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How to Maximize Your Hike

POPSUGAR / paid for by / C9 Champion® at Target

Hiking is a great Summer activity to share with friends. We partnered with C9 Champion® at Target to highlight exercises that will make sure you get the most out of your next adventure.

Hiking has an irrefutable allure about it — no matter what city you're hiking in, you're guaranteed epic views of your surroundings. But if you're up for it, you can also turn an ordinary hike into a hardcore workout (an hour of hiking can burn 355 calories). Ahead, five tips that will help you turn up the intensity on your next outdoor adventure.

  1. Do your research: If you're ready to burn major calories, spend some time mapping out your course ahead of time. The terrain you select should not be completely flat, and the hike should take at least an hour to finish. 
  2. Work out during rest breaks: Instead of taking a seat during breaks, up the ante. Lie down on the ground and do a set of crunches or try this five-minute standing ab workout. You'll keep your heart rate up while giving your legs a rest.
  3. Incorporate HIIT into the hike: By changing up the speed and incline of your walk, you'll be able to get the benefits you would from a traditional high-intensity interval workout. To do it, alternate between sprints and walks, forcing yourself to run up steep hills and walk to recover at the peak. 
  4. Try walking lunges: This move challenges your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and even your sense of balance. When you reach flat terrain, do a set of walking lunges. Take a slow step forward with your left leg, bend both knees (be sure your knee doesn't go over your toe), then push off with your right foot and bring it forward to starting position.
  5. Do a set of triceps dips: If you encounter a bench or solid surface during your hike, that's a great time to stop and do a set of triceps dips. Like the ab series, you'll rest your legs while challenging another muscle group.

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