Good news for the gym haters: walking is a great workout that has a lot of health benefits for the body. It lowers obesity rates, it’s good for your heart, and it helps fight depression. Walking is gentle enough for people of all body types, so a person of any fitness level can enjoy it while shaping their body, especially their buttocks and legs. Combined together with a couple of simple exercises, it brings results in no time.
The Bright Side team loves walking too, that’s why we decided to share with you our favorite simple, yet very effective types of walks, that will work wonders on anyone’s body.
1. Power endurance walk
Power endurance is great for sculpting your legs and butt area. While practicing it, you will need to keep an intense pace for a long period of time, without any change of speed. Before doing this, you need to find out what speed you can maintain during your power endurance walk — for most people it is 3-4 miles per hour (4.8-6.4 km per hour).
Your walk should feel like you are about to jog, but it’s still a fast walk. As soon as you find your suitable speed, walk for 60 minutes in the nearest park and try to cover 3-4 miles.
2. Fartlek power walk
Fartlek means “speed play” in Swedish, it is continuous training with interval training. It’s great for the beginners since it mixes walking and jogging. Here’s how to perform it:
- Start by warming up your body by slowly jogging for 5-10 minutes.
- Then start to speed up for 0.9–1.6 miles (1.5–2.5 km).
- Now it’s time for recovery — fast walk for 5 minutes.
- Repeat these steps for about 25 minutes (5 sets in total).
Important: Try to make your running sessions as challenging as possible. It should make you breathe heavily.
3. Hill repeats
For this practice, you’ll need a steep incline to work out your buttocks area and feel the burn. For better effectiveness, you will need to walk to the top without stopping for a rest. To achieve this, try to find a hill that is not too long — for example, 330-660 ft (100-200 m). After you reach the top, recover while slowly walking back down the hill. Do 10-12 climbs in total.
4. Power lunge with leg lift
This exercise works out not only your butt, but also your quads, hips, abs, and arms. It’s useful and easy to perform and you can practice it before or after your walks.
- While walking, lunge forward with your left leg, make sure that both your knees are bent at 45 degrees. After you get used to 45 degrees, try to bend your knees at 90 degrees. This might take some time and practice.
- Clench your fists and keep your elbows at a 90 degree angle, bring your right fist next to your nose, while your left fist is behind you.
- Straighten your left leg, then jump in the air and put your right knee up in front of you. Then bring your left leg forward into a lunge.
- Do 25 reps on each leg.
5. Skater stride
The skater stride is great for your buttocks, quads, hips, obliques, and triceps and it can be performed while walking:
- Start taking large steps diagonally forward, starting from your left foot. Make sure your toes point forward, and not to the side. Lunge and bend your knees at a 45 degree angle while putting your right elbow toward your left knee. Swing the left arm straight back.
- Hold the position for a couple of seconds.
- Repeat the same with your right foot.
- Do 25 reps on each side.
6. Sumo squat
Sumo squats target your butt, quads, inner and outer thighs, back, and shoulders. And you don’t need to be a sumo fighter to perform them.
- While walking, get into a wide stance with your feet and make sure your toes point out to the sides.
- Lift your left foot up, take a big step to the side, flex your knees, and strain your hips, holding them back and lowering yourself down with this movement. The exercise should look like a very wide squat.
- Lift your hands up and hold this position for 20 seconds.
- After this come back up and do 12 reps.
7. High-knee cross
The high-knee cross works out your butt, calves, hips, quads, and abdominal muscles. It can be performed before your walk, as a warm-up, or during your walk.
- Bend your left knee and lift it as high as possible next to your torso, standing up on your right toes.
- Bring your right elbow to your bent knee. Stay like this for a couple of seconds.
- Go back and repeat on the other leg. Do 25 reps for each leg.
Try to walk as much as possible — for example, 6 days per week of intensive training together with one day of rest. You’ll be able to see results in 8 weeks. To speed up the process, you can try to give up on transportation and try to walk to work or to your favorite stores. Also, you can add some simple exercises to your routine that can be done while performing your walks. This will let you tone your buttocks and body way faster, and you will see the first results starting from about day 10.
Do you prefer walking over going to the gym? Maybe you have your own walking routine? Tell us about it and start a discussion in the comments section!
Illustrated by Oleg Guta for BrightSide.me