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Walking Workout: Tone Your Arms As You Walk

This quick and effective routine pairs arm toning exercises with your regular walking workout, so you firm your upper body while you walk off the weight.

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woman walking with headphones
Sarah Kehoe
Sarah Kehoe
Sarah Kehoe
Sarah Kehoe
Sarah Kehoe
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30-Minute Upper-Body Blitz

Forget hand weights or park-bench push-ups. You can walk your way to sleek shoulders, a sculpted back and toned arms without them. "Just making fists with your hands for these moves signals the arm muscles to contract and adds a little extra burn," says walking pro Tina Vindum.

The Routine
Warm up by doing three big, slow arm circles in each direction to prime your shoulder joints. Walk for 5 minutes, then do the first exercise here, matching the pace of the arm movements to your footfalls -- no stopping! Repeat until you've done all four moves; finish with 5 minutes of walking.

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Upright Row

Targets: Shoulders, upper back, and abs

  • Make a fist with each hand and start with hands near hips, palms facing you.
  • Bring both fists up to armpits, skimming torso with knuckles and keeping elbows bent out to sides higher than hands throughout movement.
  • Squeeze shoulder blades and upper-back muscles together to draw elbows back, raising fists to shoulder height.
  • Lower hands to start.
  • Do 25 reps.

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Chest Press

Targets: Chest, biceps, and abs

  • Make a fist with each hand, arms straight down by sides, palms forward. (Beginners can keep hands open.)
  • Keeping shoulders down and back, contract abs and lift both arms straight in front of you, palms up, to press pinkies together at shoulder height.
  • Squeeze chest, then lower arms to start.
  • Do 25 reps.

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Lateral Press

Targets: Shoulders and triceps

  • Make a fist with each hand and raise elbows out to sides at shoulder height, fists at armpits, palms facing in.
  • Keeping elbows fixed at shoulder height (as if you have a broomstick over shoulders), slowly swing fists down until they're perpendicular to ground and then out, ending with arms extended straight out to sides, palms facing behind you.
  • Bend elbows to return to start.
  • Do 25 reps.

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One-Arm Reverse Flye

Target: Shoulders

  • Place left hand on left hip and, making a fist with right hand, rest it on top of left hand, palm facing in. Draw shoulders down and back.
  • With right elbow slightly bent, lift right arm on a diagonal to right and up, ending with right hand slightly higher than right shoulder, palm forward.
  • Lower right arm to return to start.
  • Do 25 reps. Switch arms, repeat.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2009.

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dikyfuqazoni wrote:

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6/2/2013 05:42:36 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

i'm sorry that there's not an easy way to print out the exercises and pictures for toning arms; that would have been helpful to take with me on my walk, reminding me of the way to do the exercises properly.

4/19/2012 07:51:59 AM Report Abuse
milagrosroebuck wrote:

thank you for updating me with your articles. I love the exercises and healthy tips you are plugging in to your subscribers. I have done a combo upper and lower body exercises with arms. Awesome!!! work really god with my flabby arms.;)

7/11/2011 07:32:12 PM Report Abuse
gleseh wrote:

Do you need to be so negative? All of these things will help you in the long run compared to sitting on your couch and watching tv. They are nice enough to give tips, please be nice enough in return to not be horrible.

4/16/2011 11:37:11 AM Report Abuse
shane_halaska wrote:

So many walking workout routines, and all of them won't do hardly anything to give women the shape they really want. All the programs on here are long distance walking or running. Have you seen a long distance runner or walker? Thin, spindly, pretty gross looking if you ask me. Compare a long distance runner or walker to a sprinter. There is no comparison.

9/21/2010 11:55:07 AM Report Abuse
glenda.k.tolleson wrote:

This might work for beginners. Since it's a good idea to drink plenty of water, I put a full water bottle (BPA free) in each hand and drink from both as I walk to make them even as possible and by the time I walk my 5 miles I usually have both of them down about half way.

8/2/2010 10:00:24 AM Report Abuse
Teachingthetaught88 wrote:

Oh come on!!! Balling thee fists to gain muscle!? Yeah. And how long will that actually take-- 5 minutes? I mean, it takes only 5 minutes to gain instant muscle, right?

5/7/2010 06:35:04 PM Report Abuse
gingerly222 wrote:

I like this too!! I am disabled and use a walker and/or cane but I walk everyday and I can still do this while using my walking helpers. Thanks.

2/11/2010 12:25:25 PM Report Abuse
kia.giess wrote:

Wow! this is cool! I'm going to have to try it!!

1/10/2010 10:30:56 PM Report Abuse
sherrybhattu wrote:

thatz better

11/2/2009 10:45:34 AM Report Abuse

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FITNESS Magazine, April 2009
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