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Walk It Off: Burn 1,300 Calories Walking

A weeklong walking plan designed to burn 1,300 calories and firm trouble zones that an average walk ignores.

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Walk It Off: Walking Workout
Denise Crew
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How It Works

Check out the latest skinny on walking: Women between the ages of 18 and 30 who walked at least four hours a week were 44 percent more likely to lose weight during the 15 years they were tracked than those who didn't walk at all -- regardless of what other exercise they did, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To hit that magic 240-minute-a-week total, follow this simple plan created by Malin Svensson, a walking and fitness expert in Los Angeles. You'll not only burn off 1,300 calories this week but also firm up trouble zones that your average stroll ignores.

Aim to rack up at least 45 minutes of walking on most days, alternating your usual steady walks with Svensson's Burn-and-Firm Workout, shown on the following slides. You'll melt about 240 calories in each 45-minute Burn-and-Firm session as you "sculpt from abs to calves and build more push-off power," says Svensson, author of Nordic Walking, who puts her clients through this shape-up. For an allover makeover, give equal toning TLC to your top half with Svensson's four Essential Upper-Body Shaper exercises, on slides 10 to 13. Now step on it!

Watch a video of this workout!

Log your steps on the Run/Walk Planner tool

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Your Weekly Walking Plan

Untitled Document

Follow this at-a-glance plan to start torching 1,300 calories each week.*




Essential Upper-Body Shapers


Steady 4 mph or faster walk (Do 45 minutes in one shot or divide the time into three 15-minute 1-mile walks.)


Burn-and-Firm Workout (45 minutes)


Steady 4 mph or faster walk  (45 minutes)

Essential Upper-Body Shapers




Burn-and-Firm Workout (45 minutes)


Steady 4 mph or faster walk (Do 60 minutes all in one loop or two 30-minute outings.)

*Calories burned are based on a 140-pound woman walking a weekly total of 240 minutes at a
four-mile-per-hour pace and toning her upper body twice a week.


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Burn-and-Firm Workout: Heel Walk

Start out at an easy pace (about 20 minutes per mile) for 4 minutes, then alternate doing the tone-as-you-go exercises with 5 minutes of brisk walking (a 15-minute mile or faster). Cool down with an easy 4-minute walk.

Heel Walk
Targets: Butt and shins

  • Step forward with right foot, landing on heel.
  • Keeping body weight centered on middle of right heel as you push off (toes are off the ground; walk only on heels), quickly take a short step forward with left foot, landing on heel.
  • Swing extended arms in opposition to legs, matching pace of arm swing to speed of steps.
  • Continue heel walk for 1 minute, taking short, quick steps.

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Toe Walk

Targets: Shoulders, abs, and calves

  • Walk quickly on tiptoes, keeping weight centered on balls of feet and taking short steps (like a ballet dancer).
  • Simultaneously press arms overhead: Start in a goalpost pose, with elbows bent 90 degrees and raised out to sides at shoulder level, hands in fists, palms facing forward.
  • Quickly press arms straight overhead and open hands, palms facing each other.
  • Continue toe walk for 1 minute, alternating goalpost and overhead arm position throughout.

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Balance Walk

Targets: Abs and hips

  • Step forward with right foot, raising arms straight overhead, palms facing each other. (Arms reach top as right heel touches down.)

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Groucho Walk

Targets: Butt and thighs

  • Take a long step (but not a big stretch) forward with left leg, lowering hips closer to ground.
  • Keeping body lowered, squeeze glutes as you take a long step forward with right leg in a gliding motion.
  • Continue Groucho Walk for 1 minute, moving arms in opposition to legs, elbows bent.

Trainer's Tip: For the best toning, avoid bouncing: Rather than letting body rise between steps, maintain a low, gliding stride.

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Trunk Twist

Targets: Abs, obliques, and hips

  • March forward with left leg, lifting bent left knee to hip height, as you rotate torso to left, swinging straight right arm forward to touch inside of left knee and swinging straight left arm behind you.
  • Keep your head facing forward and maintain a tall posture as you march forward with right leg, rotating torso to right and swinging left arm to touch inside of bent right knee.
  • Continue trunk twist walk for 1 minute, alternating sides.

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Cat Walk

Targets: Abs, obliques, and inner thighs

  • Place hands on hips and step forward, crossing left leg over right thigh (so left foot lands to right of an imaginary median line in front of you) as torso rotates to left.

