What muscles are involved in walking?

The muscles most involved in walking are:

  • The quadriceps. At the front of the thighs, they are by far the body’s biggest muscles. They raise and push forward the thigh and leg.
  • The hamstrings. These form the back of the thigh and move your leg backward.
  • The buttock muscles. Very powerful and bulky, their job is to complete the backward movement of the step. When these muscle masses sag, this shows that they are not being used enough for their primary function, which is walking.
  • The stomach muscles. These contract with each step forward.
  • The calf muscles. These are smaller, but are among the most heavily used muscles when you take a step.
  • Secondary muscles that are also involved are:
  • The pelvis’s stabilizing muscles. These form a muscular crown around the pelvis and include the external abductors, the internal adductors, the abdominal muscles at the front, and the spinal muscles at the back.
  • The symmetrical tibialis anterior muscles in front of the calf muscles. These raise the foot up so that it does not flatten or scrape the ground as you take a stride. Walking greatly develops these muscles.
  • The arm and shoulder muscles. These contribute less than the others, but they can be used a great deal in power walking.

Which part of the body is worked the most when you walk?

When we talk of fitness walking, there is a tendency to think that only your leg muscles are worked. Although they are certainly key, other muscle groups get a workout too, especially the heart, the abdominals, the arms and the back. I’m sure you’ve got it by now: fitness walking is a complete sport with more than one muscle to its bow.

Walking to build muscles

Walking, especially at a brisk speed, is a complete exercise which gently works your muscles, enabling them to stretch, while improving overall posture. Since it also helps with relaxation, sleep and the release of endorphins, walking not only improves the muscle tone of your whole body, but also gives you an energy boost.

First of all, your legs and thighs

Fitness walking is first and foremost a workout for your legs and helps strengthen your thighs, glutes and calves.

How do these muscles work? At the front of the thigh, the quadriceps stretches the leg and bends the thigh at the hip. At the rear, the hamstrings enable the knee to bend and rotate and the femur to extend: they contract each time you fold your legs.
Glutes are the most powerful muscles in the body. Genuine stabilisers, they enable us to stand upright and thus prevent falling! They are particularly worked when walking, especially at a brisk pace. When going uphill, your glutes contract intensely and gradually become toned.
Your calves help extend the ankles and play a role in generating momentum.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t just work your legs and thighs when walking!

Abdominals: the silent workers

Firstly, as you accelerate, your heart rate changes your breathing and this effort strengthens your abdominals naturally, without your realising. In addition, your abdominals act as ‘stabilisers’ for the body and are worked constantly while walking to keep your body balanced.

The heart of the matter

The effort put in by your heart is proportional to your walking speed. Fitness walking requires moderate effort which is risk-free and will gently help your heart as much as your other muscles!

Your upper body also has a part to play

Lastly, lengthening your stride and increasing your pace when walking briskly (from 100-120 steps per minute) will result in swinging your arms. The effect of this natural movement is to strengthen the muscles in your upper body and therefore all the muscles in your back. When practised regularly at a brisk pace, fitness walking will provide a natural defence against back pain.

Make the leap and strengthen your muscles naturally – you will see the benefits!

Walking to Lose Weight

In addition to burning fat and calories, walking builds muscles. You may have noticed that serious walkers have particularly shapely legs — not “toothpick” legs or “thunder thighs.” The reason is that walking builds, shapes, and tones muscles of the legs, hips, and buttocks.

Walking also boosts the strength and endurance of those muscles, which means you’ll be able to do more with less fatigue. According to David Winter, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, these are the main muscle groups walking affects:

  • Calf muscles: Walking is excellent for developing shapely calf muscles. The calf muscles provide the upward and forward momentum for the “pushoff” phase of walking, which lifts the heel off the ground.
  • Tibialis anterior and ankle extensor muscles: These muscles, which run along the anterior side of each shin, raise the toes and foot during the leg’s forward motion (or “swing”) phase. The muscles then lower the toes and foot as the heel hits the ground.
  • Hamstring muscles: Walking’s pushoff phase (hip extension) works the hamstring muscles in the back of the thighs.
  • Quadriceps muscles: These muscles at the front of the thighs are used as each leg is extended.
  • Hip flexor muscles: The hip flexor muscles lift the thigh forward in the “swing” phase of the stride.
  • Buttock muscles: Rocking the hips during brisk walking works the gluteal (butt) muscles.
  • Abdominal muscles: Making a point of walking with natural, upright posture can strengthen the abdominal muscles.
  • Arm and shoulder muscles: These muscles are used when you pump your arms vigorously, up to chest or shoulder level, while walking (the left arm swings forward naturally as the right leg strides ahead, and vice versa).

Methods abound for enhancing the muscle-toning action. You can increase the involvement of the leg-lifting quadriceps by walking uphill — and even downhill. And by lengthening your stride and walking faster, you’ll demand more of the hamstrings, hip flexors, and buttocks.

