How to Train for Hiking in the Gym

How to Train for Hiking in the Gym
Man photo created by freepik -

Hiking is an adventure journey that is filled with a lot of thrills and scenic views but for some, it becomes a difficult and hard journey to accomplish, because of tiredness and weakness in muscles. A lot of people get tired easily when hiking at high altitudes where the air is less, and your muscles need fuel to work. And only this situation turns your journey into an intense and difficult task. To avoid all this it is best to prepare yourself early by training those muscles that are used in hiking. But you may want to know how to train for hiking in the gym and build that climbing strength. Then don’t worry this article contains all information about exercises and training for hiking that you can do in the gym, keep reading this article.

How to Train for Hiking in the Gym

Train quads and hamstrings in the gym for hiking


Deadlift trains your hamstring which is the second dominant muscle used while hiking

A deadlift is not only an effective way to build strength but also the best way to train your multiple muscles at one time. There are a lot of variations of deadlifts that you can do in the gym, some are – kettlebell deadlifts best for hikers, Romanian deadlifts, etc. Pick any form that suits you the best.

Deadlift trains your grip, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core. But the primary target of the deadlift is the hamstrings and lower back.

How to train with deadlift
  • grasp the barbell and add start with low weight.
  • stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the bar with hands outside your legs.
  • lift the weight by pushing your hips in. make sure there is no arc in your back. To avoid the arc keep the bar on the middle of your feet and close to your legs.
  • Do the 10 reps with moderate weight, 6 or 4 with a heavyweight. Do 4 sets.
  • Do this at the end of your workout because deadlifts consume more energy than exercise.

Try to add deadlifts 2 times a week in your routine to fully train the muscle

Walking lunges

walking lunges is another best way to train for hiking in the gym. Lunges train your quadriceps, hips, and hamstrings. But the primary muscle that is targeted through lunges is the quads, which is also the primary muscle used while hiking. Walking lunges is the best option to train for hiking because it will increase the strength of taking a stride. Stride is the distance between your feet when your one foot is in front of another

How to train with lunges

Include walking lunges 2 to 3 times in your weekly workout routine to train your quads, which helps you to move forward on high altitude trails by swinging the leg.

  • stand up in your normal stance with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • take a step forward with your left leg by putting your whole weight on your leg and foot.
  • bend your both knees down in a way that your legs are making a 90-degree angle. and then pause for 1 second.
  •  then get your knee up by reducing the bend.
  • now take a step forward with your right leg in a way that your right leg comes in front of your left. and then do the same process.
  • walk for 12 to 15 steps counted as one set for 2 to 3 sets.
  • Add weight with dumbells to make the exercise more effective.
  • Do this exercise in the middle of your workout.


steps ups will burn more calories when added with the strength training. But our goal is to train the muscle for hiking. To do so add this exercise between your heavy sets of other exercises. Steps will increase your heart rate, which is similar to hiking on high altitudes.

Step up is the best way to target your hips and upper hamstrings. These contain the form of lunges and also include climbing by stepping up on the box. Step-ups train your muscles to get used to climbing for hiking.

First, take a bench or wooden box with a decent height. Choose the box on which you step your one foot your leg makes a 90-degree angle.

How to do step-ups
  • place your one foot on the bench. Let’s start with the right one. Then push the heel to lift your body up. Then step left foot up. bring down the left to the level of your right foot.
  • now move down your right foot from the box to the floor, followed by the left foot.
  • do 15 rep (where stepping on the bench to coming down is counted as one rep) for 3 sets.

Also, know what muscles are involved during hiking- what muscles does hiking work

Train glutes and hips in the gym for hiking

Hip thrust

The hip thrust is the best way to train your lower body for hiking. Sometimes hiking becomes tired and sometimes you may get injuries because of your weak muscles, and glutes are the secondary muscles that work the most when you hike. The primary muscles targeted in hip thrust are the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius, quads, and hamstring are also used while performing the movement.

How to do the hip thrust
  • Grasp any bench and place it behind you. Then sit on the ground with your knees bent and barbell with weight on your abdomen area (at the end of your abs). To get the support rest your shoulders and traps on the bench.
  • To perform the movement, lift the weight up by pushing your heels and glutes up. Hold the weight up for 2 seconds, while holding don’t forget to squeeze your glutes hard to activate the muscle.
  • Then move down slowly.
  • Do 8 to 10 reps for 3 sets.

Train your core in the gym for hiking

The core is also an important and most used muscle region of our body while hiking. Our core comes into play when we push heavyweights on our shoulders on high trails, the strong core is also helpful in maintaining the balance on a rocky and rough trail.

Knee ups

Knee ups or raises helps you to train your core completely. But the primary region involved in performing this exercise is the abdominal region which is the hardest to train.

How to do knee raises
  • simply hang on a pullup bar in your gym. use natural grip instead of wide grip.
  • now raise your knees up with the help of your core muscles. make sure your hips are not rotating too much while doing so, and also your knees should be up at the level of where your thighs and lower legs form a 90-degree angle.
  • Then bring your knees down while maintaining balance.
  • Do 10 reps for 3 sets to 4 sets of this exercise.
  • As you become used to this, you can add extra weight with plates by hanging the plates in the rope which is attached around your stomach.


Planks are a great way to train your whole core from up to down, and front to back. Plans are the normal exercise that you can do at home, but in the gym, you can add weights with plates to increase the intensity.

How to do planks
  • Lie on your stomach with legs close to each other.
  • Now, put your elbows side as your shoulder width, And lift your body weight up with the help of your elbows or forearms.
  • When up make sure your body is making a straight line without any arc in it.
  • Hold the position as long as you can.
  • Add plates to increase the intensity level.

Cardio in the gym for hiking


Stairmaster is the best cardio heart-pumping exercise for hikers in the gym. Stairmaster increases the heart rate more than regular walking or jogging on the treadmill. Stairmaster builds endurance for high altitudes by training your climbing muscles. If you are a hiker don’t miss this exercise in the gym.

There are several things to keep in mind while doing Stairmaster as per experts. The first thing is to maintain posture, which means the pressure and weight should be on your hamstring and glutes instead of your lower back. Don’t hunch over, instead hunch forward slightly to put more pressure on glutes, but make sure your spine should always be straight.

The second thing you can do is to avoid taking support from side handles because it eliminates the whole work of targeted muscles. After building the coordination, increase the level by leaving the one step, this way you put more pressure on your glutes and upper thighs, which are responsible for climbing uphills and conquering the long trails.

How to do Stairmaster properly
  • Check the machine in your gym, if available first, set the time for 15 minutes or 20.
  • keep the pace slow but high intensity because you need strength not thrust for sprint when hiking.
  • Keep increasing the duration and intensity level of the session as you get better or used to it.