Days are shorter. Fall workouts can be, too.
The changing of the season from summer to the orange- and red-tinged hues of autumn is a great time to be active outside and make the most of this beautiful time of year. With the sun rising later and setting earlier now, it’s key to take advantage of the midday light to get outside and be active, even if you only have 20-30 minutes.
Whether at a local park, in the heart of the city, or further out on a trail, this TrailFit training program developed in collaboration with Cooler Magazine and fitness instructor Sophie Everard focuses on boosting mobility, strength, and endurance through these colder months, gearing up the body for the full-blown energy of spring/summer.
Here at our headquarters in Portland, Oregon, we are fortunate to have the Wy’East Wolfpack Group guiding us through the season with a similar fitness program to break up our workday with some endorphins and exercise-induced camaraderie once a week.
So lace up those KEEN Terradora shoes and boots for a better way to spend your lunch hour or squeeze in a fitness session before weekend brunch.
A dynamic warm-up works to increase the range of motion in joints, rev the nervous system and increase body temperature to prepare the body and boost performance. As the temperature drops in autumn, be sure to spend time adequately warming up the joints and muscles to avoid injury.
Spend 30 seconds on each movement, slowly executing each movement:
Forward and side leg swings
Standing on one leg, swing the leg forward and backward, keeping the spine neutral, with straight legs. Complete and change leg. Move on to side leg swings, swinging the leg across the body in front.
Deep squats with open arm extensions
Drop into a deep squat, keeping the weight on the heels. When fully down into the squat, bring the hands down to the feet, and extend through one straight arm, looking up toward your hand and sky. Return hand to the ground and repeat on other side, before returning to standing position and repeating.
Walking lunge with twist
Flex the knees as you step forward with one leg, dropping the hips. Lower until the rear knee touches the ground, inhaling. The body should remain in an upright position with the front knee above the front foot. Twist through the body to face side of lowered knee, and slowly return to center. Driving through the front foot heel, extend both knees to return to standing. Repeat on opposite leg.
Standing with feet hip-distance apart, neutral spine, extend arms and make large circles forward, then backward.
Drive alternating knees high, maintaining a braced core and knees thrusting high to hip height.
MAIN TRAINING PROGRAM
With the warm-up complete, now it’s time to progress to the main program. Start with some light jogging for 3-5 minutes before launching into the sets.
Take one-minute rest between sets. Or, to challenge yourself further, you can decrease the rest time between the exercises, down from 60 seconds (beginner), to 45 (intermediate), to 30 (advanced).
Sprint intervals, 5 reps
If you’re short on time and can’t fit in longer training sessions, interval training is hugely beneficial, boosting cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and strength, in short high-intensity bursts. Setting out a distance of 25-35 meters, sprint as hard as possible the entire distance, then jog back to starting point to repeat.
Breathing squat, 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions
With your feet planted hip-distance apart and toes angled out around 10 degrees, push back the hips as you inhale, lowering and following with the knees with weight on the heels. Exhale as you return to a standing position.
March with twist, 3 sets of 15-18 repetitions
Standing with the feet hip-width apart and the arms held overhead, core engaged, bring the right elbow to the left knee while twisting through the waist, then return to start and repeat on opposite side. Utilising the core to execute the movement and engage the obliques through motion.
Single leg sprint, 3 sets of 15-18 repetitions
Standing in a low lunge, bend at the left knee with the right leg straight, arms extended overhead. Hinging from the hip so the chest is over the left thigh, engage the core to lift the right knee to the chest, arms coming in at the sides. Replace leg on the ground and quickly drive forward again. (For more of a challenge, add a twist, pulling right knee in to touch left elbow each time.)
Hip hinges, 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions
Standing straight with hands on the hips and feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, engage the core and push ribs down and shoulders back with a neutral neck. Bending at the waist slowly, maintain shoulders and hips in line with your glutes, back and hamstrings engaged. Bend until parallel, before returning to start position. Be careful NOT to round the back—a neutral spine must be maintained.
Clock lunges, 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions per leg
Starting with your hands on hips and feet hip-distance apart, step the foot forward into a lunge until the knee creates a 90-degree angle. Return to standing. Next, lunge out to the side with the same leg, the leg bending to 90 degrees at the knee and hip. Return to standing. The final movement is to lunge backwards with the leg, with both knees at 90 degrees, return to standing. Complete 8-12 rounds then switch legs.
Single leg: Romanian lift, 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions per leg
With the feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in the knees (knees soft), raise a leg off the ground. Flex the knee on the standing leg to activate glutes, and hinge at the hip, lowering the body until it is nearly parallel to the floor. Pause, then activate and squeeze glutes, thrusting the hips forward to raise the body back to starting position. The hips should be pushed back on the down phase and glutes squeezing as you return to standing, keeping the knees soft throughout.
Skating windmill, 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions
Standing on the left leg with the right leg bent behind the body, foot lifted low above the ground, bend the left knee and lean forward, reaching to the ground with the right arm in front of the left foot, extending the left arm behind the body. Jump off the left foot and leap right, bending elbows and hands to bring together mid-air. Land on the right leg with knee bent. Repeat on the other side.
Squat jump onto bench / or on ground, 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions
With the feet shoulder-width apart, toes outward at around 10 degrees, inhale and lower into a squat. On the exhalation explode in the air with maximum power, driving powerfully through the legs and pushing into the air with the feet, hands above the head in the air and with the core activated and engaged. Land on your feet with the legs slightly bent before returning into a squat position.
Broad jump to fast feet
With feet hip-distance apart, bend at the knees and hinge hips back, with chest remaining upright. Engage the glutes and core, and propel forward with both feet, landing soft and with chest remaining up. On the toes, take small fast steps back to starting point.
Spider man push-ups, 3 sets of 5-8 repetitions
In a normal push-up position, ensuring the body is aligned from the head to the ankles, inhale and lower the body to the floor, lifting the right foot and take the right leg out sideways, trying to make contact between the knee and elbow. Return to starting position. For an easier alternative, start with left knee on ground. If the ground is wet or snowy, place hands on a bench or a wall for incline press-ups.
The Terradora collection offers a women-specific athletic hiker for active days on any trail, with low and mid options that are waterproof, insulated, or vented for any season. For more ways to get your trail fitness on—at the beach, in the mountains, or just outside the city—click here for more TrailFit training ideas.