A hiking love song to upper body strength

A little lifting, a little cardio, a little stretching. Lifting was a solid upper body workout: biceps, triceps, front and side delts, pec flys, back extensions, lat pulldowns and pushups. (Does anyone else’s shoulder socket pop when doing side delt raises? Me, just on one side. It drives me nuts.)

My legs are still weak and my knees are unhappy, so I figured 20 minutes on the stationary bike would be sufficient. I had the hardest time getting a workout out of that bike! I turned the level up all the way but it gave me hardly any resistance. I think my gym could use an investment in some new cardio equipment– those bikes were rusty and creaky, too.

When stretching, I figured out the reason for my knee wonkiness: my quads are tiiiiiight! I gave them a once-over with the foam roller (along with my glutes, for good measure) and I’ll be repeating that tonight. I did take my quads to the limit climbing up mountains of boulders, so it’s no wonder they need some TLC.

I think I mentioned trekking poles in a previous post. They’re a love-them-or-hate-them piece of equipment; lots of people prefer to have their hands free and not think about where they’re going to place the poles. However, for me, they were really useful– because I’ve developed good upper body strength, and the poles allowed me to put that to use moving forward or up. (Not to mention, they were great to help me balance!) Lots of times when my legs were just done, I could sub in arm strength and continue going. I spent plenty of time thanking my triceps!

I’m pretty sure my well-developed upper body helped me to carry my pack load, too. My manly companions all struggled with their packs, but I really didn’t have problems with mine– and I’m not at all sore (aside from some chafing on my bum shelf). Maybe it just fit really well! But I bet the extra muscles helped.

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