for that actually. Hills and trees and parks and stuff without having to drive anywhere. We don't know how lucky we are here really.

Outdoorzy
2006-12-13, 14:11
Cycling is actually a great complimentary exercise to hiking. If you can get on the bike 2-3 times a week that can be a workout that can build leg strenght. It's a good cardio workout too. And, it will give those knees a rest from the impact exercise.

Hollowdweller
2006-12-14, 12:43
At home I can walk up the road and then around my neighbor's gate(I have permission to be on his land he doesn't live there) then we walk up the road to his orchard which is about 3/4 mile almost straight uphill, then uphill thru the orchard(or what's left of it) to the ridge between his place and mine, and then on a woods path downhill to his lower pasture, then down thru his pasture back to the road and the beginning. That's about 2 miles. We do it with headlamps this time of year.

I've also cut paths thru my woods that go up and over logs and stuff but I don't have them as clear so we usually don't hike those but on the weekend.

At work I can go down the steps (4 flights) across the street to the mall, up the steps to the second floor down the steps on the other end, then out and cross the street and up the steps to the civic center around the second level, down, back up the steps and then the same thing backwards to my work.

I also never take the elevator at work.

I try to do the home hike a lot but the second only when a trip is imminent.

Pappyhighlife
2006-12-14, 14:07
K Bob
I have to agree with Take-A-Knee the Elliptical trainer is easy on the knee's, but that's all it's easy on. In the gym I call it the "Monster" in fact I have nightmares about the damn machine often.
Great work-out no soreness, but it will take you a few weeks to get up to speed it's great for endurance. Good luck

Take-a-knee
2006-12-14, 22:07
Pappy's observation on the elliptical is quite true. It will work you, really studly people say it won't get their heartrate up, that is not the case with the Precor. It has a ramp that raises the angle you walk at, therefore it will raise your heartrate. The Precor is the only elliptical that has a "natural" stride, your heels will rise off of the pedals on every other elliptical, this will eventually give you achilles tendonitis. No, I don't work for precor but I do plan to buy one when I have an extra three grand...a healthy body is a wealthy body.

crowley_syub
2006-12-16, 09:25
K-Bob,
I am NOT a salesman but I would suggest you use a kettlebell. The kettlebell community has a saying called the "WTH?!?" effect. The WTH-What the Hell effect is using a kettlebell and it somehow helps you out with a totally unrelated activity. Using one will increase muscular endurance, flexibility, strength (without increasing size). For more detailed info visit www.russiankettlebells.com. If you wish to see some basic exercises go to http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kettlebells.htm In the event you wish to try it, start with a dumbell. If you wish to build without buying go to http://www.geocities.com/briangl2002/kettlebell.htm

crowley_syub
2006-12-16, 09:26
K-Bob,
I am NOT a salesman but I would suggest you use a kettlebell. The kettlebell community has a saying called the "WTH?!?" effect. The WTH-What the Hell effect is using a kettlebell and it somehow helps you out with a totally unrelated activity. Using one will increase muscular endurance, flexibility, strength (without increasing size). For more detailed info visit www.russiankettlebells.com. If you wish to see some basic exercises go to http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kettlebells.htm In the event you wish to try it, start with a dumbell. If you wish to build without buying go to http://www.geocities.com/briangl2002/kettlebell.htm Hope this helps!

stray1
2006-12-16, 21:50
For a great workout go to www.crossfit.com. I hqve been using them for about six months and am stronger than ever. You dont have to spend an hour in the gym. These exercises will smoke you.

Take-a-knee
2006-12-16, 22:48
Thanks for the crossfit link, that looks like an excellent philosophy. As for kettlebells, I plan to give them a try but as the following link states, anyone with problem shoulder joints should use them cautiously.

http://ejmas.com/pt/ptart_brennan_0103.htm

bird dog
2006-12-17, 02:31
Cross Training is great. It works alot of different muscle groups without overworking one particualr group if done properly. However, specificity is key. For example, if one wants to be a more fit hiker, he should hike more as training to strengthen the specific muscles required. But, crosstraining is GOOD. BD

dropkick
2006-12-19, 02:36
Grunt.
I did all my x-mas shopping today.
It took about 12 hours total, start to finish.
That was a workout.
Glad it's only once a year, I don't think I could survive more.

deadeye
2006-12-19, 22:32
Stray1, thanks for the CrossFit link - my workouts were getting stale, and that was just the butt kick I was looking for.

Waxing philosophic, any excercise is better than none. A good mix of cardio and resistance training is a great way to keep fit, and keeping fit lets you enjoy your limited hiking time. (body-for-Life and Power90 are both good general programs) Hiking itself may be the only hiking-specific excercise, but I guarantee that Lance Armstrong does more than just ride a bike, and Bode Miller doesn't just go skiing. I don't hike to train, I train to hike, and I hike for fun (and really, the training is fun, too). I'm 50, weigh less today with a full pack than I did bare-assed naked 2 years ago, and because I'm more fit than when I was 30, can really just enjoy hiking to the max.

My humble opinion.:bandit:

Happy Holidays.!:beer:

stray1
2006-12-20, 23:27
Deadeye, Your welcome. I had a friend tell me about the site. It has helped me to dramatically increase my overall strength because you are strengthening your core. And, I didnt need to spend a lot of time in the gym. You will be at muscle failure in a very short time. Have fun with it.

SowthEfrikan
2006-12-22, 16:11
You know, it depends on the hike, how much time I have, and the weather. I have several "practice" hikes coming up to prepare for a five-day walk, and will see how those go in helping me become a bit fitter. Overall, though, we don't do a whole lot - maybe zip around five miles with a heavy pack on a local trail.