Looking for the Best (Free!) Full-Body Exercise? Try the Trail-Building Workout

By Tina McGill, AmeriCorps member of the Palisades Trail Crew, and Soňa Mason, West Hudson Program Coordinator

Working on the Trail

Give the trail-building workout a try by volunteering with one of our trail crews. (Photo credit: Josh Howard)

The Trail Conference is proud to present its very own GREEN GYM!

Tired of smelly, expensive indoor venues and boring workouts? Visit our spacious outdoor woodland facilities, which offer cardio warm-ups with unparalleled views and a wide range of trail-building workouts to tone all of your muscle groups.

Activities begin with a scenic hike into trail work sites to get the blood pumping. All muscle groups will then be thoroughly tested using the following tools:

Upper Body
• Arms: clippers and hand saws; carrying tools to work site, working the winch
• Biceps and triceps: small sledge hammers, stone shapers, drill
• Shoulders, core, and overall balance: carrying buckets of crush
• Core, back, and shoulders: rogue hoe, pick-mattock, rake; upgrade to 10 lb. sledge hammers for a real challenge and stress-release workout

Lower Body
• Legs: Squats when picking up medium rocks and crush buckets
• Quads and back: rogue hoe, pick-mattock; dead lifting and carrying small to medium rocks

Full Body
• Sidehilling with a rogue hoe or pick-mattock (voted the best overall conditioning calorie-burn)
• Exercise your spatial intelligence by visualizing how to orient irregularly shaped rocks around obstacles and set them in the most stable positions.

Bonus effects of trail-building workouts include camaraderie, a sense of accomplishment, and improved hiking paths for everyone to enjoy.

Best of all: It’s free!

To find an upcoming trail crew outing near you, check out our calendar. All volunteers should BYO lunch, water, and work gloves. We supply the tools, dirt, rocks, and fun.

About Trail Walker

Since 1920, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has partnered with parks to create, protect, and promote a network of more than 2,100 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. The Trail Conference organizes volunteer service projects that keep these trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public. We publish maps and books that guide public use of these trails. The Trail Conference is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization with a membership of 10,000 individuals and 100 clubs with a combined membership of 100,000 active, outdoor-loving people.
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1 Response to Looking for the Best (Free!) Full-Body Exercise? Try the Trail-Building Workout

  1. Bob Chapel says:

    Nicely done!! Best way to improve your own conditioning and simultaneously perform a public service…. Clearly a _ win-win_. Now we need only to get started on offering Branded Neon pink tights… Body enhancing tops and muscle shirts and NO one will be able to resist.!!

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