Walking is a great calorie-burning cardio workout, but adding a strength-training element to your routine can help you target and tone trouble zones even faster.
"Working different muscle groups while you walk builds fat-burning lean muscle mass," says Amie Hoff, fitness consultant for New York Sports Clubs in Manhattan.
Warm up by walking at your normal pace for five minutes, then pick up the pace for another five minutes. Do one set of each of the moves below; between sets, do two minutes of fast walking. Repeat the cycle to complete a second set of each move, then cool down by walking at a medium pace for five minutes.
Throughout the workout, remember to keep your abs tight, which will help firm up the belly, says Hoff. And bend your arms at a 90-degree angle and pump them while you walk: this helps increase your speed and calorie burn while strengthening the biceps.
Walk like a crab
Targets: inner and outer thighs
Turn to your left and walk sideways for 30 seconds by crossing your left foot up and over your right. Then switch directions for another 30 seconds, crossing your right foot over your left. For more of a challenge, try a side skip.
Take to your tippy-toes
Walk on your tiptoes for 30 seconds while keeping your arms out to the sides for balance (which will also help work your shoulder muscles).
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Complete arm circles
Targets: triceps, biceps, and shoulders
Continue walking and stretch your arms out to the sides (forming a "T"), then rotate them forward to make circles 6- to 12-inches in diameter for 30 seconds. Switch directions, rotating your arms backward for another 30 seconds.
Cop a squat
Targets: quadriceps, hamstrings, and hips
Come to a stop and stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees (don't let them pass in front of your toes) and sit back like you're lowering into a chair, keeping your abs tight to protect your lower back. Return to starting position and repeat 15 to 20 times to complete one set.
Move it on up
Targets: butt, hamstrings
Find a hill and walk up and then back down to work the muscles in your derriere. When you get to the bottom, turn around and (carefully) walk backwards up the incline to target your hamstrings.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.