Why Is Hiking Such a Complete Lower Body Workout?

A lot of people love to go out and hike. Hiking gives you time to commune with nature. Hiking also gives you the benefit of doing exercises. When you reach a peak, you feel as if you’ve just done a hard workout session in your life. In this article, we’ll answer: why is hiking such a complete lower body workout?

Why Is Hiking Such a Complete Lower Body Workout?

Hiking is a complete lower body workout because it involves a lot of leg work since you walk a lot. Hiking also adds a degree of difficulty in walking since rough terrain forces you to constantly shift your balance engaging your lower body more.

If you want to start hiking, you should condition your body for endurance as hiking involves long hours of walking. Wear the right shoes to keep your feet from hurting and start slow with hiking by hiking short distances in your local area. It would be better if there were small uphill areas you can hike on to improve your balance.

Woman hiking

You need to prepare your body if you don’t want to lose energy during the hike. If you’ve just started, you can walk on flat terrain so your body gets used to walking and slowly try hiking on uphill terrains.

What Muscles Are Worked in Hiking?

You work a lot of lower body muscles when you hike. Hiking actually makes a great workout if you love to travel, be one with nature, and be fit at the same time.

  • Glutes: hiking on flat terrain doesn’t cause too much pressure on your glutes. When you hike on uphill terrains, your glutes get worked on helping give shape to your butt.
  • Quadriceps: Quads get worked out a lot during the downhill adventure. Your quadriceps help maintains balance your body as you go down and maintain proper posture against gravity.
  • Calves: Your calves support the weight you carry. The more weight you carry, for example, a bag, the more your calves get worked on.
  • Hamstrings: Hamstring also supports your lower body in hiking. You need to properly take care of your hamstring as it can easily tire out or get injured in a hike. Avoid muddy terrains and strengthen your hamstrings by walking on your toes.
  • Lower Back: Your lower back gets the most pressure from the load you’re carrying.
  • Thighs: Thighs get engaged a lot when you are going downhill. Thighs also help you balance in difficult terrains like rocks, mud, and uneven slopes.

Woman standing in a grass field

Is Hiking a Full Body Workout?

No, hiking doesn’t give you a full-body workout. However, it’s a great workout that you can enjoy and engages a lot of your muscles. It also gives you cardio workout as a bonus.

Just walking can get your butt in shape. With hiking, not only your butt can get in shape but almost every part of your lower body. The unknown and uneven terrain presents a challenge that your body needs to overcome.

If you add backpacks in your hiking, you add strength and endurance training for your upper body as well. Just make sure that your body can keep up through your planned hiking trip.

Depending on the type of dog you have, hiking can also be a great way to push yourself. Certain types of dogs are perfect for hiking and running with, and will help you keep your pace up.

Is Hiking a Good Way to Lose Weight?

Hiking makes a great activity to lose weight. It helps you burn a lot of calories and build muscle strength. While running can be a better alternative, not everyone can get into running. For people who love to take it slow, hiking could be the one for you.

You don’t have to run fast, you just take your time walking and getting to your destination. Sure, it may take a lot of time but the scenery and journey during the hike make it all worthwhile. If you are with friends or other people, it also provides you an avenue to socialize and make connections with other people.

Woman resting after hiking

If you’re the adventurous type who wants to get fit, then hiking can be a great activity to spend your time with. You can do it with friends or alone. More importantly, the scenery you get when you reach a certain peak makes you motivated to do hiking again.

Does Hiking Give You Abs?

Hiking won’t give you abs alone but it will melt the fat that is on your abs. It gives you a bit of tone especially if you frequent walking up a hill. If you want to get abs, you should add abs workout on your schedule.

How Many Times a Week Should I Hike?

It depends on your lifestyle. If you’re a busy person, going out for a hike once a week should do enough for you. However, if you have an objective that you want to accomplish then you should readjust your schedule in order to get to your goal.

For example, if you want to lose weight through hiking, you should do hiking at least three times a week. This gives you the best possible weight loss result.

In the end, you decide how many times you can do hiking. You should hike at your leisure and not become a daily routine.


