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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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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.*

Weekday

Workout

Monday

Essential Upper-Body Shapers

Tuesday

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

Wednesday

Burn-and-Firm Workout (45 minutes)

Thursday

Steady 4 mph or faster walk  (45 minutes)

Essential Upper-Body Shapers

Friday

OFF

Saturday

Burn-and-Firm Workout (45 minutes)

Sunday

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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