3. Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Why it works: “A lot of hikers develop knee and hip issues from all the pounding, not having strong glutes and hamstrings, and/or having an imbalance where their quads are stronger than their glutes and hamstrings,” Seedman says. Unilateral work, like a single-leg glute bridge, corrects any weaknesses and asymmetries. “It’ll make sure your entire posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, and lower back) is firing, which will protect your knees, strengthen your lower body, and ensure you have more balanced activation when hiking.”
How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, close to your glutes. Engage your abs and raise one leg off the floor, extending straight out or brining the knee toward your chest. Drive through the heel of your planted leg and bridge your hips up off the floor. Squeeze your glutes at the top, lower and repeat. Complete all reps on one side, then switch.
Expert tip: Keep your planted foot and leg totally straight to reinforce proper alignment. “If it rotates out, it can transfer into funky walking mechanics,” Seedman says.
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