In a recent Q&A session in The Healthy Hiker's Facebook Group for Women I received this question:
"I would love to be able to squat down, without having to take my pack off (like when I drop something and struggle trying to bend over to pick it up) ugh....
And improve my posture when I am starting to get tired - I use poles, but still find myself leaning forward."
To gain more stability while hiking and backpacking, perform these 4 exercises to strengthen the posterior muscles.
1. Deadlift - with body weight or resistance band.
Start in standing with feet hip distance apart. Keep back flat with a slight arch as you reach toward the shin or toes. Stand up pulling strongly from the back of the legs, not the low back. Keep the back flat throughout.
2. Sumo Squat
Place feet wider than hip distance apart. Turn toes out slightly. Keep back straight and squat keeping knees tracking over toes.
3. Lat pulldowns
Hold a resistance band taught overhead. Pull it wide as you lower arms and bring resistant band to touch the top of the shoulder blades.
On your stomach, extend your arms overhead. Bring your navel to your spine and extend from your upper back, keeping your neck in line with your spine.