Strength Training Workout for Walkers

10-Minute Body-Shaping Circuit for Walkers

Burn fat and sculpt muscle with these exercises to complement your walking workouts

woman walking with weights

Image: Thinkstock

Curb Liftoff
Find a curb or small step. Stand sideways to curb and place one foot on curb and one foot down on street level. Keeping chest lifted and abs taut for support, bend knees and lower into squat so legs are bent 45 to 90 degrees. Be sure to keep knees behind toes. Extend legs and stand, and lift lower leg out to side. Repeat for 1 minute per leg.
Do: 1 set, 1 minute rep per leg.
Calves, glutes, and thighs. Improves balance and leg strength for a more powerful pushoff with each step.
Make it harder: Add a jump.  Squat as before, then quickly straighten legs and jump straight up.  Land with knees bent to absorb the impact.

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Bench Press
Stand facing the back of a park bench or a low wall. Place hands wider than shoulder-width apart on bench, and step backwards until arms are extended and you're balancing on balls of feet. Position feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Your bodyshould form a straight line from head to heels. Bend elbows and lower chest toward bench. Then push back up. When arms are almost fully extended, raise left arm straight out in front to complete move. Pause for a second. Lower left arm and repeat, this time raising right arm. Repeat for 1 minute.
Do: 1 set, 1 minute rep
Targets: Chest, shoulders, and core for better torso tone and less upper body fatigue.

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Walking Lunges with Knee Lift
On a level surface, stand with feet hip-width apart. Keeping chest lifted and abs taut, step forward with right foot, plant it on the ground, and bend both knees to lower into lunge position. Keep front knee in line with ankle. Then straighten knees and rise to standing, drawing left leg forward; pause with left knee lifted to hip level. Hold for a count of 3 before bringing left foot all the way forward for next lunge. Continue moving forward, with each step ending in lunge, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Do: 1 set, 2 minute rep
Targets: Glutes and thighs. Also stretches hips for a stronger, smoother stride.

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Pivot Squats
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Keeping chest lifted and abs taut, bend knees and lower into squat, so legs are bent 45 to 90 degrees, keeping knees behind toes. Pulse three times, lifting and lowering hips just a few inches. On the fourth pulse, turn body to right by lifting the left foot and pivoting on the right foot. Pulse three times facing right, then pivot on left foot back to front. Repeat, except this time turn to left, and then back to front. Perform for 1 to 2 minutes. You can pivot your way down the sidewalk. Or perform these off the beaten path in a nearby grassy patch or parking lot.
Do: 1 set, 2 minute rep
Targets: Glutes and thighs. Builds lower body muscular endurance to tackle hills and maintain speed.

Standing Crossover
Stand with feet a few inches apart. Bend arms and hold out to sides so they form right angles with hands pointing toward sky, palms facing forward. Contract absand pull right knee and left elbow toward each other. Pause, and return to start. Repeat, alternating sides, for 1 minute.
Do: 1 set, 1 minute rep
Targets: External obliques (the ab muscles that run diagonally down your sides).

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