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Fitness and Weight Loss Hike up your workout with this trail-ready training plan

I love hiking because it's a very effective low-impact workout that's actually enjoyable.

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Week one: Let's get moving.

Though you might not realize it, hiking is an effective way to strengthen and tone your entire body, especially your quads and glutes.

And as a sports medicine doctor, I love hiking because it's a very effective low-impact workout that's actually enjoyable.

So if you're ready to switch up your typical gym sweat sesh for one that gets you outdoors and burns loads of calories, follow my training plans over the next four weeks to up your trail game by the end of this month.

To kick off week one, it's important for hiking newbies to pick up a pair of hiking shoes from a legit sportswear store. That's because the right shoe can actually help prevent injuries, like killer blisters, Achilles tendonitis, and knee pain.

Ask the staff if they're used to fitting hiking boots, so you can be sure you're getting a pair that will aid your hike, not hinder it.

With that out of the way, check out this crazy-good training plan I've created to help you strengthen the muscles you rely on most while hiking, like your lower body and core, and improve your flexibility.

Incorporate each of these workouts into your regular routine to prep yourself for your first hiking adventure.

Hamstrings roll

Place a foam roller under your right knee with your leg straight. Cross your left leg over your right ankle. Put your hands flat on the floor for support (A). Roll your body forward until the roller reaches your glutes (B). Then roll back and forth for 30 seconds. Repeat with the roller under your left thigh.

Glutes roll

Sit on a foam roller, with it positioned on the back of your right thigh, just below your glutes. Cross your right leg over the front of your left thigh (A). Roll your body forward until the roller reaches your lower back (B). Then roll back and forth for 30 seconds. Repeat with the roller under your left glutes.

Iliotibial-band roll

Lie on your left side and place your left hip on a foam roller. Put your hands on the floor for support. Cross your right leg over your left, and place your right foot flat on the floor (A). Roll your body forward until the roller reaches your knee (B). Then roll back and forth for 30 seconds. Lie on your right side and repeat with the roller under your right hip.

Calf roll

Place a foam roller under your right ankle, with your right leg straight. Cross your left leg over your right ankle. Put your hands flat on the floor for support (A). Keep your back naturally arched. Roll your body forward until the roller reaches the back of your right knee (B). Then roll back and forth for 30 seconds. Repeat with the roller under your left calf.

Quadriceps-and-hips-flexors roll

Lie facedown on the floor with a foam roller positioned above your right knee. Cross your left leg over your right ankle and place your elbows on the floor for support (A). Roll your body backward until the roller reaches the top of your right thigh (B). Then roll back and forth for 30 seconds. Repeat with the roller under your left thigh.

Groin roll

Lie facedown on the floor. Place a foam roller parallel to your body. Put your elbows on the floor for support. Position your right thigh nearly perpendicular to your body, with the inner portion of your thigh just above the level of your knee, resting on top of the roller (A). Roll your body toward the right until the roller reaches your pelvis (B). Then roll back and forth for 30 seconds. Repeat with the roller under your left thigh.

Upper-back roll

Lie faceup with a foam roller under your midback, at the bottom of your shoulder blades. Clasp your hands behind your head and pull your elbows toward each other. Raise your hips off the floor slightly. Slowly lower your head and upper back downward, so that your upper back bends over the foam roller (A). Raise back to the start and roll forward a couple of inches—so that the roller sits higher under your upper back—and repeat (B).

Lower-back roll

Lie faceup with a foam roller under your mid back. Your knees should be bent with your feet flat on the floor (A). Raise your hips off the floor slightly (B). Roll back and forth over your lower back for 30 seconds.

Shoulder-blades roll

Lie faceup with a foam roller under your upper back at the tops of your shoulder blades. Cross your arms over your chest. Your knees should be bent with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips so they're slightly elevated off the floor (A). Roll back and forth over your shoulder blades and your mid and upper back for 30 seconds (B).

Body-weight squat

Spread your feet shoulder width apart and turn your feet out about 20 degrees (A). Keep your upper back straight and your arms straight out in front of you, slowly squat down so that your legs are at least parallel to the ground (B). Then stand back up. That's one rep. Do 15.

Inchworm

Stand tall with your legs straight and bend over and touch the floor (A). Keeping your legs straight, walk you hands forward (B). Then take tiny steps to walk your feet back to your hands. That's one rep. Do 15.

Plank

Start to get into a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Hold for one minute.

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