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Tick-Tock Walk

Targets: Hips and butt

  • Bring fists in front of chest, elbows bent. Form a diagonal line with bent elbows, left elbow above shoulder level and right elbow below, as you step forward with left foot.
  • As you land on left foot, simultaneously lift right leg out to side, toes pointing forward, as you straighten arms in the diagonal line. Make it easier: Keep elbows bent by sides, fists in front of chest, and skip arm movements.
  • Bend elbows and return fists to chest, this time with right elbow above shoulder level and left elbow below, as you step forward with right leg.
  • Extend arms again as you land on right foot and lift left leg out to side. (Imagine legs moving like a pendulum.)
  • Continue tick-tock walk for 1 minute.

Trainer's Tip: To work upper back muscles, bring shoulder blades down and together to kiss when arms are fully extended.

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Essential Upper-Body Shapers: Snow Angel

Grab a pair of 3- to 5-pound dumbbells and do two to three sets of each of these upper-body exercises twice a week to go from flab to fab.

Snow Angel
Targets: Back and shoulders

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hinge forward 45 degrees at hips so dumbbells hover in front of knees, palms facing in.

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Three-Legged Crab

Targets: Triceps, abs, and butt

  • Sit on floor with knees bent and feet flat, palms planted beside hips, fingers pointing toward feet.
  • Press through palms to straighten arms and raise hips off floor, balancing body between hands and feet.
  • Lift left foot off floor and extend leg in front of you.

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Curl and Press

Targets: Upper back, shoulders, biceps, and legs

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides, palms facing in.
  • Lunge forward with right leg, knee bent about 90 degrees, left leg extended directly behind you.
  • Bend right elbow and bring dumbbell near right shoulder, palm facing left.

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Flye Trap

Targets: Chest, abs, butt, inner thighs, and hamstrings

  • Holding a dumbbell in right hand, lie faceup on floor with right knee bent, foot flat, and left leg on floor and extended out to side at a 45-degree angle so inner thigh faces up.
  • Bring extended right arm out to side at shoulder level, palm facing up; left arm remains by side, palm down; this is start position.

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Fresh Tracks: Walking Workout Playlist

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2010.

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

lizzyb29 wrote:

Katy, walking is really good but if your goal is to lose weight, you will see the best results from your diet. If you want a really good plan designed specifically for women, I highly recommend you visit: -

7/15/2014 11:49:38 AM Report Abuse
lizzyb29 wrote:

Great program for people getting started

7/15/2014 11:45:05 AM Report Abuse
norilyn.a wrote:

Thank you for sharing such valuable information. I also found a site that might be helpful. It's

5/15/2014 06:32:10 AM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

If you're happy with your current regimen and it's working for you, then by all means, continue it. I would encourage you, however, to open your mind a bit and try something different like this. At the very least, allow others to expand themselves without recrimination.

10/16/2010 04:00:20 PM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

Not everybody wants the "typical" experience - most people spend quite enough time indoors: jobs, homes, shopping, appointments, errands, etc. For many people, the LAST place they want to go is to another indoor experience: whether it's a gym, a private workout or dance studio, they've just had ENOUGH of being inside.

10/16/2010 03:59:46 PM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

When I'm out with my clients doing all this stuff, we continually are queried by people who are intensely interested, motivated, and inspired to try it themselves. They never dreamed that Pilates roll-ups and Yoga poses could be done on driftwood logs or in the sand; they never saw rocks and boulders as free weights - I could go on and on about all the POSITIVE energy exchanges, but I'm sure you get the idea.

10/16/2010 03:59:27 PM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

The steps and moves presented in this specific workout/walk can be done anywhere and by nearly anybody who already walks upright and has arm mobility, they include using most muscle groups on multiple planes, they use arm movements which can REALLY elevate the heart rate, they use complex compound movements which are TERRIFIC for coordination and reflexes, and even include balance steps which I've found are CRUCIAL for everybody, especially as they age.

10/16/2010 03:58:45 PM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

It leaves us thoroughly used and tired, but energized and renewed at the same time - barely able to wait until the next time we can experience it all over again!

10/16/2010 03:58:18 PM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

Whether we're on the beach or in the pine forest, we can complete a whole-body workout with all our senses filled with Mother Nature - time passes so quickly we barely notice how much actual hard work we've been doing!

10/16/2010 03:57:56 PM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

I took off 50 pounds myself with this approach and have kept it off for years. My clients love this type of work as much as I do - they NEVER see the inside of a gym - we work out in beautiful surroundings with ever-present wildlife (birds, deer, coyotes, mountain lions, sea lions, elephant seals, otters, etc.).