Hiking can be a good workout activity you can get into. It has a lot of benefits when it comes to your health and fitness. It helps you lose fat, develops your lower body, builds strength and endurance, and improves your cardio.

Robert Lemus has been a natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.


report this ad

Read Post  13 Best Hiking Daypacks With Hydration

Recent Posts

  • DIY Plyo Box: Build Two for $40
  • Crossfit Terms and Jargon
  • How to Calculate Your 400 Meter Sprint Potential
  • Sports Massage: How to Choose a Therapist
  • Orthostatic Heart Rate: A Simple Training Tool

DMCA.com Protection Status


report this ad


report this ad

Copyright 2022 SimpleFitnessHub.com – All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Contact

Simplefitnesshub.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Why Is Hiking Such A Complete Lower Body Workout?

why is hiking such a complete lower body workout

Hiking will give you strong leg muscles, so let’s start with that. Walking is a great way to work out the lower body, and all those ups and downs will strengthen the muscles. Carrying a loaded backpack makes for a great workout. Hiking is also great for building strength in your shoulders, back and arms.

You’ll be able to carry more weight, which means you’ll have more strength to lift heavy objects. And, of course, it’s great exercise for your heart. Hiking will also help you burn more calories than any other form of exercise you can do.

Table of Contents

Why is taking such a complete lower body workout?

Leg workouts involve the major muscle groups of your body, which helps to improve overall athletic performance and support healthy movement patterns in your daily life. A strong lower body will help to prevent injuries and manage chronic conditions.

Is hiking a total body workout?

Michael Bednarz, DPM, FACFAS, a podiatric surgeon at Piedmont, says hiking is a great total-body workout when you’re dressed for success. He says it strengthens the large muscles in your body, while stimulating the feel-good chemical hormones. Hiking is also good for your heart.

“It’s a good way to burn calories, and it’s also an excellent cardiovascular workout,” says Dr. Bednarz. He recommends it for anyone who wants to lose weight or maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of his or her height in meters.

Does hiking workout your legs?

Hiking builds strength. Since hiking is on challenging terrain, the legs and glutes are the targeted muscles groups. It’s important to build strength in these muscles because hiking requires more side-to-side movement and the trail is rarely flat after a long day of hiking. Hiking is also a great way to improve your balance and coordination.

If you’re new to hiking, you may not be able to balance on your own, so you’ll need to learn how to do it. You’ll also want to strengthen your core, hips, shoulders, arms, and legs so that you can stand up straight and keep your weight off your feet.

Is hiking good for knees?

Because of steep inclines and rocky terrain, hiking uphill can be strenuous, but downhill hiking can damage the knee joint. The knee is three to four times stronger on downhill trails than it is on uphill trails. Hiking downhill can also lead to knee pain, especially if you have a history of knee problems. If you are hiking downhill, you should always wear a knee brace or other knee protective equipment.

What happens if you only workout your lower body?

As you are training your leg daily, you will never grow them. As your body is not fully recovered, you will always have sore legs, which can lead to injury during a workout. After a few years, your joints will become weaker and you won’t be able to perform the same as before.

If you want to get the best out of your training, you need to make sure that you do not overdo it. If you overtrain your muscles and joints, it will lead to injury. It is better to take a break from training for a few weeks and then come back to it when you feel ready.

How does hiking change your body?

Lower your risk of heart disease can be achieved by hiking. Your blood pressure and blood sugar levels can be improved. Increase the amount of calcium in your bones by walking. Help you lose weight and keep it off. Start by walking at a comfortable pace for 30 to 45 minutes a day.

After a few weeks, you can increase your pace to two to three miles per day, depending on your fitness level and how active you want to be. You can also increase the distance you walk by using a GPS device or a smartphone app to track your progress.

What are hiker legs?

Hiker legs are earned from repeated days of backpacking over an extended period of time. Trail legs can be earned in a variety of ways, but the most common way to earn trail legs is by completing a number of consecutive days on a particular trail.

Why do hikers have big calves?

Hikers who like inclined trails are likely to have bigger calves. The trails they walk on increase their range of motion and work their calf muscles more intensely. Hikers with bigger, stronger calves will be leaner and more muscular as a result of this. The same is true for runners.

