Workout Muscles

Muscles You Work Out While Gardening!

Many people don’t recognize the impact their gardening hobby may play upon their lifestyle. But in fact, there are many perks to gardening, with the regular movements of the chore being highly beneficial to your overall health. Getting out to take advantage of the fresh air and vitamin D is also a definite advantage to your energy levels, plus the fresh produce that often results from your hard work is a great addition to your life.


Below is an explanation of the impact gardening physically has upon your body. It may be a fairly low impact job overall, but with some awareness, you can step up the rigor to add to the impact. Read on to discover which muscles are most affected, and what you can do to add to your own backyard workout.

Why Gardening is good for Your Health

Why Gardening Out

Working in your yard is a fun way to work on your fitness goals as well, and improve your overall health. As you work through your yard, you actually are targeting every major muscle group in one way or another. You stretch, reach, bend, kneel, squat, and lift with minimal jarring and hard impact. This works your muscles to improve calorie burn and create tone. Plus, you get a consistent length of movement that serves as a sort of ‘warm-up’ that when prolonged, and actually increases overall body temperature and improves blood flow throughout your body.

This type of work improves muscle elasticity and enhances overall strength over time. This rise in temperature also increases available oxygen and when combined with increased blood flow reduces the stress on the heart. Consistent movements allow for a wider range of motion also as your joints become more flexible- supported by rises in blood flow and oxygen availability.

What Exercises Work You Out

Some gardening tasks focus on certain muscles groups more than others. Knowing this in advance can have you paying close attention to your movements in the garden to help target and work those areas you want to strengthen. This may not be strenuous in nature but can still provide you with some marked body differences with regular attention to your movements.

  • Snow Shoveling and Blowing

Snow Shoveling

Never underestimate your outdoor winter chores and how much energy you will exert. Shoveling is obviously physically taxing in relation to how deep and heavy your snow is, but even snow blowing can be a bit of a challenge. To help minimize your winter exposure, however, consider looking over a buyer’s guide of good snow blowers to make this experience an efficient one.

Muscles Targeted: Legs, upper body, arms, and back

  • Mowing and Weed Whacking

Mowing and Weed Whacking

Mowing and weed whacking are fairly equal in their amount of effort and exertion. You are walking, and either pushing or carrying your tool all while absorbing the vibration of the machine. It may not feel incredibly serious, but it runs your whole body through a pretty decent workout and engages quite a few muscles. To add to the exercise, try using a push mower.

Muscles Targeted: Legs, upper body, arms, and back

  • Weeding and Planting


Weed and planting have you pulling in resistance, digging, bending, and lifting- usually over and over in a regular sequence. This is excellent for joint mobility, flexing, and light muscle resistance, and works on toning those areas you are using.

Muscles Targeted: Back, shoulders, arms, thighs,and butt

  • Chopping


If you are clearing out any garden beds or looking to remove and replant certain areas of your yard, you will need to use tools that help chop to loosen roots and soil. This can be a more strenuous chore that requires good upper body movement and the ability to apply force to your cuts. This also usually involves a pulling motion that provides resistance to your muscles.

Muscles Targeted: Biceps, triceps, thighs, and upper back

  • Digging


Digging can also be a higher impact job to take on and may have you applying force with both your upper and lower, body strength as you dig. Digging generally requires removal of soil as well, which will have you bending, flexing, and lifting.

Muscles Targeted: Quads, hamstrings, calves, biceps, triceps, upper back and shoulders, abdominal and obliques

  • Raking and Bagging

Raking and Bagging

Raking and bagging leaves have you pulling in resistance, and bending and lifting in a repetitive order. This provides an almost all over body workout and loosens joints and muscles all while providing excellent motion for toning.

Muscles Targeted: Quads, hamstrings, calves, biceps, triceps, upper back and shoulders, abdominal and obliques


Never underestimate the power of your gardening sessions. No matter the size of your garden, big or small, you have an excellent opportunity to give yourself a decent workout. Since many motions are a fairly low impact, you can help burn calories, loosen up joints and muscles, and help tone your body without worry of serious injury. Of course, if you plan on doing a more strenuous task, such as mowing, shoveling, or bagging leaves, be sure to warm yourself up with some of the more menial tasks beforehand.

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