Six-pack abs, here we come! Hiking is a great way to improve your overall fitness, but did you know that it can also help you develop a strong and toned core? That’s right – by working your abs, obliques, and lower back muscles as you hike, you can achieve the coveted six-pack look. So long crunches and sit-ups, we’re hitting the trails!
What Does Hiking Do to Your Core?
I think we can all agree that hiking can be a fantastic workout for your legs. But what does hiking do to your core? Well, as you walk uphill or over uneven terrain, your body is constantly adjusting its center of gravity. This requires your core muscles to engage and stabilize your body, which in turn helps to strengthen and tone them.
Most of the time, you won’t even realize when you’re engaging your core muscles while hiking – that’s how natural and effortless it feels! But rest assured, they’re working hard the whole time to keep you balanced and upright.
In addition to strengthening your core muscles, hiking can also help to improve your posture. As we all know, slouching is bad for our health and can cause back pain. By walking tall and keeping your shoulders back, you can help to improve your posture and alleviate any existing back pain.
In addition, carrying a heavy backpack or even hiking with a weighted vest also adds an extra challenge for your core muscles, as they have to work harder to keep you balanced. So next time you hit the trails, pack a few extra pounds in your backpack to work those abs!
How Do You Engage Your Core While Hiking?
As I said, you usually won’t even realize when you’re engaging your core muscles while hiking. However, you can do a few things to make sure you’re getting the most out of your hike and working those abs.
First, focus on your posture. Remember to keep your shoulders back and your head up. This is probably the easiest and most important thing you can do to engage your core muscles.
Second, when hiking uphill or over uneven terrain, make sure to take small, deliberate steps. This will help to keep your balance and will require your core muscles to work harder.
If you’re still struggling to feel your core, you can actually try tightening around your waistline as if you’re holding in a stomach crunch. This will help to engage your abs and obliques, and you should feel your muscles working hard to keep you stable. Practice this as you walk on level surfaces, and you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Finally, if you really want to test your core, try hiking with a weighted backpack or vest. This will add extra resistance and really challenge your core muscles.
Does Hiking Help Burn Belly Fat?
Hiking can definitely help you burn fat, but it’s important to understand that it won’t necessarily help you lose weight. The number on the scale doesn’t always give an accurate representation of your fitness level or overall health.
Secondly, targeting where you lose weight has been proven to be a myth, as you can’t choose where on your body you want to lose weight first. So even though hiking can help you burn fat, it’s likely that you’ll lose weight all over – not just in your belly area. Which is still a great thing!
That being said, when it comes to burning calories, hiking is definitely one of the best exercises out there. In fact, depending on how vigorous your hike is, you can burn anywhere from 250-500 calories per hour. Compared to walking, you’re likely to burn up to 2-3x more calories on a streneus hike.
Can You Get Six-Pack Abs from Hiking?
The question you’ve all been waiting for! And the answer is… yes, you can most definitely get six-pack abs from hiking. But it’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as spot reduction – meaning, you can’t choose where on your body you want to lose weight first.
So even though hiking will help you burn fat and tone your core muscles, again, it’s likely that you’ll lose weight all over – not just in your abdominal area. But if you keep at it and combine hiking with a healthy diet, there’s no doubt that you’ll achieve the coveted six-pack look in no time.
If your goal is six-pack abs, you first need to remember that you need to have a low body fat percentage for them to show. And the only way to achieve that is through a combination of diet and exercise. As the saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen!
Hiking is a great way to engage your core muscles, burn calories, and lose weight. And with all of the health benefits that come along with it, there’s no reason not to hit the trails more often. So put on your hiking boots, maybe strap on a weighted vest, and get out there to achieve those amazing abs!