What Muscles Does Jogging Exercise?

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Jogging is an easy and free way to enhance your cardiovascular health while exercising some key muscles in your body. Your heart is the major muscle that will get a good workout as you take in the sights and sounds of your local park. However, jogging engages several groups of muscles at the same time, and some are less obvious than others.

Swing Those Hips

The first physical action associated with jogging is the hip extension. This occurs when you move your thighs or the top of your pelvis backward. This part of the jogging movement engages the major muscle in your butt, your gluteus maximus. It also uses the muscles in the back of your thigh, the semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris. Your inner thigh muscles, the adductor magnus and ischial fibers, are also exercised.

It's All in the Thighs

The second physical action associated with jogging is the hip flexion. This occurs when you bend and move your thighs or the top of your pelvis forward. This part of the jogging movement exercises your hip flexors and abductor muscles, the iliopsoas, pectineus and tensor fasciae latae. Your quads, which are located in the front of your thighs and are called the rectus femoris, get a workout too. Lastly, your inner thigh muscles, the sartorius and adductor longus and brevis, are also used.

Doing the Leg Work

When you use your legs to jog or run, you straighten your knee to move your leg away from the back of your thigh. This movement is called a knee extension, and it exercises the vastus lateralis, intermedius and medialis muscles associated with your rectus femoris thigh muscles. The other lower limb muscles exercised are the calf muscles.

Put Your Back Into It

The final muscles exercised when you jog include your obliques, which are the muscles in your waist, and the muscles in your lower back and deep lower back, which are collectively known as the erector spinae and quadratus lumborum. These are the muscles you use when your spine rotates from side-to-side, a motion that occurs as you swing your arms backwards and forwards when you jog.