Hiking, Backpacking, and Snowshoeing
The following except is from Pilates with the Outdoor Athlete Copyright: Lauri Ann Stricker 2007.
Hiking, backpacking, and snowshoeing are energy-absorbing sprints that require lower-body strength and endurance. Most people take about 2,000 steps for every mile they walk. The average hiker steps about 8,000 times per hour. The quality of your gait influences the wear and tear on your joints. Improving the quality of your gait can mean the difference between pleasure and pain. A good gait minimizes energy expenditure, reduces impact on your back and knees, and creates a more comfortable outing.
While striding, many people tend to lead with one leg. This can result in muscle imbalances not only from front to back but also from left to right In addition, striding longer with one leg than the other creates imbalances. Overuse injuries can be caused by a number of things, including improper footwear, poor posture and gait, lack of proper fitness, and training mistakes. Pilates can help you improve your gait by imporving your posture, breathing, core strength, and muscle balance.
An effective Pilates cross-training routine focuses on boosting core strength, improving flexibility, and restoring muscle balance. Balanced muscles that are flexible and strong enhance gait and reduce the risk of injury. Additional strength and flexibility in your legs and hips take pressure off your knees, improve range of motion, and also improve your endurance.
For more information on effectively cross-training for hiking, backpacking and snowshoeing, please check out my book, Pilates for the Outdoor Athlete, Fulcrum 2007.
For more information on effectively cross-training for hiking, backpacking and snowshoeing, please check out my book: Pilates for the Outdoor Athlete , Fulcrum 2007.