So, you want to go on a hike. That’s great! Hiking is a fantastic way to get some exercise while enjoying the great outdoors.

But before you hit the trail, you need to make sure you’re properly prepared. That’s where this post comes in.

Below, we’ll give you tips on how to train for hiking in the gym. By following these tips, you’ll be ready to take on any hike, no matter how challenging it may be.

1. Start with a Base Level of Aerobic Fitness

If you can’t run for 30 minutes without stopping, you’re not ready to start training for hiking.

Before you begin your gym routine, make sure you can comfortably execute some basic cardio exercises. Once you have a solid aerobic base, you can start working on more specific hike-related exercises.

2. Incorporate Strength Training into Your Routine

While cardio is important, don’t neglect strength training when preparing for a hike.

Strong legs and a strong core will help you power up hills and carry a heavy backpack over long distances. Focus on exercises that target your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

3. Do Plenty of Calf Raises

Hiking puts a lot of strain on your calves, so it’s important to do exercises that target this muscle group specifically.

Calf raises are a great way to build up strength in your calves and prepare them for the challenges of hiking.

4. Do Walking Lunges

Walking lunges are an excellent way to build lower-body strength and endurance—two things that will come in handy on a hike.

Not only will they help your legs become stronger, but they’ll also improve your balance and coordination—both of which will come in handy when navigating rocky or uneven terrain.

5. Use an Incline When Running or Walking

If your gym has a treadmill with an incline feature, take advantage of it! Training on an incline will better prepare your body for the physical challenges of hiking than running or walking on level ground will.

6. Do Some Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is another great way to prepare your legs and lungs for the challenges of hiking.

If your gym has a stair climber machine, use it! If not, find a flight of stairs and start climbing.

7. Use Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are versatile tools that can be used to mimic the motions of many different hike-specific exercises. Use them to simulate hill climbs, walking lunges, and calf raises.

8. Invest in a Good Pair of Hiking Boots

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless. A good pair of hiking boots will protect your feet from the elements and provide support over long distances.

Breaking in your boots before hitting the hiking trail is also important; otherwise, you run the risk of developing blisters.

9. Pack Your Backpack Correctly

When packing your backpack for a hike, make sure you distribute the weight evenly so that it’s not all sitting on your lower back.

A properly packed backpack will help distribute the weight more evenly across your body, making it easier to carry over long distances.

10. Find a Hiking Buddy or Two

Hiking with someone else (or even multiple people) is not only more fun than going solo, but it’s also safer.

If someone in your group gets hurt or lost, there are others there who can help out or go for help. It’s always best to hike with at least one other person.


By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to being prepared for any hike—no matter how challenging it may be!

Just remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you get closer to hitting the trailhead.

And most importantly, have fun! Hiking is supposed to be enjoyable so don’t let preparing for it turn into a chore.