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Wilderness Sports > Mountaineering & Scrambing > Mountaineering and Scrambling Strength Training

Lunge Step-Up

Mountaineering and Scrambling Strength Training

What is involved in the training for Mountaineering and Scrambling?

Mountaineering and alpine scrambling typically involve traveling long distances, gaining significant elevation, with the goal of getting to the top of a specific peak. Mountaineers and scramblers will benefit from strong upper-back, core, and leg muscles; solid balance and agility; and flexibility in the calves, knees, torso, and ankles. The exercises suggested below point you in the proper direction for sport-specific training for alpine travel. For details about putting together a periodized strength training program for yourself, refer to The Outdoor Athlete, Chapter 8. See also the DVD Train to Climb Mt. Rainier or Any High Peak for motion clips of many of the exercises suggested below.

Unilateral (single-limb) exercises such as those listed below (left side) are ideal for early season training in order to increase balance and joint integrity throughout the lower body and core musculature. Bilateral multi-joint exercises listed on the right are ideal for middle months where your focus is on building as much strength as possible.

Unilateral/balance Exercises

Bilateral Exercises

1-leg Squat

Cable Deadlifts

1-Leg Deadlift

Reverse Pushouts

1-leg Hovers

Snow Shoveler

Step Down

Floor-Assist Pullups

Lunge Step-Up

Stiff-Leg Deadlifts

1-leg Calf Raise

Horizontal Pullups

Hip Hike

Overhead Squats

Oblique Twists

Planks variations

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