The more they run, the stronger their calves become, and the longer they can run before fatigue sets in. In other words, if you want to be a better runner, you need to run more.

What happens to your body after a long hike?

Your body will rely on your stores for fuel during a long hike. As a result of physical activity, some of your muscles will break down or become damaged. The sooner we eat, the quicker we recover and the better we will be. If you’re not eating enough carbohydrates, you’ll need to eat more protein to replenish your stores.

Protein is a great source of essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. They’re found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils and soy products. You can also get your protein from plant-based sources, such as tofu, tempeh, soy milk and beans.

Does hiking build calf muscle?

Hiking involves a number of different muscle groups. Hiking is a great way to build strength and endurance, as well as improve your balance and coordination. It’s also an excellent way for you to burn fat and build muscle at the same time. Here are some of the most important muscles that you should be focusing on when you’re hiking: Your Quads: These are the strongest muscles in your body.

They’re responsible for keeping your legs straight and your feet planted on the ground. When you hike, you want to be able to keep your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, which will help you maintain a stable base of support while hiking. You can do this by holding onto a rock, tree branch, or other sturdy object.

If you can’t find something to hold onto, try using your hands or feet to support your weight. This is the muscle group that runs along the inside of your thighs and attaches to your pelvis. This group of muscles is also known as the gluteus maximus.

Read Post  How Far Can a Beginner Hike in a Day? We Found Out!

Does hiking make your bum bigger?

Hiking will build muscles for people who don’t know how to hike uphill. You will become too fit for it to be enough to lead to further muscle growth. You need to engage the hip flexors to get the most glute building out of a hike. The Hip Flexors are a group of muscles in the back of the thigh.

They are responsible for stabilizing the pelvis and keeping it in a neutral position. When you are hiking, you want to keep your hips as close to the ground as possible. This means keeping your knees bent and your feet flat on the trail.

If you can’t do this, then you won’t be able to maintain the neutral pelvic position and you’ll be more likely to fall over or get injured. So, if you’re going to hike, make sure that you stay in this position as much as you possibly can.

It’s also a good idea to stretch your hamstrings before you hike so that they don’t get too tight during the hike.

Why is Hiking Such A Complete Lower Body Workout?

Hiking Made Easy – Do you know why is hiking such a complete lower body workout? It is because it involves all the muscles of your lower back.

A major reason why hiking at an altitude is such a wonderful lower body workout is that hiking at a height works for so many different muscle groups.

Everything in your body, from your glutes to your feet, must be in motion to keep you moving up those slopes and down the other side.

A large number of muscles make up the lower body. Each of these muscles has its own set of procedures to be properly worked.

Maintaining good health and working out while on a hike are made much more useful by how you employ these skills. We are all aware that giving the lower body a workout is necessary to boost a person’s energy and strength. Both endurance and stamina, are beneficial to their overall health.

That’s enough talking. Check out some of the activities you can perform while hiking. Give different parts of your lower body the best exercise possible while you are out enjoying nature.

Why is Hiking Such A Complete Lower Body Workout?

Hiking is such a complete lower body workout because it involves the whole body muscles, including the glutes, calves, lower back, thighs, etc. So, the following are the muscles involved in hiking:


Glutes - Why is Hiking Such A Complete Lower Body Workout

Hiking may be really beneficial for your glutes, but in order for this to happen, you must include weight in your training routine.

Begin with a small weight and gradually increase it over a period of time. It would be simple to just tuck it inside your hiking bag when you are out hiking.

Hiking has the potential to replace all of your aerobic workouts; however, you will need to modify your walking routine somewhat. The sort of terrain you are hiking on will also have an impact on this.

For example, if you are hiking on level terrain with no weight on your back, your glutes will not be much affected. Hiking on an uneven surface, on the other hand, is fantastic for the glutes, even if you are not carrying weights. Continue reading if you want to find out more!


Quadriceps - Why is Hiking Such A Complete Lower Body Workout

When you decide to go off the hill, the quadriceps muscles will be the ones that are most engaged. You will definitely experience discomfort if your body is not ready for this.

