For most people who hardly have time to exercise due to one thing or the other, this article is here to help and show you that no matter what is happening in your life, you can’t skip exercise, you can build your body or your abs whilst walking! Let’s get straight to it:
1. Move your arms
Swinging your arms at a faster rate helps you walk faster, and causes you to burn calories, but one interesting fact to note is that movement also works your upper body, lower body, and most importantly your abs. This movement requires you to propel your body forward and instead of beginning from the lower body, you use the muscles in the core.
This is done by simply placing one foot in front of the other, activating the psoas muscles, the deep pelvic core muscles, required to move the thighs explains Kusch. “Simply propelling your arms faster requires the body to use more energy, burn more calories and will melt off your belly fat.”
2. Incorporating inclines
Your glutes aren’t the only things on fire the minute you start walking up a hill. Adding any sort of resistance to your walk can help up your calorie burns and increase lean muscle mass. “Increasing your lean mass can boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories at rest, resulting in a smaller waist,” explains Kusch, who recommends incorporating inclines to your walks at least 3 days per week and several times throughout your walk.
3. Punch It Out
Uppercuts and jabs aren’t just for boxers. Incorporating these moves into your walking routine not only increases your heart rate and jump-starts your metabolism, but also engages your core muscles and strengthens your back. “Forward punches and overhead reaches while keeping your core very engaged are a great way to tone up abs,” says Kusch. “
As you punch, contract your abs and hit with power; draw your arm back and engage your upper back.” Try doing 25 forward and 25 overhead jabs every 2 minutes of your walk. Sure, you may look a bit odd, but it will be worth it.
4. Try Straight Legs
Walking with your legs straight can help target abdominal muscles. “When you walk with straight legs, your body must engage your lower abdominal muscles as well as your hip flexors,” explains Marks. “Walking with straight legs puts more emphasis on your lower abdominals than walking normally because you are lifting up your entire leg rather than just from the knee up.”
To do it, lift your leg as high as you possibly can while taking a step forward—try to get your foot about 2 feet in the air. To make sure you’re engaging your abs and not just your hip flexors, draw your belly button into your spine to engage your core. Try it for a minute of walking, 8 to 10 times throughout your walk.
5. Draw in your waist
“The key to activating the transverse abdominis—the muscle responsible for a flat tummy—while walking is to gently draw in the waist as you lift your rib cage away from the pelvis,” explains certified trainer Tiffany Cruikshank, founder of Yoga Medicine and author of the book Meditate Your Weight. Not only does it helps take pressure and weight off your hips, it also helps to increase your respiration, improve posture, support the sacroiliac joints and lower back, and of course, flatten the belly and waist.
All you have to do is keep your back straight and avoid leaning back while you walk. Gaze toward the front of your body, lightly pulling in your chin. Relax shoulders and draw shoulder blades together slightly.