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Trail running is a full body performance, and requires a coordinated whole body effort, but  the most important area we should focus on is the lower body. It is important to target the lower body with exercises to prepare for trail running or even hiking that focus on the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, but it is also crucial to prepare the entire body and all necessary muscle systems for our trail running training, and that includes targeted exercises that enhance whole body trail training and core strength. 




1.     SQUATS


Squats are a great whole body, simple, and straightforward training for trail running exercise. The only thing we need to be able to do a squat is our own body weight for resistance. This exercise obviously targets the lower body, which is important for trail running training. Done correctly, squats can strengthen our legs, improve our balance, and strengthen our core. The main areas that squats target are the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and back muscles. Performing a squat, has the potential to target not only our lower body muscle systems, but our core systems too, including the abdominals and obliques.


  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions, resting between each rep.


2.     PLANKS


Planks are perhaps the simplest, least complicated exercise to complete. Planks are a great way to strengthen our core, and a strong core affects our entire body system. Planks improve strengths, posture, and mobility, which are great assets to have for much better trail running. And just like squats, planks are fantastic options because we can perform them anywhere, and the only thing we need is our own body weight.


There are two main variations to doing a plank, and they involve the position of our arms. For a fully extended plank, we will be resting on your palms with our arms fully extended and directly below the shoulders. The other option is to prop ourself on our forearms, bent at 90 degree angles and directly under the shoulders.


  • Keeping your spine and body straight, hold the plank in this position for at least 30 seconds 2-3 reps.




To perform single leg bridge or normal bridge will strengthen the glutes and core to feel stronger running on the trail.


  • Do 3 sets of 30 secs on each side.






Side Lunge is a super-efficient exercise to strengthen and activate the glutes and whole legs.


  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each side, resting between each rep.





Reverse Lunges are another great way to target your legs and lower body, as well as your abdominals and back muscles. They improve balance and stability as well, by targeting each leg individually.


  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions, resting between each rep.


6.     STEP UPS


Step ups can require a prop, but it is a simple one that anyone should be able to do and improvise. 


This exercise specifically targets our hamstrings, glutes, and quads, which are vital for trail running, especially uphill runs and climbing. Step ups improve stability and coordination in the lower body as well. The truth is when we do flat walking, running, or hiking, the quads do not get engaged to their full potential. Step ups are a great way to prepare them for a challenging uphill trail running.


Step ups are efficient, they focus and build on each leg individually, not just as a whole. We will be building equal strength on each side and in each leg.  This equal training will improve our stability, strength, and coordination for trail running.


  • Repeat for 10 repetitions, then switch sides and lead with your left foot, following the same steps.



7.     PUSH UPS


To perform good push ups, it will strengthen the arms and the entire body and core to feel better on the trail.


  • Do 3 sets of 15 push ups, resting for 15-30 secs between each rep.




Side planks are also a great exercise to strengthen our core and entire body. Side planks have the same benefits as normal planks, but also to strengthen the side body. You can lift your top leg to strengthen the core even more.


  • Hold the side plank for 30-60 secs on each reps- 2-3 reps.



9.     RUN


To run on the road is a great aerobic way to prep for trail running. And to walk up the stairs will also strengthen the core and legs.


  • Run for 30-60-90 mins for training.



Perform Some Super-Efficient Exercises To Support Great Trail Runs, Feel Better, Stronger, And Easier On the Trail!


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