written by
Leslie Hughes

How to Use Pilates to Improve Hiking

Athletic Performance 2 min read

Pilates is one of the best workouts you can use to supplement other activities in your life, thanks to its well-rounded, full-body workout. Whether you’re a runner, a dancer, or a hiker, you will find some great benefit to adding Pilates to your life.

For those that are big into hiking, there are some specific Pilates moves you can recreate at home that, even though you don’t have the machine, will help you improve your hiking skills and make you a stronger hiker.

Let These Pilates Moves Help Your Hiking

1. Squats

Photographer: Lindsey Saenz | Source: Unsplash

There is no denying that hiking requires some heavy usage of your legs, so you’re going need to put some serious focus on working that part of your body to elevate your hiking skills.

One of the ways you can do this at home with the help of Pilates is squats. And if you’re ever been to a Pilates class, you know that PIlates squats are different than the squats you may do at the gym.

When you’re squatting in Pilates, the number one thing you want to keep in mind is that your knees are aligned with your ankles -- you do not want your knees to go in front of your ankles.

You also want to pull your hips back as far as you can (which will aid in the proper alignment of your knees), and go down as low as you can go.

2. Single Leg Circles

We are still working on the legs over here, and these at-home Pilates circles are a great way to strengthen them.

When in class, your instructor may have you do these circles with the foot straps attached and some weights for that extra resistance, but you can still do a version of this move at home.

Simply lay down on your back and lift one leg up in the air, making sure that your knee, your ankle, and your hip are all in a straight line. Then draw a big circle with your leg, making sure you are pressing your back into the mat while doing so. Do this a few times on each side, and then reverse the circles to get all the angles worked.

3. Roll Up

While legs certainly are the focus of hiking, having a strong core is also an important component to being a good hiker.

Pilates is full of core workouts that will have your abs burning like crazy. In fact, you should have your abs contracted throughout the entirety of your Pilates class. However, there are some workouts you can do at home to target this area even more, and one of them is the roll up.

Lay down on the mat with your arms pointing up to the ceiling. Keeping your legs glued to the ground, slowly roll up off the ground until you are sitting upright. Then slowly roll back down. The key to the effectiveness of this exercise is taking it slowly. Take the time for that mind-body connection to really kick in,

The Takeaway

Hikers will see some great improvement in their hiking when adding Pilates to their regimen. The combination of the leg workouts and the core-boosting movements will make a noticeable different next time you’re out hitting the trails.

Want to see the positive effects of Pilates yourself?

Try Konnect Pilates today.

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