Climbing stairs inside massive sporting stadiums for fun is what we do, but did you know that stair climbing is actually a tremendous body workout? You’ll work all your major muscle groups simply by climbing stairs. We won’t get technical with fancy scientific muscle names, there’s other articles for that on the internet. We’ll keep it simple (and quick), so you can learn about the muscle groups (in plain english) that stair climbing targets and then get on with your busy day.

Our goal here is to let you SEE how many muscles this activity involves, to help you determine if stair climbing is an activity you want to do as a regular thing or THE thing in your fitness routine.

Are your problem muscles listed below? Could this be the activity that targets them all? Let’s take a look:

Muscles used to climb stairs
  1. Gluteus maximus (butt) muscles
  2. Hamstings
  3. Quadriceps (thigh) muscles
  4. Hip flexors
  5. Calves
  6. Abdominal (stomach) muscles
Secondary muscles used

Secondary to these muscles you’ll also engage your arms (as you would if you were running) to give momentum. I’d argue you’ll swing your arms more climbing stairs than for running because you’ll need extra momentum to get UP the stairs. Holding your arms in the running position does indeed work your arms. Additionally, if you use a handrail to assist your stair ascent you’ll get a mini light weights arm session into your climb as you PULL your body up the flight.

FACT: Stair climbing recruits more functional muscles in the body than simply walking. Not only will you use more muscles doing stairs, you’ll burn more calories too (simply because you’re recruiting more muscles and moving against gravity).

Now, it’s up to you. Will you give stair climbing a go?

Related: Seven things about stair climbing that may surprise you

Related: Why runners need stairs

Related: The stair fitness test

Related: The best workout you’re not doing