Hiking is one of the best outdoor physical activities that can make you physically fit but does hiking make your bum bigger too?
Hiking definitely ticks off numerous boxes. While it’s an excellent form of exercise, it also satisfies your craving for adventures out in the lesser-known routes, gives you some Instagram-worthy shots, and allows you to enjoy nature up close. While there are plenty of benefits of hiking, some people, especially women, often ask if hiking can make their bums bigger.
The answer to this frequently asked question is yes. Hiking does make your bum bigger but only up to a certain extent. Hiking promotes the growth of the glutes, which are the muscles of the bum. But you’ll soon reach the optimum growth of glutes, after which hiking won’t make any further difference.
The bum doesn’t magically become bigger when you hike. Hiking is more of a physical workout that engages your bum muscles, which promotes the growth of these muscles. When your bum muscles grow, your bum will look bigger and fuller – helping you get just the booty you wish you had! However, you’ve got to make sure you’re engaging glutes throughout your hike. It’s not like you’ll keep hiking routinely, and your bum will keep getting bigger (how you wish, though!)
Being fitness experts and athletic trainers, we know how to help you bring your passion for hiking to the best use with our detailed account of getting a bigger bum with hiking. Once you know how to engage your glutes when you’re hiking, it won’t be long before you can flaunt the booty of your dreams!
Before we can move on to explain how hiking can help you get a bigger bum, it’s important that we first understand the secret behind it. Well, if you ask us, there’s no secret, but there’s a lot of physiology involved. In reality, hiking engages your bum muscles and promotes their growth, which is how your bum becomes bigger.
When it comes to building butt muscles, it’s actually the glutes that are being referred to. Glutes are the muscles of your butt, and when there’s an increase in the mass of these muscles, your butt will become bigger.
Glutes are a group of 3 muscles which are the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. The Gluteus maximus is the biggest muscle in your body. The gluteus medius is the muscle on the side of your hips, and the gluteus minimus is a small muscle just under the gluteus maximus.
The primary functions of this group of muscles are to extend your hip, rotate your thigh externally, and spread the legs apart. The gluteus medius plays a vital role in stabilizing your knees. It does so by carving inwards. You’ll have to practice this muscle movement pattern if you want a bigger bum!
When you hike upwards, it causes significant hip extension. If the terrain is uneven (which most hiking trails usually are), the muscles of your hips and legs are constantly at work, which is why people are often found wondering if an activity that involves such extensive muscle engagement can help them get a fuller and bigger butts.
How are Glutes Built?
With a clear understanding of glutes, the second most important part of our discussion before moving on to how effective hiking is for getting a bigger bum is first to understand how glutes are built.
Muscle growth is scientifically termed muscular hypertrophy. And it doesn’t happen just like that. Muscles are primarily protein, and for the muscles to grow, you’ve got to provide them with a stimulus strong enough to promote the synthesis of protein. This means that not just any exercise will cause increased muscle growth.
There’s a simultaneous breakdown and growth of muscles in the body, but if your target is to gain muscle mass, you’ve got to ensure that the rate of muscle growth exceeds the rate of muscle breakdown.
And that, my friend, isn’t easy.
If you really want your muscles to grow, it’ll take a consistent high-intensity workout combined with a high-protein and high-calorie diet. Even after that, you won’t see results immediately. It’ll take your body some time to start giving you the results you want to see.
Primarily, there are 2 mechanisms of muscle growth and that are:
When you expose your muscles to high tension (usually by lifting heavy weights), it’ll lead to muscle growth. Hiking doesn’t put too much tension on your muscles, so this isn’t the mechanism by which hiking causes the growth of glutes.
The more the muscle damage is, the more will be muscle growth. When you expose your muscles to excessive stress, it causes micro-tears in your muscles, and when these tears heal, there’s an increase in muscle size. Again, hiking doesn’t cause muscle damage, so there has got to be another way through which hiking causes increased growth of glutes.
Any form of exercise that causes the muscles to burn leads to metabolic stress. It might come off as a surprise to you, but metabolic stress can promote the growth of muscles. Hiking, especially on steeper and tougher trails that make your muscles hurt like you can’t walk anymore, leads to a significant increase in muscle growth.
How Does Hiking Make Your Bum Bigger
So far, we know hiking makes your bum bigger, but it’s now that we’ll see how. Hiking helps untrained people get bigger bums more than those who’re already fit. That’s because the muscles of untrained individuals have more room to grow under stress induced by hiking.
On the contrary, trained people have exposed their bodies to workouts of much higher intensity, and the physical intensity of hiking is much lower than that, and they won’t observe any growth in muscle mass followed by regular hiking.
Hiking Engages Glutes
The key to getting bigger butts by hiking is to focus on the movements that would engage glutes. For this, you’ll need to contract your glutes consciously every time you take a step. But that won’t give you the optimum results.
The Incline Effect
When you’re walking on the ground level or on a flat surface, there’s not much impact on your butt. If you want to work up the muscles of your butt (which are the glutes), you’ve got to attack at the right angle, and hiking at an inclined terrain does just that!
Walking on an inclined surface adds the resistance that you need to have the glutes working more actively. The incline effect produces natural resistance (force of gravity). It recruits your glutes and the quads readily to maintain the balance of your body on a steep surface. Experts say that hiking engages your lower body muscles at least 3 times more than what running or walking on a flat track does. And that means increased muscle growth.
During your hiking, there will come the point when simple contraction of the glutes isn’t enough stimulus for muscle growth. You’ll then have to look for more ways that’ll help you increase the intensity of the stress on muscles. And not just any workout would do. What you need is a muscle-building workout that’s focused on glutes.
When you hike through tough trails and hike with higher intensity for longer durations, you burn more calories and create a stronger muscle-building stimulus that will improve your glutes’ work capacity. If getting a bigger bum is the goal that you wish to achieve through hiking, you’ll have to prepare yourself for challenging hiking trails that’ll tire you out!
How to Make Hiking a Good Glute-Focused Workout
Hiking is a great glute workout, but you can make it even better. The hiking trails you choose to hike on won’t always be rough and steep enough. The hike may not require you to stretch your muscles too much. If that’s the case, the stress on the muscles won’t be sufficient to promote muscle growth. That’s when you’ll have to think of different ways to make the most of your hiking.
Walk in Forward-Bending Posture
If you’re hiking on a rather flat and unchallenging terrain where there aren’t enough rocks, and it isn’t too steep, make some walking lunges such that your torso is in a slightly forward-bending position and you’re pushing off your heel of the front foot, in a way that you would do if you were walking up a steep slope.
Take Longer Steps
Take longer steps when walking uphill. This will result in higher engagement of glutes. And you already know this by now; the more the engagement of glutes, the more will be the muscle growth.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, higher resistance promotes muscle growth. One way to add resistance during your hike and make your hike a more glute-focused workout is by carrying a heavy backpack to increase the level of resistance.
In short, the tougher your hike is, the more muscle growth will be, and the higher the chances of your bum size increasing. As they say, good things don’t come cheap; in this case, we would say; the best wouldn’t come easy!
About THE AUTHOR
I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.Read More About Peter Brooks