Physical distancing has probably impacted your physical training, but it doesn’t have to. We teamed up with Marcus Shapiro, Head Trainer at Fit For Trips, to help you keep in shape.
The exercises below are intended to strengthen the leg and core muscles you’ll use to stay stable on the trail when you’re trekking Mount Kilimanjaro’s rainforest and glacial peaks. This increased balance can help prevent a fall or stumble, which will ultimately help prevent injuries.
The following are great balance-training exercises you can easily add to your current workout.
Add two to three sets of one of the following exercises into your current workout:
Single leg balance
one minute (easy)
Stand in an upright position with your shoulders back and eyes forward. Raise one leg so your knee is bent at a 90° angle. Hold for one minute, then repeat with the other leg.
Single leg balance with flexion
one minute (moderate)
Standing in the same position as exercise number one, raise and lower one leg while keeping your knee bent at a 90° angle. This movement will help you practice stabilizing as your center of gravity shifts.
Helpful Tip: You can gain more stability by raising your arms and using them as counterweights.
Helpful Tip: If you lose balance and touch the ground, don’t restart the timer! Just lift it back up and continue.
Single leg lean over
10-15 repetitions (moderate/advanced)
Place a small object on the ground in front of you. Stand in an upright position with all of your weight on one foot. With your shoulders back and eyes straight ahead, lean forward by moving only at the hip joint, keeping the non-standing leg in a straight line with your torso. Touch the object you’ve placed on the floor, and rise back up for the desired number of repetitions.
Advanced Option: If you want to challenge yourself, use an object that rests closer to the ground. This will expand your range of motion and result in increased stability training, particularly in your hamstrings.
The goal of these movements is to train the balance and stability. If you feel confident doing these movements on solid ground, try placing pillows, foam blocks or inflatable disks beneath your feet. The increased instability will develop your ankle strength and teach your body to keep upright and balanced.
Keep in mind, safety is your priority – always use your best judgment when determining what you are capable of!
Check out part two of Marcus’s balance training tips here.