Vermont is a beautiful place. Here’s how to prep for those Vermont hikes this season.

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We have a beautiful world, and to be able to take advantage of all its beauty we need to take good care of ourselves to reach the peaks and overcome challenges. The base-line for being able to do this is strength training.

Why strength training?

Strength training is for everyone at some level. The key is to make sure you scale it progressively to improve with a plan, and have it aligned with your goals. Form and technique in exercise is important for your health. Workouts are meant to help you have more:

  • Energy
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Balance
  • Prevent illness
  • Improve mood
  • Positive mindset

It can mean different things for different people. That being said, everyone needs to be active at some level to have better health and joy in your life.

Focus on balanced workouts

With hiking, biking, swimming, baseball, soccer and running season in full bloom, it is important to balance out your workouts.

Although many of the above activities work your body and have a strong leg focus, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to strength train your legs. Injury is inevitable if you feel that running is your leg workout. It can start with tight IT Bands, hip flexors, plantar fasciitis, and more. It’s important to focus on better health and injury prevention.

Let’s try this

Here are some exercises for your lower body and core, along with some simple leg progressions to start with:

  • Step ups, Weighted step ups, skip step ups etc.
  • Body weight squats, Dumbbell Squats, Barbell Squats, Jump Squats, box jumps etc.
  • Stationary Lunges, Reverse lunges, Front lunges, lateral lunges, weighted lunges, and jump lunges.

A couple more:

Take a hike

Here in northwest Vermont there are some great local hike options. Prep your muscles in strength balance and endurance before you get to deep into the woods.


Hardack is more of a recreational hill with great paths for hiking, mountain biking, and skiing snow boarding, as well as cross country skiing.

St. Albans Town Forest

St. Albans Town Forest is a beautiful recreational space for light hiking, cross country skiing, mountain biking, and more.

Other hikes

Bingham Falls, Sterling pond, Stowe Pinnacle, Mount Mansfield East & West are some other great local hikes.

The view from Madonna at Smuggler’s Notch

Camel’s Hump

Camels Hump has some great trail variations for different lengths and intensity levels.


Hellbrook on the Stowe side of Mount Mansfield is one of the most aggressive hikes you’ll find in the area. If you are looking for a good challenge, this is it.

Remember to enjoy the outdoors

Vermont is a beautiful place. To be able to enjoy it’s natural beauty we need to take care of our own natural beauty with proper strength training, cardio vascular exercise, nutrition, and rest. If you are looking to improve your health for enjoying the great outdoors or just looking for a great place that’s friendly and motivating to exercise come on in to Duke’s Fitness Center. It’s where your health matters.

Where will you explore next?

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Nate Yandow is a certified trainer, nutritionist, and the owner of Duke's Fitness Center.
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