The number one injury prevention tool you have as a hiker is improving your stability for uneven or loose terrain. There will likely be many times that you nearly twist an ankle or take a nasty spill, so you want your body as stable as possible to help maintain your balance in those situations.
What's more, your movement patterns have likely deteriorated during the time you've been inactive. When you're carrying weight in your pack, this will only exacerbate faulty movement, which will drain you of energy faster and put you at greater risk of injury.
So while it's important to regain your strength and drop the weight you've added in recent months, you'll also need to focus on improving your posture, stability and overall movement patterns.
Keep those things in mind as you return to the gym. With a focus on hip, shoulder and torso stability, mobility, balance and flexibility, you'll be on your way to a fun, safe and adventurous outing.
For a beginner's guide to stability exercises, click here.
-- Nick Anthony, Performance Specialist, Athletes' Performance
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.