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Get ready for the Inca Trail, Physical Preparation for the 4-Day Classic Hike

Please note: for most people who are in relatively good physical condition is pleasurable to hike the Inca Trail to Machu PIcchu; however, since it involves hiking for periods of several hours per day it is always good to be well prepared and in good physical condition before going on this wonderful adventure.

For the adventurous. There is also an alternative Inca Trail route that we offer which is partly by bike.

Also remember that there is a limited number of visitors who can enter the Classic 4-Day Inca Trail route each day. Refer to our availability chart for more information.

Inca Trail – Physical Preparation

Physical Preparation for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

How to Physically Prepare for the Inca Trail

The majority of people who go on the classic 4 Day trail are not trekkers, and should therefore prepare physically to make the trip.

Inca Trail Preparation – General Recommendations

  1. Use the hiking boots you will be using for the Machu Picchu trek.
  2. Venture on mini trails / paths through woodlands or countryside in order to get used to trekking over stones and uneven ground.
  3. Also try to get used to carrying a backpack, since you will be carrying one on the trail.
  4. Find hilly terrain with narrow paths to practice on, this will help overcome height concerns you may have.
  5. Do at least one trek of 7 hours each time you can across the most difficult terrain you can find within your area. The objective is to find a rural rocky / hilly / stony terrain so that your muscles can get used to long periods of walking; this will definitely help you get along well with your 4 Day Inca Trail or classic adventure in 2017 – 2018.

    Machu Picchu hike preparation

    Picture yourselves getting to Machu Picchu with a good Hike Preparation

  6. For people who are overweight it is important to also use the gym (particularly the step machine) and swim. Will aid you in enjoying the treks with relative ease- This will make it much easier to hike the Trail in 4 consecutive days. (Or maybe just opt for the shorter 2 Day Inca Trail Tour.) If not in shape, your Machu Picchu hike preparation should include:
  • Aerobic Training : Can include running, cycling, swimming, cross-country running, speed walking etc.
  • Strength Training : Should include exercises working mostly on upper body strength.
  • Recreational Exercise : Any form of fun exercise that you enjoy. Can include climbing, trekking, dancing, canoeing, etc.
Inca Trail Preparation General Recommendations

Inca Trail Recommendations for a good preparation

Leg strength for the Inca Trail

The key muscles of your body to train are the ones on your legs. We have included a series of exercises to gain leg strength.

These Leg Exercises are Most Effective because they are Multi-Joint Functional Movements

Lunges: Lunges are by far the most effective leg exercises. They dynamically exercise your quadriceps, hamstrings, as well as your adductors, abductors and calves.

This will require endurance, leg strength, aerobic fitness, stamina and a good comfortable pair of walking boots!

Good preparation and comfortable boots!

Back Squats: Squats are possibly the most fundamental exercise. They are one of the best leg exercises because they work a good percentage of your muscle mass. Proper back squats will help you get stronger, gain muscle, burn fat and tone your entire body more than any other exercise.

Front Squats Front squats are the same as back squats except the bar is placed across the anterior deltoids (front of shoulders.)

Exercise Ball Weighted Squats

The ball squat is a perfect leg exercise for beginners. It can help teach the proper hip movement for back squats while the legs are in the optimal 90 degree relationship. This will eliminate almost all stress on the lower back.

These tips are useful for any of our Inca Trail tours.


Why not book the short Inca Trail if places for the Classic Trail in 2017 or 2018 have sold out.