Hikers must try these 5 bodyweight exercises to improve leg strength

The whole workout takes less than 10 minutes

Attractive woman wearing knit hat practicing squats during winter
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Most of us don't like to think about hiking as a form of exercise. After all, hiking is all about being outside and one with nature, right? We agree, but we also think preparing your body for hiking has more benefits than drawbacks. Your legs definitely need to be in top shape if you want to roam the countryside for hours/days on end, and these five bodyweight exercises can help you build strength in your lower body with ease.

We appreciate that modern hiking gear, including the best hiking boots and best walking shoes, might make it feel like you don't need to physically prepare for outdoor escapades. But having strong legs go beyond ensuring you won't get injured on the trail. According to Healthline, leg workouts can stimulate hormones, improve core strength and balance, and can even promote weight loss.

The five bodyweight leg exercises in this workout are best performed outside – of course – but feel free to do them at home if that's what you prefer. You'll need something to step onto, so if you exercise at home, make sure the platform you're stepping onto is stable. You'll perform each move for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second rest, before moving on to the next exercise. Do 1-2 rounds. The movements featured in this workout are:

Even with the warmup, you should be over and done with the whole workout in well under 10 minutes! Now try these six essential hiking exercises to avoid joint pain. We also have a 6-minute no-equipment leg workout for bigger calves and stronger quads (thigh muscles). Finally, here's another knee-friendly home workout to build leg muscles, just for good measure.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.