Technique & training for downhill hiking

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  • #26949


    Downhills are an essential part of life for uphill athletes, and I would love to gain insight on technique and training to improve my ability to survive long descents on foot (particularly on unimproved trails and boulder fields). I have struggled with mountain descents for ~30 years, and they cause major muscular discomfort. I’m strong on the uphills… but downhills literally take me as long, or longer, and are much more painful. Any technique insights or strength/training tips appreciated.

Posted In: Mountaineering

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    Anonymous on #27003

    One of our coaches, Alison Naney, just wrote an article about downhill technique:

    Anonymous on #27024

    I’m the same way: Relatively much stronger on the ups than the downhills, especially when the downhill is steep and rough. Certainly, technique and balance play a big part but so does strength. The eccentric type strength of lowering yourself makes a very specific type of strength demand on your legs that is entirely different from the propulsion uphill with is all concentric loading. Work on improving your step down strength. Look for the video in our Resources section that shows the heel touch exercise.


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