Walking is one of the easiest and cheapest exercises a person can do. Walking has a lot of health benefits, like strengthening your heart and lowering blood pressure. Though a traditional walking routine doesn’t engage your core, you can change your walking routine to tone your abs as you exercise.
Method One of Three:
Doing Exercises While Walking
1Incorporate short bursts of additional exercises to your walking. A great way to tone your abs while walking is to do upper body exercises while you walk. Though these exercises may seem to be focusing on your arms, they engage different muscle groups in your core as you walk. Moving your upper body and lower body at the same time engages core muscles as you work to keep your balance.
- These exercises are meant to be completed as you walk. You shouldn't stop to do these exercises.
- In an hour long walk, incorporate three or four sets of these exercises.
- Do each exercise for a one minute interval, spaced about seven to eight minutes apart.
- If you need to start by doing each exercise for 20 or 30 seconds to begin, do that. You can add additional time once one minute feels too easy.
- You may also try doing groups of three or four exercises together without rest two to four times through your walk.
2Walk while pulling in your core. A good way to strengthen your ab muscles while walking, or doing any other daily activity, is to pull your navel toward your spine. This exercise works the transverse abs, which run from your sides to the front of your abs.
- As you walk, pull your bellybutton in, like you’re drawing it towards your spine. Hold your abs like that.
- Make sure you keep breathing as you contract your abs. Don’t suck in your stomach and stop breathing.
- Start by holding your abs for a few seconds, or until you get to certain objects before you. The stronger your abs get, the longer you’ll be able to hold it.
3Do arm curls. One simple exercise to add to your walking routine is an arm curl. Start by hanging your arms at your side. Bring your hands up towards your shoulder, like you are doing a bicep curl. Make sure to keep your elbows close to your body.
- An alternate way to do this exercise is to hold your arms at shoulder height. Curl your elbows up, bringing your hands towards your shoulder. This is is also a bicep curl, but with your arms parallel to the ground, making your torso work harder.
- If you want an extra challenge, add hand weights to the curls. You can start with three or five pound weights.
4Punch as you walk. Doing punches as you walk is a great way to engage multiple groups of core muscles as you walk. They also help raise your heart rate, which gives you a better workout and helps boost your metabolism.
- You can try doing or uppercuts. To do a simple jab, hold your hands in fists at shoulder height. Punch forward with one arm, then the other. You can twist slightly as you punch.
- Make sure to engage your abs while you do these exercises by contracting your abdominal muscles.
- You can incorporate these into one minute intervals with other exercises. You can also do sets of 20 jabs and uppercuts for every few minutes you walk.
5Alternate reaching your arms overhead. Another good core-toning exercise you can do while you walk is to reach your arms overhead. To do this, lift one arm over your head as you step with your opposite foot. As you take the next step, drop that arm and reach the other hand overhead. Continue to alternate with each step.
- To add a bit more core work, you can lean slightly towards the opposite side as you lift your arm.
- You can also do this exercise with hand weights.
Method Two of Three:
Adding Abdominal Exercises To Your Walking Routine
1Add ab exercise stops into your walk. Another way you can tone your abs while you walk is to do a combined workout where you walk and then stop to do brief sets of ab exercises. These exercises really target your abs and help tone.
- To do this, just stop walking wherever you are and complete the exercise. All these exercises are standing ab exercises to go with a walking routine so you don't have to get on the ground and you can easily start walking again.
- Incorporate five to seven stops for ab exercises throughout your workout.
- These ab exercises should be done for 30 seconds when you begin, but then expand to 60 seconds as you improve. Try to space them apart evenly throughout your workout.
2Do an oblique twist. This exercise focuses on your obliques, which are the side ab muscles. Start with your legs shoulder width apart. Clasp your hands in front of your chest, your arms parallel to the floor. Twist your upper body to one side as far as you can go, then twist to the other side.
3Perform an oblique crunch. This is another exercise that helps tone your obliques. Begin standing tall with your feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your right hip and stretch your left hand overhead. Bring your left elbow down as you lift your left knee, crunch the left side as they meet. Return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
- If you are doing 30 second intervals, perform the exercise on each side for 15 seconds. If you are doing a minute, do each side for 30 seconds.
- You can use hand weights with this exercise if you wish.
4Try a standing crunch. This exercise works the front of your abs. The standing version of this exercise has the same principle as the standard crunch while being easily added to your walking routine.
- Start by standing with your legs staggered, one leg a few feet in front of the other. Raise your hands above your head. Straighten your back leg as your lift your front leg up towards your chest. Crunch down towards your knee as you lift it, pulling your elbows down as you crunch. Lower your leg to start.
- You can alternate legs or do set numbers on each leg before switching.
5Do toe touches. This exercise also works your front ab muscles along with your obliques. Because you are balancing on one foot, it also engages the core muscles which help with balance and stabilization.
- Start with your right foot slightly behind the left, with the left hand held above you. Raise your right leg as high as you can as you bend and twist at the waist, bringing your left hand across your body to touch your toe. Return to start.
- You can do each side for a certain number of seconds, or you can do 10 reps on one side, then switch to the other for the duration of the interval.
Method Three of Three:
Burning Fat With Your Walking Routine
1Increase the intensity of your walk. To tone your abs while walking, you need to make sure your walking routine is at an intensity level that is going to help burn the fat around your middle. Increase your intensity so you can get maximum benefits.
- Increase the speed of your walk. As you walk, you should be huffing and puffing or a little breathless.
- If you can track your speed via a mobile app, try aiming for 3.5 and 4.0 mph (5.6 and 6.4 km/h). That’s the equivalent to around a 15 minute mile (or about 10 minutes per km).
- If you have a pedometer, try to shoot for around 3,000 steps in 30 minutes.
2Walk on varied terrain. A way to boost your fat-burning and toning is to get off the flat pavement. Instead, walk on uneven surfaces, like nature or hiking trails. You should also include hills or inclines into your walk.
- If you live near hiking or nature trails, walk along those multiple times a week. If you don’t, try walking across the grass at a local park.
- Go to a hilly neighborhood to change the incline of your walk. Walk up and down the hilly streets to give your workout an added boost.
- Add hills to your workout three to four times a week. Do several intervals of hills in your routine.
3Work out for the appropriate length of time. There are benefits to walking for even a short amount of time. If you are just beginning, you may only be able to walk for five to 10 minutes at a time. Gradually work your way up to walking for at least 30 minutes.
- Perform this walking routine as often as possible, ideally five days a week.
- Make sure you have good footwear for walking. Check out this wikiHow article,
- If you are using dumbbells or other weights while on a walk, carry them in a backpack with padding and good, well-fitting straps. You don’t want to carry the dumbbells in your hands the whole walk — this puts too much strain on the shoulders, elbows and wrists and can lead to injury.
- Raising the knee in front or performing alternating arm motions can aggravate low back pain. Start with slow controlled movements, gradually increasing range of motion over days and weeks of practice. If you have back issues, take extra care when performing swinging motions with the arms or legs.
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DW"I would like to lose my menopausal weight and thought a weight bearing exercise like walking would help. Adding the exercises and hill intervals have helped to tone my abs and butt!"..." more
KK"The pictures with the instructions were clear."