FORM & FUNCTION: A BACKPACKER'S SAVING-GRACE
My partner Isacc and I recently came off of a 30 day backpacking adventure across most of Western Europe. While we did land in more than a couple major cities, we still had to carry 40-55 pounds on our person at any given time - usually only when walking 8-12 miles, of course. We found out quickly how easy it is to fall into some really bad form habits that can destroy your body, while doing something we all assume to be so good for us - backpacking.
We were relaxing in front of the Eiffel tower one afternoon after a leisurely picnic when I noticed how hard it was to simply sit upright with no back support. I realized that both of our chest and shoulder muscles were hunching forward because of the constant tension our backpack straps were putting on them by pulling back and down from our shoulders. I mentioned this to Isacc, and he pointed out that his hips were extra tight as well, which also made relaxing in the grass more uncomfortable than we liked. Being the ever-entheusiastic trainer I am, and knowing I had just the tool in my day pack to counter these poor form developments, I pulled out my straps and threw together this quick TRX Circuit that we each repeated 3-4 times every other day or so. In under a week, we both noticed huge improvements in our back and hips. Even carrying the bags became easier, allowing us to breath more fully and in turn hike for longer periods without rest. We also noticed how much nicer and easier it was to simply sit upright with or without a chair to support us.
Do this workout every other day anytime you are on a multi day hike, or simply as an end of the day supplament to your day hike. Your body will thank you! Then you can thank us by dropping a message about your experience. We LOVE backpacking stories. Enjoy!
First, warm up your body by doing some light cardiovascular movements (jumping jacks, mountain climbers, light jog etc.), for about 4-5 minutes. Then do this workout in the order performed in the video. Do 10 repetitions of each exercise back to back before resting one minute and repeating the circuit 2-3 more times.