If You're a Hiker With Knee Pain, Do Step Ups Like This & Start Conquering the Trail's Ups AND Downs
Step ups mimic climbing and strengthen the muscles that help with hiking, namely the glutes, quads, and calves. However, when quads are the primary mover executing the step up, they can trigger knee pain. The key to doing them in a way that targets the glutes and takes the pressure off the knees is to hinge at the hips as you step up. Then, step back down slowly and with control, landing softly on the ground with the opposite foot. Lowering like this strengthens and trains the quads in the way they are used when hiking downhill. Counting helps ensure you’ve got the tempo right. Step up powerfully, hinging at the hips, for a count of one, then lower down slowly for a count of two to four, keeping the knee facing forward tracking over the toes. You’ll be able to extend the lowering portion for a longer count as you gain control and strength. Try first on a small step and then increase the step size as you get stronger. Start with three sets of 10 reps on each leg and increase sets and reps as able. Performing this exercise consistently three to five times a week will make a big impact on your climbing and help decrease your knee pain!
Exercises like these (see video below) can lessen your knee pain and improve your confidence on the trail, helping you hike further and higher. If you are ready to stop letting your knee pain slow you down, you want to be in the next cohort of the Easing Knee Pain Group Program! Join the waiting list now so you'll know the minute the doors open!