4 Moves to Step Up Your Walking Workout

While you may reserve walking for the days when you feel tired and not in the mood for a hard core sweat session, why not step up your routine to get the max out of your workout?

Whether you’re going for a walk on a trail or just marching in place in your living room, try to incorporate these 4 moves for more variety and muscle toning. Before you think “Not Prancercising?!”, don’t worry, these moves won’t look silly. I’ve taken plyometric cardio exercises from my Booty Camp video and made them a little easier, but they still look and feel like a great workout.

RELATED 4 Thigh-Trimming Booty Camp Moves
Move 1: Step knee to kick and hop While marching in place or walking on a trail or track, do a rhythm of step right (1), lift left knee (2), put left foot down (3), step right (4), step left (1), then lift right knee (2), then put right foot down (3), then left (4). Repeat. (To make it harder, add a hop so that the foot you step on leaves the ground.) Do this for 30-second intervals 15 times and then change the knee to a low kick. To kick, lift the knee first, then kick the heel out with a flexed foot. Retract the foot back in with knee bent, then lower foot to the ground, keeping the rhythm of step/kick/step/step.

Move 2: Walking lunges March in place or walk for 30 seconds.

If walking, then lengthen your step to about the length of one of your legs in front of you, and land your right heel, mid-foot, then ball of your foot into a right lunge with the knee over the ankle. (It your knee is over the toe or past the toe, you need to step your feet farther away from each other.) Push off your front leg to bring your back left leg next to the right. Step forward into a lunge with your left and repeat for a 30 second interval. Do 4 sets of walking and walking lunges.

If marching in place, step the right leg forward into the lunge, then step it back to meet your left leg. Step the left leg forward into a lunge, then step back again to start position to do the intervals.

Trainer’s tip: Keep your shoulders lined up over your hips to avoid leaning forward and putting strain on the knee and low back.

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Move 3: V step Walk for 30 seconds then step your right leg wide and left leg wide, then on the next step bring the feet back in. You can add arms to the move by lifting your right arm out in front with your right leg, and left arm with the left leg at shoulder level to work your delts. Place your hands back on hips. Do this 15 times.

Move 4: Tubing marches Add an exercise band or tubing for a full-body workout with arms. Place the band across your hips and hold the ends with your hands. (Wrap the ends around hands several times for more resistance.) While marching, slightly bend elbows and move them behind you as far as you can, keeping hands near your ribs. Straighten the arms to pull on the band and extend the hands all the way behind you to work the trouble spot back of the arm in triceps kickbacks.

Next, engage your upper back (trapezius and rhomboids) by holding the ends of the band in each hand and lifting the band taut in front of you at shoulder level with arms extended in front of shoulders at shoulder width. Stretch the band and squeeze the shoulder blades behind you while widening the hands out all the way to the sides. (The tube will move closer into your chest.) Do this move 15 times or until fatigue. If you can’t manage to lift another time then you know you’re doing the exercise right!

Now that’s what I call a muscle march… prancing is for horses!

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Nicole Glor is a fitness expert based in NYC, author of The Slimnastics Workout, and the star of 8 fitness DVDs. You can search for “NikkiFitness” on Facebook and Twitter.

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About the author

Nicole Glor

Nicole Glor is a fitness expert, author of The Slimnastics Workout, a freelance fitness writer, and the star of 11 fitness DVDs/Videos/Apps. Nikki's "Slimnastics" exercises have been featured in over 100 national media outlets including the New York Times, Live! With Kelly and Michael, Fox & Friends, GMA Health, Shape, Self, Fitness, and Women's Health. Her "Improve the Move" workouts focus on multitasking toning and plyomentric cardio intervals (HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training) to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Nikki is an AFAA certified NYC personal (and celebrity) trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, and a 200hr RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor. Nikki got her start in fitness as a Syracuse University Cheerleader, where she graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the prestigious Newhouse School. Her music playlists, video demos and DVDs can be found at www.nikkifitness.com