Walking is an excellent exercise, which will help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals. Not only this but walking regularly also helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Walking has both physical and mental benefits. Just 30 minutes of walking daily can improve your cardiovascular fitness, boost muscle power and durability, strengthen your legs and bones and reduce excess body fats. Walking also helps lighten your mood, improve sleep and breath, and slow down your mental decline. Brisk walking requires strength in your legs, so read on some best strength training routines for walkers.
Strength training is the perfect cross-training activity to pair with walking. Strength training helps to increase bone mass and lean muscle, improve your metabolism rate, help burn more calories during the daytime, and reduce stress on your joints. Let’s look at the strength training workouts that help to improve walking.
This will help to strengthen your front thigh muscles, legs, arms, lower back, and abs. The squat posture helps joint stability, which can support you stay in an appropriate position during long walks. Many squat variations include Jump Squat, Dumbbell Squat, Goblet Squat, Pistol Squat, Sumo Squat Pull to Press, and Shrimp Squat. These are one of the best workouts for walking fitness.
2. Calf raises
Calf raises mainly target building your lower calf muscles and strengthening the muscle that runs down to your legs. This workout gives stability to the soleus and the gastrocnemius, the two primary muscles of the calves. The soleus’s deeper muscle plays a vital role in plantar flexion and ankle stability. The superficial two-headed muscle called gastrocnemius helps in plantar and knee flexion.
Cycling can improve your leg strength and mainly targets your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. Cycling strengthens your leg muscles without overstressing your joints, improving your overall lower body function.Doing some weight-lifting workouts like lunges and leg presses a few times a week will help improve your cycling performance and gives power to your legs to boost walking.
Vertical jumping has the potential to increase strength in your leg muscles. Add some weights to increase the intensity of your leg workouts, which can build additional strength. Jumping jacks and rope jumping are great workouts for your upper and lower body. It also helps to improve bone density and muscle coordination.
5. Seated leg extension
The seated leg extension is a separate workout where the main focus is on the muscles of the quads. This workout includes knee extension, a basic movement involved in the squat, lunge, and walking activities. This is one of the best strength-giving routines for walkers.
6. Leg curls
The leg curl isolates the hamstrings by giving focus on the action of knee flexion. They help to strengthen the legs, improve hamstring flexibility, and put no stress on the back or hip. Due to its single joint nature, the leg curl is an effortless workout.
7. Side leg raises
This can be done either by standing leg raises or side-lying leg raises. Both of them provide durability to the legs. This workout has several benefits, including a better range of motion in the hips, improved body stabilisation, muscle endurance, and side leg raises that activate the muscles. This could be a better workout for improving walking.
Cross-training is a fantastic way to enhance walking and increase overall fitness. A combination of running and walking routines gives strength training to the walkers. Some sports like basketball and football are great for improving your leg power.
To perform Lunges, you must balance all your body weight on one of the legs and maintain this position for a short time period. Make sure your knee does not come over your toes while making lunges and keep your torso straight while looking ahead. Lunges are an excellent step to increase strength and stability in your legs.
Step-ups are one of your best options to strengthen the lower body. This lower body workout can improve your leg strength, which aligns strength imbalances and enhances stabilisation. This workout is straightforward to perform.
11. Wall sit
It is generally used to build endurance and isometric strength in the calves, quadriceps, and glutes. Since the wall sits directly focuses on the legs, it increases its strength and stability. It helps to build muscle strength and burn a lot of calories. Also, it boosts your overall stamina, sharpens focus, and relieves stress.
12. Ankle rotation
This workout is designed to stretch and strengthen your feet and ankles using a range of motion. Your walking improves with this workout and hence this can be said one of the easy strengths providing practice to legs.
13. Dead bug
It is an excellent workout for promoting total core stability and improving contra-lateral limb engagement. An easily adjustable workout according to your level of expertise also boosts coordination and mobility in the legs, back, and arms.
14. Figure eights
Standing on one leg, holding on to a pole for support, you must draw a figure eight in the air with the opposite foot, making the top loop in front and the bottom loop behind your body. Gradually increase the size of the figure so that your hip rotates fully in front and back. This workout can ideally increase the endurance of your legs.
15. Hip stretch
This workout is excellent for walkers. This stretch strengthens your stomach muscles and relieves back tension. While doing this, try to keep your hips square and your chest open. Do not let your knee bend past your toes.
16. Good morning workouts
This is simply a hip-hinge workout, and it strengthens the muscle in your posterior chain – muscles along the back of your body – primarily targets your back, glutes, and hamstrings. The simpler version of this is seated good morning workouts.
17. Reverse Crunch
Simply lying down and placing your hand on the bottom of the body, you can perform this reverse crunch. Keep your legs together, bend slightly, and raise them as much as possible. This workout gives energy and power to your legs, enabling the legs to walk more. Perform this reverse crunch to have workout fitness for walking.
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Walking is the easiest and healthiest way to workout at the start of your day. You can even walk at your convenient time. Walking an hour a day immensely benefits your health. But you need additional energy in your legs to do this walking as a routine in your day-to-day life. To avail that extra strength in your legs, you can do workouts like Squats, Lunges, Dead bugs, Wall Sit, etc. These 17 workouts provide the required fitness for walking.
What are the benefits of strength training exercises for legs?
Strength training helps to develop strong bones, increase your muscle tone and posture, helps to burn more fat than cardio, and increases your metabolic rate.
Can I perform strength training exercises without equipment?
Strength training can be performed without massive equipment, and you can complete a perfect, adequate strength session using your body weight.
Where should I begin if I am starting strength training for my legs?
As a beginner, start doing some of the above-said 17 workouts slowly. Start by aiming for around eight reps for each activity and gradually increase them to 10-15 reps.
Will my muscles convert to fat if I suddenly stop strength training?
This is a common fitness misconception. Your muscles do not convert to fat if you suddenly stop doing strength training workouts.
Do Strength training exercises help in weight loss?
Strength training is a perfect way to reach your weight loss goals. The results will be excellent when you perform this with cardio or walking
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