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.

Also Read: How to Train For High Altitude Hiking – 15 Ways

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. 

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!