10/16/2010 03:57:50 PM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

Most of my bodywork/massage is done indoors, but even that's outside sometimes.

10/16/2010 03:56:55 PM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

Other than my eldest, frail, and/or infirmed clients, obviously, it's ALL done outside on the beautiful central coast of California - my fitness training clients only see the inside of my studio for consultations, testing and assessments - occasionally for fine-tuning of techniques.

10/16/2010 03:56:30 PM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

Dependent on client ability and level, my typical session often consists of this type of interval training, a break for rest/stretch/snack/lunch, followed by quite complex groundwork (Pilates/Yoga/bodyweight + free weight exercises). Some days we'll use manufactured equipment (mats, dumbbells, balls, bands, etc.), but often we'll just use what's been provided in what I call "God's gym": driftwood, rocks, boulders, sand, etc.

10/16/2010 03:56:12 PM Report Abuse
pswanson00 wrote:

These moves are not at all unrealistic nor a "reinvention" - quite the contrary - as a professional certified bodywork therapist and certified personal fitness trainer whose workouts are done 90%+ outdoors (parks, trails, beach, forest, etc.), I've used workout walks/jogs with compound steps and arm movements just like these (as well as LOTS of others) - FOR YEARS - with TERRIFIC results for myself and my clients.

10/16/2010 03:55:17 PM Report Abuse
kareterra113251 wrote:

Besides, who are you working out for? you or your neighbors? I thought the same thing before I started running at fifty, fat and jiggly. I'm not going to not do what I need to do because the neighbors might laugh.

10/16/2010 12:00:33 PM Report Abuse
kareterra113251 wrote:

y'all really worry way too much about what your neighbors think. Two months from now they'll have seen how much these moves have helped you, they'll be out doing them too!

10/16/2010 11:50:54 AM Report Abuse
*Mrs_Clean* wrote:

I am with tdj5 you used to be able to print out the whole workout on the site, now that option is gone....very frustrating...go back to the way it was.

10/16/2010 11:23:41 AM Report Abuse
janet.cagle1 wrote:

This was a very silly article. I am seriously rethinking Fitness Mag

6/29/2010 12:07:13 PM Report Abuse
queenoftheboat wrote:

You have to worry about how you will feel later now how it looks. Sometimes crazy is a good thing.

6/29/2010 11:21:42 AM Report Abuse
kcoc178 wrote:

You know I don't care how I look when I am out exercising - I care how I look in my jean!

5/20/2010 07:57:15 AM Report Abuse
TinaHaha wrote:

thank you boo526 that's a much better idea if you want to lose weight outside rather than in your own home, looking like a fool

4/9/2010 02:29:27 PM Report Abuse
TinaHaha wrote:

all great, but how in the world would i walk and do these moves if the neighbors and cars driving by will think im an idiot!!! i don't know if i wanna take that chance....

4/9/2010 02:28:10 PM Report Abuse
pamwood59 wrote:

My husband built our driveway in a oval 20 plus years ago so I could continue to walk/jog on our 3 acre property in private. It is the best thing he could have done for me. Our daughter now 16 also enjoys her walk/jogs on our private walkway.

4/7/2010 02:08:18 PM Report Abuse
lott0923 wrote:

And I thought it was just me!!!

4/7/2010 10:59:23 AM Report Abuse
boo526 wrote:

The best walking routine that doesn't make you look nuts is intervals. Walk at a "normal pace" for a few minutes and then really speed it up for 1 minute, return to "normal" for 1.5 minutes. Continue for at least 20 minutes - 30 with a warm up/cool down. It's a real fat burner.

4/7/2010 10:25:04 AM Report Abuse
ftroop9 wrote:


4/6/2010 02:35:02 PM Report Abuse
xstacey38 wrote:

I think all of the moves are very good, but I think the neighbors might send out the "short bus" for me if I did them anywhere but in my home.

4/5/2010 10:31:57 AM Report Abuse
tjhamp76 wrote:

Omg@Maddensusan...I was thinking the same thing...People would think I was insane...Lol!

4/2/2010 07:37:50 PM Report Abuse
kpalhof wrote:

I've had my tubes tied,can I get a flat stomach?

3/31/2010 03:51:23 PM Report Abuse
maddensusan wrote:

I could never do this workout. Everyone in my community would think I lost my mind. Isn't there an effective walking routine that DOESN'T make you look like an idiot?

3/30/2010 08:08:39 AM Report Abuse

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