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 rainforests and glacial peaks. This increased balance can help prevent a fall or stumble, which will ultimately help prevent injuries.
The following are effective balance-training exercises you can easily add to your current workout.
Add one or two sets of all three exercises to your current workout.
Stand on a stable, elevated platform so the balls of your feet hang below the edge. You should feel a stretch in your calves. Raise your heels as high as you can, pause, then lower them back down.
Helpful Tip: Hold on to a chair or wall if the movement is too destabilizing.
Advanced Option: Hold dumbbells or other heavy objects to increase the pull of gravity.
Advanced Option: Do the same exercise putting all of your weight on one foot. Make sure to do calf raises with dumbbells first – calf raises on one foot are significantly more challenging.
Marching with Cuff Weights
40 reps or one minute
With weights strapped to your ankles, raise your leg until your knee is bent at a 90° angle. Lower your leg and repeat with the other leg.
Helpful Tip: Make sure your core is tight and you are standing upright. You’ll be surprised how important the core is to this exercise!
Marcus uses five pound weights in the video, but he recommends using one to four pound weights when you’re starting off.
Stand in an upright position with your shoulders back and eyes forward. With a slow and controlled movement, lunge forward with one foot and bend down so your knee nearly touches the ground, then step forward to an upright position.
Advanced Option: Hold dumbbells for increased intensity.
Advanced Option: To increase the balance training component of walking lunges, raise the trail leg as you step, so your knee creates a 90° angle.
These exercises are intended to help you have more stability on the trail, whether you’re trekking in Mount Kilimanjaro’s rainforests or glacial peaks.
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!