Posted by: jakinnan | November 15, 2012

Strengthen Your Back


Kneeling Halfmoon
Why: Your lower back is especially vulnerable to twists and jerks. Dynamic, rotational strength-builders help stabilize your core for safer pack-lifting and loaded travel on uneven terrain.
How: Start by kneeling on the ground with a 10- to 25-pound weight on your right side (use an iron plate or dumbbell). Bend at the waist, grab the weight with both hands, lift it above your head to full arm extension, and place it to your left side. Reverse the move to complete one rep; do four sets of five reps three times a week.

Loaded Step-Ups
Why: This lower-back exercise helps prevent bad form, like leaning forward, which can cause long-day fatigue. Bonus: This move also builds cardio fitness.
How: Put on a 15- to 20-pound pack. Step straight up onto a 16- to 20-inch bench, fully extending your leg and hip as you stand all the way up. Then, step down and repeat the move, leading with your opposite leg. Start with two 30-minute sessions per week. Go big: Build up to 750 step-ups (375 per leg) in 30 minutes wearing a 40-pound pack.

Low Back Complex
Why: Focused isometrics quickly build strength in pack-hauling muscles.
How: Assume this stance: feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, leaning forward from the hips. Squeeze your shoulder blades together while pushing your butt back and torso forward. Then, one after the other, hold each of these positions for 20 seconds: arms extended behind you, alongside your torso; arms raised above your head, in-line with your ears; hands pressed into your knees. Do four sets four times a week.

Courtesy of Backpacker Magazine


  1. I need to do these, but I’m thinking they’re not meant for pinched nerve issues.

    • I posted a couple of exercises for pinched nerve issues. You may want to check with your doctor just to make sure these are okay. Have a great weekend!

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