Hiking involves the quadriceps muscles, and it is a reason why is hiking such a complete lower body workout.

People who have strong and trained muscles are more likely to be able to overcome such challenges. So, in this way, they avoid causing themselves any discomfort.

It is necessary to prepare your body for hiking in order to avoid and prevent it from occurring. If you haven’t been walking regularly for a while, don’t just jump into a couple of days of hiking. You can’t really expect a good time like this.

Additionally, if you are also carrying a heavyweight, your muscles will be stressed. Moreover, it will increase the likelihood of collapsing.

As a result, be sure you get in some short walks or workouts at home before you head on a long journey. Warm-up your muscles and get them ready for the lengthy hikes ahead of you. They’re going to need it.


Calves - Why is Hiking Such A Complete Lower Body Workout

The amount of effort your calves will put in and how hard they will work relies on the amount of weight you will be lifting. You will need strong calves and ankles if the weight of your lift is heavy since they will be involved a lot throughout the lift.

You may put your calves through a series of tests to ensure that they are ready for the long hike ahead of you. However, you only need a little block of wood to complete the test successfully.

Calves also put a lot of effort while hiking, and it is another reason why is hiking such a complete lower body workout.

Then, as you walk on the block, keep your toes on the surface and pull your ankles high. The frontal area of your foot will be responsible for lifting the entire weight of your body.

If your calves are feeling stretched, you may begin placing your heels down. If your calves and ankles are strong enough, you should be able to complete this test at least 60 times while taking three short pauses in the middle.

However, if you are unable to pass the exam, you will need to put in some further effort to develop your muscles. Make sure you lift some weights while you’re doing some simple workouts to strengthen your calves and ankles to prevent them from becoming weak.


Hamstrings - Why is Hiking Such A Complete Lower Body Workout

When hiking, the hamstrings are the most significant muscle group to be activated. Stronger hamstrings, on the other hand, would allow you to bear a heavier load with more ease.

The heavier a load of your bag, the more powerful your hamstrings will need to be. The terrain also has a significant impact on how well your hamstrings work. There are certain terrains that cause this set of muscles to get fatigued, whereas others do not produce any weariness at all.

When you hike, your hamstrings muscle group plays an important role, and it is another reason why is hiking such a complete lower body workout.

As a result, it is highly essential that you conduct a thorough study on the sort of terrain you will be hiking on and determine whether or not you are up to the challenge.

Especially if the hiking terrain is softer than usual, the weight of your heels will cause your heels to sink into the ground. As a result, your hamstrings are put under additional strain.

If you are concerned that you are not physically prepared for the long trip that lies ahead of you, be sure to warm up your hamstrings with some simple exercises a few weeks before you embark on your journey.

Read Post  How Much Weight Can You Lose Wearing a Weighted Vest?

If you have any worries about your abilities, pay close attention to every step you take since weak hamstrings can lead to injuries as a result of unsteady footing when hiking.

Walking on your toes as much as possible or even simply doing chair walks are excellent strategies to strengthen and condition these muscles.

Lower Back

Lower Back

In the event that you have not exercised in a long time but nevertheless intend to go hiking, you may come to regret your decision.

You can’t hike without using your lower back muscles, and it is why is hiking such a complete lower body workout.

Your lower back will continue to be under strain no matter how much effort you put into raising a heavy load with your backpack with your calves, hamstrings, and ankles engaged.

Furthermore, if your lower back is not prepared and is subjected to a sudden load, it will be sore the following day. You will experience discomfort and trouble moving, and you may get an injury as a result of the tough environmental conditions.

Keeping this in mind, you must ensure that your lower back is in the best possible form for hiking.

Winter hikers tend to take a break from the outdoors and neglect to give their backs a good exercise, especially when the weather is cold and challenging. Don’t make the same mistake.

Exercise with a heavy load for a few minutes each day to get your lower back adjusted to lifting the weight. While wearing your heavy backpack, perform some squats to burn off some extra calories.

To make things even better, perform some abdominal exercises. It will help you strengthen your core while also improving your overall body posture. By being accustomed to all of these situations, your lower back will be better equipped to withstand the strain.



