Mowing the lawn is just one part of looking after a home. Depending on your lawn size and the equipment you use, cutting all of the grass in your yard can take a long time and it can certainly be a tiring task. You may be wondering if your lawn care practice can count as exercise. It can certainly count as a form of conditioning work and may build overall work capacity in some people, but does mowing the lawn build muscle?
The answer is that it depends. If you have participated in very little resistance training before, mowing the lawn may help you to get stronger initially. It certainly uses a lot of muscles in the body and it can be used in developing your core strength. The problem is that building muscle requires a regular stimulus with an increase in load over time.
While this maybe possible to achieve in some situations, it’s better to use a strength and conditioning program to build muscle if that is your goal.
Despite this, using a push mower rather than one that you sit on while you mow is certainly going to give you better results. It’s a chance to get some additional exercise which can be used to improve your health if that is your goal.
What Muscles Does Mowing Use?
Mowing the lawn uses several different groups of muscles in your body. In some sense, it’s a similar movement to pushing a prowler. Although the load is probably a little lighter, it could help you build strength in your shoulders, arms, legs and core.
It really can be a full-body workout!
It does has features that are similar to resistance training and you can increase resistance by mowing longer grass or pushing your mower over weeds. Of course, the benefit you get will depend on the equipment you are using.
When you push the mower, you tend to have your arms out in front of you. If you want to maximize your benefit from the workout, you’ll want to use a mower that you truly have to push hard as opposed to one that moves forward on its own. This engages your shoulders and since you are walking forward with resistance, you will be using all of the muscles in your legs. Finally, you have to hold your body straight to keep the mower on course which will engage your core.
When you mow the lawn, try to maintain good posture. If you aren’t used to mowing the lawn, you might find that certain muscle groups are sore and tired right after or on the next day.
Including Mowing in Your Exercise Routine
In some climates, you will mow the lawn all year around so you can create a consistent plan and stick with it. In colder climates, you will need to find another form of exercise until the spring.
If you have the time, you could divide your yard into sections. If it takes you two hours to mow the entire yard, consider splitting it into four sections and mow four days a week. This will allow you to get more regular exposure to the exercise, burn calories and develop a routine.
Mowing the lawn is something that needs to be done, and it can be a great way to take care of two things in one activity. Since you have to mow the lawn anyway, you can combine it with your exercise and use it to help you get into shape.
How to Mow for Exercise
Mowing is a form of cardio exercise. You are constantly moving and it involves you pushing against a resistance. This should be enough to increase your heart rate into the target zone for physical activity.
Once you are ready to begin, push the mower evenly in straight lines back and forth across your lawn. Try to hold a steady pace and start off slow. Take the first two lengths to get your body used to the activity and then increase your pace to push yourself.
Maintaining Good Posture
Hold your arms with your elbows at a slight angle, and stand up tall. Try to actively engage your core as you push the mower.
If you think about it, there should be a straight line from your shoulders to your hips to your ankles when you are standing still. As you walk forward, maintain this posture.
How to Increase Resistance?
Once you build some strength, you can add ankle weights to increase your resistance and increase your pace as you mow.
What to Do If You Want to Do More Mowing
You may not have a large enough lawn to mow as much as you want but you can always offer to mow for friends and family. If you have elderly people in your neighborhood, they might really appreciate the offer. If your schedule allows it, you can offer your mowing services to neighborhood families for a small fee as well. There is always going to be plenty of grass to cut during the summer.
In Summary – Does Mowing the Lawn Build Muscle?
It is pretty common for people to wonder if mowing the lawn is going to help them reach their physical activity goals. Undoubtably, pushing a mower works a large number of muscles throughout your body and you can probably feel this as and when push your lawnmower around your yard.
Does mowing the lawn build muscle? The answer is that it has the potential to build some muscle and strength in lesser trained members of the population. Are you going to get jacked from mowing the lawn? No, but it can get you started with some form of physical activity which has the potential to set you up for the future.
You won’t get much benefit from a ride-on mower and a self-propelling mower takes away much of the resistance. Although you will still have the benefit of walking, you won’t be able to get much stronger. If you are looking to build muscle, why not try starting a strength and conditioning program?