To substantially increase strength and muscle tone in the upper body, however, you’ll probably need to do extra exercises, like push-ups and chin-ups. Weight training is also a good way to enhance the strength of the muscles of both the upper and lower body.

Throughout your walking program, it’s very important to stretch your muscles both before and after your walks to maintain your flexibility and ward off injury.

Walking also works another muscle: the heart. Learn how walking improves aerobic capacity next.

To learn more about walking, see:

  • Walking
  • Benefits of Walking
  • How to Begin Walking for Fitness
  • Walking Accessories

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Definition of butt


  • extremely ugly. A shortened form of “butt ugly”.My god, that guy is butt.
    • See more words with the same meaning: unattractive, ugly.

    Last edited on Jul 21 2011. Submitted by Audrey M. from UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA on Jan 22 1999.

  • bad, displeasing.That movie was butt. Yo, your rhymes are butt. That outfit doesn’t have much to it – it’s kinda butt.
    • See more words with the same meaning: bad, poor, sucks, common, generally displeasing.

    Last edited on Jan 02 2012. Submitted by Corey H from Fredericksburg, VA, USA on Dec 19 2001.


  • “very”.Man, her outfit is butt-nasty. It’s butt cold outside. Her exboyfriend was butt ugly.
    • See more words with the same meaning: very, extremely, completely, in a grand way.

    Last edited on Jan 02 2012. Submitted by beau h. from Anchorage, AK, USA on Dec 04 1999.


  • a disagreeable or unpleasant person.Oh my gosh, she’s such a butt. She’s being really buttish today.
    • See more words with the same meaning: uncool person, jerk, asshole (general insults – list of).

    Last edited on Jul 21 2011. Submitted by Val from St Louis, MO, USA on May 14 1999.

  • a cigarette. From the “butt” (remainder) of a smoked cigarette.Let’s go smoke a butt.
    • See more words with the same meaning: cigarette, cigar.

    Last edited on Jul 21 2011. Submitted by Mark W. from Asheville, NC, USA on Dec 16 2001.

  • a noun used to describe someone who is lame and funny at the same timeThat joke wasn’t funny, you’re such a butt!

    Last edited on Mar 03 2013. Submitted by G. from Uxbridge, MA, USA on Feb 07 2003.

  • buttocks.He’s got a huge butt.
    Citation from “The Fight”, Parks and Recreation (TV), Season 3 Episode 13 (2011) censored in hope of resolving .
    Citation from “Trust”, Wilfred (TV), Season 1 Episode 2 (2011) censored in hope of resolving .
    Citation from “The List”, The Office (US TV), Season 8 Episode 1 (2011) censored in hope of resolving .
    Citation from “Peter Griffin: Husband, Father… Brother?”, Family Guy (TV), Season 3 Episode 14 (2001) censored in hope of resolving .
    Citation from ”Exit To Eden”, (1994 film) censored in hope of resolving .
    • See more words with the same meaning: buttocks, butt, ass.

    Last edited on Mar 18 2018. Submitted by Walter Rader (Editor) from Sacramento, CA, USA on Sep 30 2009.

  • one’s self. This is an example of synecdoche.Get your butt over here. Get your butts over here.
    Citation from “The Best Christmas Story Never Told”, American Dad! (TV), Season 2 Episode 9 (2006) censored in hope of resolving .
    • See more words with the same meaning: the whole body.

    Last edited on May 02 2013. Submitted by Walter Rader (Editor) from Sacramento, CA, USA on Dec 31 2011.

Let’s get straight to the point: butt hair is perfectly normal, just like it’s totally common to have hair on your legs and hair down there (aka pubic hair). While you don’t really see it to believe it, most people have butt hair on the butt cheeks, in between them, or both.

Though everyone has butt hair, it’s funny that hair can be so stigmatized. We long for thick, shiny hair and we’re obsessed with lengthy eyelashes and on-fleek brows. But when it comes to *other* kinds of hair, we just start blushing and pretending it doesn’t exist. So now that you know how common it really is, we’re about to rip the bandage off and get real about everything you need to know about butt hair.

In case you’re too embarrassed to ask for yourself (though you don’t need to be!), we tapped board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King, licensed esthetician and co-founder of SKINNEY Medspa Marisa Martino, and OB-GYNs Dr. Melisa Holmes and Dr. Jennifer Ashton for their expertise on butt hair. From how to shave butt hair safely to scientific benefits of its existence, here’s everything you need to know…

Butt hair exists for a real reason.