When walking downhill, the muscles of the outer thighs are heavily engaged. Even though it is possible to prevent this pressure, most individuals lean backward when walking downhill. As a result, it puts strain on the outside thighs of the legs.

Your thighs are the most engaged part of your body while hiking, and it is why is hiking such a complete lower body workout.

On the other hand, this is the more secure posture, which allows the hiker to proceed more slowly on the degraded ground. Because of the increased pressure, it is possible that your hips will be injured if your thigh muscles are weak.

It goes without saying that if you are planning a long hiking vacation, you should prepare your thighs as well. In order to do this, you will need to perform two types of workouts that will activate both your inner and outer thighs.

When you deviate off the route, the inner thighs are activated. Despite the fact that we want to hike to our destination along a predefined track, this is not usually the case in practice.

It is possible to go sideways in order to reach your destination on time if the trail has become distorted in some manner or if you choose a shorter route.

You may encounter numerous rocks, dirt, and uneven terrains as a result of this. Nature is completely unpredictable! Our bodies, on the other hand, are quite predictable. It is well known that your inner thighs will be activated with every side movement you perform.

So, it was all about why is hiking such a complete lower body workout.

A Hiking Exercise – Alternative to Your Lower Body Workout

As you can see, hiking activates and keeps in condition all of the muscles in the lower body. It is beneficial for overall health.

In order to get the benefits of daily hiking trips, persons who have the chance to do so should take advantage of the opportunity and, if possible, try substituting easy hiking for going to the gym.

When done outdoors, this is incredibly advantageous to the body, especially during the warmer months. It is because your lower-body muscles will become stronger. Moreover, your body will consume significantly more oxygen than when done in a gym setting.

This post also provides an answer to those of you who are wondering whether hiking will allow you to gain muscle mass and definition in your lower body.

It is vital to note that carrying a greater burden on your back while hiking will help you to develop a more muscular definition and strength. Despite the fact that this may not be as fun, it will yield excellent effects. You will begin to realize this after only a few weeks of hiking.

FAQs – Why is Hiking Such A Complete Lower Body Workout?

Is hiking a good lower body workout?

Your leg muscles will become stronger as a result of your hiking adventures. Hiking is an excellent technique to tone and build the lower body. All of those ups and downs will help to fast improve the glutes, calves, and hamstrings.

Is hiking considered a full body workout?

Hiking is a wonderful total-body exercise if you dress appropriately for the outing. It helps to develop the big muscles in your body.

It also increases the production of feel-good chemical hormones like adrenaline and endorphins. Moreover, it also improves your mood and increases your stamina.

Does hiking build your legs?

Hiking is a great way for most people to build leg muscle. Hiking will not boost muscle growth if you are an expert weightlifter or athlete. However, it will help you improve your stamina and cardiovascular system.

Can you get toned legs from hiking?

Climbing is comparable to utilizing the stairclimber at the gym; the big muscles in your legs (glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves) receive a significant workout. Hiking downhill, on the other hand, is really the most effective way to tone your muscles.

During the descent, your glutes and quadriceps are constantly working to keep your knees and hips from collapsing.


Having read through this entire article, you will undoubtedly have gained a better understanding of why is hiking such a complete lower body workout.

It is important for you to exercise on a daily basis in order to prepare your body for a hike. What could possibly be a more compelling reason and motivation to exercise than this?

We are all aware that we all quit attending the gym after a few weeks due to a lack of drive to continue. However, the idea of going hiking with your friends keeps you motivated. It also helps you to get in shape for a fun day out in nature.

Share your hiking workout experience with all of us in the comments section below!

Source https://www.simplefitnesshub.com/why-hiking-complete-lower-body-workout/#:~:text=Hiking%20is%20a%20complete%20lower%20body%20workout%20because,shift%20your%20balance%20engaging%20your%20lower%20body%20more.

Source https://www.rusticaly.com/why-is-hiking-such-a-complete-lower-body-workout/

Source https://hikingmadeeasy.com/why-is-hiking-such-a-complete-lower-body-workout/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *