Unless you’re part of a particular cult, most hiking follows a predictable pattern: you move forward—one leg after another.
Sure, you go up and down in elevation. But you’re still moving forward.
If hiking and step-ups, split squats, and lunges are all you do, you’ll eventually run (hike?) into trouble.
To become a well-rounded hiker, what you need to do in the gym are the things you ignore when hiking.
And that means swapping some of your forward-moving exercises for lateral movements.
Think of lateral lunges and squats or lateral step-ups and step-downs.
If you’ve ignored these exercises until now, prepare to be humbled. And sore.
Start easy, get used to the movement, and work up to solid sets of 12-15 before adding load.