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Walking Workout: A Firmer Butt in 30 Minutes

  • Sarah Kehoe

    Tone Your Rear While You Walk

    Surprise: Your average walk is not a workout for your derriere. "Walking on level terrain does not require you to fully contract the gluteal muscles, so it doesn't do much for toning them," says Wayne Westcott, PhD, fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts. That's because the work is mostly in your quads and hamstrings.

    The Routine

    "For the best butt toning on two feet," says walking pro Tina Vindum, walk for 5 minutes, do one of the supereffective shapers shown here, then repeat until you've done all four exercises. (If your route has hills, tackle these moves every time the path hits an incline — or a set of stairs — for maximum butt-blasting benefits.)

  • Sarah Kehoe

    Skater Stride

    Targets: Quads, butt, hips, obliques, back, and triceps

    • While walking, take a large step diagonally forward to the right with right foot, toes pointing forward (not to right). Sink into a lunge, bending both knees 90 degrees, as you bring left elbow toward right knee and swing right arm straight back. (Beginners, do a dip rather than a lunge.)
    • Press off left big toe to bring left leg forward, brushing it past right leg, then swinging it forward out to the left diagonal (like a speed skater) to plant left foot, toes forward.
    • Do 25 steps to each side, alternating legs.
  • Sarah Kehoe

    Sumo Squat and Lift

    Targets: Quads, inner and outer thighs, butt, hips, back, shoulders, and biceps

    • While walking, turn so that your right side is facing "forward" (or uphill), fists near hips.
    • Lift right foot, flexed, to take a large side step to right.
    • Lower into a wide squat as you lift both hands up in a wide V.
    • Rising up on right leg, lower arms as you lift left leg to side, foot flexed.
    • Step left foot next to right.
    • Do 12 reps; repeat with left side facing front.
  • Sarah Kehoe

    Power Lunge with Leg Lift

    Targets: Quads, hamstrings, butt, hips, arms, and abs

    • Walking, lunge forward with left leg, both knees bent 90 degrees (beginners, 45 degrees).
    • With hands in fists and elbows bent at 90 degrees, bring right fist toward nose, left behind you.
    • Shift weight onto left leg, straightening it; lower arms and lift right leg out and back on a diagonal as high as you can.
    • Bring right leg forward into a lunge; repeat on that side.
    • Do 25 reps per leg, alternating sides.
  • Sarah Kehoe

    High-Knee Cross

    Targets: Quads, calves, hips, butt, and abs

    • While walking, tighten abs and lift bent left knee as high as you can directly in front of you, coming up on right toes. Simultaneously bend right elbow 90 degrees, bringing it across body toward left knee. (Swing left elbow back to counterbalance.)
    • Hold for 1 count, then lower left foot to step forward. Repeat with right leg.
    • Do 25 reps per leg, alternating sides.

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, April 2009.