Eyelashes, as you might know, serve the useful purpose of keeping bugs, dust, and other particles out of your eyes; armpit hair prevents your arms from chafing against your sides. But when it comes to butt hair, you might be stumped. According to Dr. King, no one knows for sure what the purpose of butt hair is, but there are several theories:

  • Bodies evolve over the course of millions of years. We haven’t lost our butt hair yet simply because there’s no pressing reason for us to do so. “There is no significant evolutionary pressure against it,” says King. Cool, right?
  • We tend to have hair in areas where scent is produced, and the hair traps your own unique scent, which can make you more attractive to mates (you know, way deep in our cavemen brains).
  • Butt hair provides a layer to prevent chafing between your butt cheeks when you run or walk or do whatever.

EVERYONE has butt hair.

Let’s get one thing straight: EVERYONE has butt hair. Once puberty hits, hair begins to grow in all kinds of ~specific~ places (like on your underarms, legs, pubic area, face, and, yes, butt). It’s 100% normal and we promise that you, your crush, and your squad all have butt hair.

Some people might have more or less hair than others, according to Dr. King, as genetics and hormones affect the distribution of body hair. But having butt hair itself is again, completely and absolutely normal.

You decide what to do with your hair.

Since having butt hair is totally natural and OK, it’s your call when it comes to deciding what to do with it. You can just leave it as is and live your best life. After all, being hairless everywhere is just a weird trend that became popular for the strangest reason. “It really changed drastically when porn become more readily available online,” explains Dr. Holmes, M.D., founder of Just because porn might show some hairless bodies doesn’t mean you need to shave everything off.

Dr. King agrees that it’s absolutely fine to keep your butt hair as is. But if you’d like, you can choose to remove it, though it really depends on what you personally prefer. If you do decide to remove your hair, just make sure you’re being extra careful or visiting reputable professional.

Temporary removal options

Chrome Long Handle Butterfly Open Double Edge Safety Reusable Razor Weishi $12.88

One option for removal is shaving. Now, think about how small that area with hair on your butt is and now think about how big a razor is. You need to seriously take it nice and easy to make sure your don’t nick yourself (OW). “Any time you shave or wax, that hair follicle on your skin is going to be opened up,” says Dr. Ashton, MD, an OB-GYN and author of The Body Scoop for Girls. “That makes it easy for bacteria to enter and cause an infection.”

If you’re going to shave hair off from around your butthole, just hop in the shower and clean the area with some mild soap and warm water. Then, put your leg up so that you have access to the area and very slowly shave using small strokes. Holding your skin taut with the other hand will help protect against nicks and cuts.

And, whenever you’re shaving ANYTHING, be sure to get a good razor with one or two blades. It truly makes all the difference in the world.

Another temporary removal option is waxing, which pulls hair out by the roots, so this method will typically last longer than just shaving. If you’re new to waxing, it might be best to leave it up to a professional.

Permanent removal options

Butt hair is easily treated with a few sessions of laser hair removal, according to Martino. “Laser hair removal is the most common and effective method for removing unwanted hair, in all areas of your body, for good,” she says.

Remember that shaving, waxing, and laser treatments are all acceptable, but each comes with its own sets of risks. Ideally, you should talk to your gynecologist or dermatologist with any questions you might have about removing your butt hair!

Yerin Kim Assistant Editor Yerin Kim is the Assistant Editor for Snapchat Discover at Seventeen, covering beauty, sex & health, lifestyle, and entertainment.

Last Updated on May 21, 2019
By: Best Walking Shoes

How can this be done?

Well, some of us don’t have to “do” anything it seems. Certain people just seem to have that genetic edge that magically prevents cellulite from collecting in and around the rumpal region. In this respect, it helps to be younger, when your metabolism is still firing on all cylinders.

Whether it be excellent metabolism, or the body diverting the fat into places like your bloodstream instead of your bum (which is not healthy, mind you), certain people just don’t seem to gain weight there in the butt area.

Well, good for those people. They’re probably not the ones reading this. They’re no doubt busy sauntering about, oblivious to how much work it takes some of us to tone our butts.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who have un-toned butts and know it and don’t care about having a larger or just completely flabby posterior.

At least, they don’t care enough to do anything about it. They’d rather live their lives on the couch. So be it. We have nothing against them personally.

That said, if you’re still reading this, you obviously want to firm up that bum of yours, and you’ll do anything to make that happen. Right?

Wouldn’t it be nice if walking, something so simple and available to most of us, was a great way to work on that butt?

Use this table of contents to navigate the various topics in this post and good luck!

  • Is walking good for toning your bum?
  • Best walking shoes / Top picks
  • What are the main muscles in your butt?
  • What does the gluteus maximus do?
  • What are the muscles involved in walking?
  • What is muscle toning?
  • Benefits of walking for a firmer butt
  • Gluteus Medius
  • Gluteus Minimus
  • How to target butt muscles while walking
  • Power walking and race walking
  • Clenching buttocks while walking

Now let’s dive in!

Is Walking Good For Toning Your Bum?

