Are you training to hike the Grand Canyon? Whether you’re planning a day hike or an overnight one, check out these tips on how to physically train for this bucket list hike!
Heads up– this is part of a Hiking the Grand Canyon series! Read more Grand Canyon hiking tips here: Hiking the Grand Canyon, Hiking Food Ideas, Camping Inside the Grand Canyon, + Grand Canyon Trails.
Physically Training to Hike the Grand Canyon
For both of my Grand Canyon hikes, I started training several months ahead of time. Make sure to train enough so that you’re comfortable hiking with a weighted pack for several hours.
Keep in mind that this hike is incredibly hard on the knees– especially going downhill. I don’t have knee problems, and my knees hurt after the hike. If you wear a knee brace— don’t forget it.
A trekking pole might also help provide support.
Use a treadmill, and try walking with the incline grade turned all the way up. Avoid supporting yourself on the handles.
Keep in mind that in places, the Grand Canyon has a much steeper grade than most treadmills can replicate.
Hiking the Grand Canyon is like walking down and then up the biggest staircase in the world. To train, grab a sturdy step stool and some hand weights, and practice stepping up and down. Repeat.
Back Strengthening Training
Use a rowing machine to help strengthen your upper back muscles. This will help you deal with the weight of your pack.
Leave the gym, add weight to your backpack, and go hiking.
Try to find long trails, and get used to carrying your pack for long stretches. Bring along some of the dehydrated meals, Clif bars, and electrolytes— or whatever food and drink that you’re planning on taking– and make sure you like the flavors.