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  1. #1

    Default Old Fart training

    Im 60 yrs old. Reasonably good shape. I section hike. But I have a sensitive knee. I may get laid off this winter, hence creating an opportunity to try the whole AT this spring. My question is.. I work out at the gym but would like some input on the best exercises to do this winter at the gym to prep for my possible trip. any ideas welcomed.. .thanx bill

  2. #2
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    All the usual weight training, with particular emphasis on stabilizer muscles.

    That said, the best training is to put on a pack and go walk on a trail as often as possible. In general, the overuse injuries on a hike come from the relentless walking for 8-10 hours a day up and down mountains. Nothing we can do in a gym will prepare us as well as hiking with a pack. Given your location, I'd think you could get out once a week or more, no?
    Ken B
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  3. #3

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    You really need to have professional pin down the source of a "sensitive knee" and recommend specific exercises to strengthen it or decide that its time for repair. Many folks including myself recomend starting glucosmine chroniditin three to 6 months in advance to get your cartilege in shape but if there at other specific issues it will not cure them.

    As stated many times before, there is no real subsitute for training to hike except hiking. I use a stair climber and althouhg it helps, I still feel it when I havent gone hiking for a few weeks.

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    ever been through knee rehab? I'm 62 with two questionable knees - these are the exercises I try to do every time I hit the gym - laying on back straight leg lifts using leg weights (quads), straight leg lifts that swing out to the side with leg weights (quads, hip abductors), laying on side side leg lifts with leg weights (hip abductors), laying on stomach back leg lifts with weights, laying on back with support under knee leg bent - straighten knee with weights

    unfortunately they are some of the most boring exercises but the knee is helped by having those muscles strengthened

    for cardio - stair climber or thread mill at max elevation (15 deg.) - try to work up to 4 mph for extended time (I'm still at 2 mph and 10 deg.) - helps to have heart rate monitor - aim to train at 80% max rate

  5. #5

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    thanx for the input..helps

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    I've seen a few of these threads and had the idea of wheelbarrowing as being a good exercise for backpacking. I don't know and I am not a sports scientist but it seems like wheelbarrowing works on your whole body especially the legs when going uphill. If you have yard work to do anyway maybe it would provide additional motivation for moving the wood pile or remulching the back 40. Any exercise that enhances your physical condition would be better than none.

  7. #7
    lemon b's Avatar
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    Agree with peakbagger.

  8. #8

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    The best training for hiking is ............hiking (I know, others have said it, too).

    Other than that, I've found that riding a bicycle up hills (standing, out of the saddle) is a reasonable substitute for what your knees will be doing (minus the impact). It's also great cardio (if you don't give up after 5 minutes ).
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11
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  9. #9
    LT '79; AT from Springer-Rangeley in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    You really need to have professional pin down the source of a "sensitive knee" and recommend specific exercises to strengthen it or decide that its time for repair. Many folks including myself recomend starting glucosmine chroniditin three to 6 months in advance to get your cartilege in shape but if there at other specific issues it will not cure them.
    The knee joint can exhibit many different symptoms for different injuries -- even multiple symptoms for the same injury. Your best bet is to go to an ortho who specializes in knees and can refer to you a physical therapist to give you specific exercises.
    I take 1500 mg of glucosamine sulfate, which is the only glucosamine mix that is statistically proven to some impact, albeit nominal. I get mine at Whole Foods. However, I'm not entirely convinced that it has made a difference, but I know that I have cartilage issues in one knee and since I've strengthened and taken this dosage that knee is doing fine.
    There are a lot of potential exercises. I do some of the ones mentioned by bigcranky and Hog On Ice above. However, don't forget your hamstrings! For men, quad strength is typically much higher than hams (it's the opposite for women). The hamstring exercise that has seemed to help me the most is one-legged Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ncmtns View Post
    would like some input on the best exercises to do this winter at the gym to prep for my possible trip. any ideas welcomed.. .thanx bill
    Step machine is probably the best machine in a gym to prepare for the AT IMO.

    2 thoughts:
    1/ Carry a cheap (lightweight) knee brace
    I had a bad knee until I took up long distance hiking. Then it got stronger.
    But, there used to be days when I needed a knee brace (big miles, tough downhills, rocky terrain, heavy pack)

    2/ Now that i'm older (i'm 61), my old knee injury came back a bit from jogging on concrete.
    Then i read that book "born to run" and picked up a pair of moccasin-like shoes. My knee problems went away.
    But, I'd still carry a knee brace if doing another thru.

    Good luck.
    Have fun.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

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    All good suggestions so far. The best things that have helped me over the years wrt knees and joints in particular: using hiking poles (thus "daddytwosticks"), lightening my pack, hiking in lightweight running shoes, losing body weight, and working out at the gym 3 or 4 times a week. At the gym, I do nothing crazy, elliptical and weight machines mostly. I try and get out to hike as often as possible. Good luck and hope all this info helps.

  12. #12

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    Add a balance board or a balance pad to your gym routine. Otherwise, the trail is your best trainer.

    Col R

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    yeah man,definently work with a pro on this you don't want to blow your opptunity
    I hike for hikin'

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    Registered User BFI's Avatar
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    Same age with knee problem..Physio identified problem, (Bruised Miniscus) and I am now focusing on Gluts, Hip abductors, and core muscles. Massage therapy has helped a bunch as well as a hot water bottle every night , no longer than 20 minutes on the knee. Find out for sure what the problem is and then work on what is recommended. I stopped using the stationary bike and the elipitical trainer at my gym and focus on core and stablizer muscle groups. I will be undertaking a thru hike this March. Good luck.

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    ive trained to be an old fart for a number of years, but fear I still need a few more years to be considered old.

    I like to do some warmup hikes before I section, and I look for the steepest local trails I can find, in my case its breakneck ridge, directly across the hudson from west point, or the long path in minnewaska state park, which have some steep but short ups and downs.

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    I walk three and half miles through the woods to the Pub to watch the football game and back afterwords. Walk in the woods. I also do a 3.5 mile woods loop as often as I can. Road walks hurt your feet.
    Everything is in Walking Distance

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    http://bamahiker.blog.com/ Freedom Walker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncmtns View Post
    Im 60 yrs old. Reasonably good shape. I section hike. But I have a sensitive knee. I may get laid off this winter, hence creating an opportunity to try the whole AT this spring. My question is.. I work out at the gym but would like some input on the best exercises to do this winter at the gym to prep for my possible trip. any ideas welcomed.. .thanx bill
    Old fart, I took have sensitive knees as well and started working out at a local fitness center a month ago and as part of an orientation the trainer got me started on hamstring slrelches daily. He said that tight hamstrings put stress on the knees. It may be the workouts or the slrelches, but the knees are doing way better.
    Freedom Walker, I am free to Walk, I am free to Run, I m free to live for You Lord Jesus, I am FREE!

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  18. #18

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    I walk to work. 1 1/2 miles mostly downhill to, same mostly uphill from. No gym needed and saves money too.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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