Hiking is popular cardio and aerobic activity that’s healthy for your heart, lungs, and, at the same time, it contributes to muscle growth. Research studies have shown that people who regularly do a number of cardio routines per week are able to boost their stamina. The stronger muscles that come with it are also associated with low risks of injury.
Does hiking boost muscle growth?
The answer is yes. Hiking is basically walking through challenging terrain; it works with several muscle groups; particularly those in the legs and the glutes. Did you know that it takes 200 different muscles just to take a single step? How cool is that? You don’t only use your hamstrings and quadriceps when you lift your foot; your back muscles, calves, and thighs are all deeply involved.
Simply walking makes use of hamstrings and quadriceps in conjunction with your knees. But, when you hike, it strengthens the joints between your hips and thighs in addition to your ankles. Hiking in the mountains may prove to be even more challenging since you have to climb and descend hills.
Navigating over rocky ground requires balance and coordination, and hence more muscle engagement. Because hiking also involves making side-to-side movements, it exercises the muscles in your midsection as well.
Besides your hips, abs, obliques, and back muscles are also engaged. Incline and downhill movements heavily rely on your glutes and calf muscles.
Other fitness benefits of hiking
- Builds your core
To navigate through rough terrain, you will have to engage your abs as well as obliques and lower back muscles — these will stabilize your body, especially if you are carrying a backpack. Carrying heavy weights can make hikers unbalanced unless they engage their core muscles to work extra hard.
Going on a long mountain bike can burn roughly 400 to 800 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of the hike. Athletes who want to pack on muscles and build their core may also visit Valkyrie Online shop to get performance-enhancing medication.
- Strengthens your legs
Most hikes have a lot to do with climbing hills, mountains, and stuff like that. This makes hiking an effective workout for your legs. Trekking up a hill is similar to climbing a staircase; it boosts your glutes, quads, and calves. On the other hand, when you go downhill, your legs will be challenged. Hiking downhill means your glutes and quads will have a lot of work to do to stabilize your knees.
- Effective cross-training
When you are preparing for a race, adding hiking to your training can be of great help. It will enhance your fitness and boost your running and cycling stamina. Many cyclists are known to have well-developed quads and underdeveloped hamstrings. Similarly, runners usually have weaker hamstrings and glutes. Hiking is an effective cross-training routine that strengthens the other muscles.
Also, hiking regularly at high altitudes will help you to get used to exercising in low-oxygen environments. When your body adapts to using less oxygen, that’s a big plus for improved performance in your next race.