This brings us to the main question – is walking good for toning your bum?

This is a question many have asked before and many will ask again, because walking is one exercise that you can do almost anytime, anywhere, and without depending on anyone else but yourself. You simply put on some good walking shoes, and head out the door.

Yes, this entire website is dedicated to walking. We here at BWSR always encourage a good walk, almost anytime / anywhere, and a comfortable one at that!

Walking has so many benefits for your physical and mental functioning, there are almost too many to mention.

But what you obviously want to know is about toning your butt via walking, and we’re here to provide as much info as we can on this topic, because the answer is this: it depends. In other words, it could, but maybe not…it depends.

Why does it depend? Well, whether walking is going to tone your bum depends on many factors.

How Far? – Just how far are you walking on your outing? Are you going to walk around the block (0.2km) or take a good brisk walk for say 5km? How far you plan on walking will certainly affect the outcome of that walk as it pertains to your physique.

Terrain? – What kind of terrain are you walking over? Will you be hiking on a forest trail, or on your average everyday sidewalk? Maybe you’re walking on a track made for walking. This is yet another factor that will determine how challenging your walk will or won’t be for you.

What kind of shoes? – What kind of shoes are you walking in? Some shoes are made for walking. Some footwear is not, and can do damage to your body if you try to walk in them for extended distances. Yet another part of the big picture here.

How fast are you walking? – The speed of your walk will also greatly affect things. Again, if you walk around the block, travel 0.2km, and you do completely casually without paying attention to your form, or anything else, this is more of a relaxing stroll, and may not do the trick.

Are you walking on an incline? – Does your walk take you up and down many hills, or are you basically walking on flat land? This will determine the intensity of the walk and which muscle groups are pushed harder.

How’s your diet looking? – Remember that you can’t very well tone muscles if your diet is no good. Every time you scarf down a burger or pizza, it’s going to take you further away from being in any kind of fit and trim shape. You can try to walk it off, but it gets increasingly more difficult the worse your diet is.

These are some of the main questions we will discuss further in this article about toning up the ol’ caboose, because you can’t effectively do so unless you consider all of the above.

Here are some walking shoes we’d recommend simply for walking.

Here are some of our favourite top rated ortholite shoes for men and women!

Feature Picks

Nike Women’S Roshe One Trainers

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Asics Women’s Gel-Cumulus 20 Running Shoes

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Asics Men’s Gel-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoe

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Timberland Women’s Emerson Point Closed Toe Sandal

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Adidas Men’s Rockadia Trail M Running Shoe

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Adidas Originals Women’s Tubular Shadow W Fashion Sneaker

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Clarks Men’s Reazor Drive Slip-On Loafer

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Clarks Women’s Blanche Cacee Flat

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We’re big proponents of getting the absolute most out of every workout. If there’s an extra bit of burn or a muscle that can be working a little harder, we want to find it and bring it in on the fun. We already know that walking is a good beginner cardio workout that can be great for burning fat and dropping pounds, but can it also be a good exercise for working your glutes?

Well, not exactly, said exercise physiologist and Bowflex fitness adviser Tom Holland, MS, CSCS. The muscles involved in walking are primarily your quads and the ones around your shins and calves, he explained. “While walking is a great form of exercise to burn calories and strengthen your heart, it does not overload the glute muscles enough to cause hypertrophy,” aka muscle growth, Tom told POPSUGAR.

And yes, that applies to the go-to strategy of squeezing your glutes on every step. That might help to strengthen your glutes (never a bad thing!), but it doesn’t provide enough stimulus “to add size or significantly change the shape,” Tom explained. (Doing weighted or jumping glute exercises is a great way to accomplish that.)


Still, if walking is your go-to workout and you want to add some glute work while you’re at it, a good strategy is to incorporate a few bodyweight strength moves, such as walking lunges or squats. That can “target and tone your glute muscles,” Tom explained. He suggested trying the following 30-minute walk and bodyweight glute circuit.

30-Minute Walking and Bodyweight Glute Workout

  • Walk for 10 minutes.
  • Do 20 forward lunges followed by 15 squats.
  • Repeat the 10-minute walk and the lunge and squat sets for a total of three circuits.

If you really want to mix cardio and glute work, Tom said running is a great choice. Research shows that although your glutes don’t get much work when walking on level ground or even uphill, upping your cadence to a run causes a spike in activity. Try this inclined treadmill workout or this outdoor hill running workout to feel it for yourself.

Image Source: Getty / Ella uzan

Walking Workout: A Firmer Butt in 30 Minutes

Walking incorporates several muscle groups that attempt to create the perfect gait to get you where you are going. The quads, calves, abdominals and glutes all play essential roles. The butt is a major player and is considered one of the strongest muscle groups in the body made up of three striations: gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus and gluteus medius. Unfortunately, due to our reliability on man made transportation, walking has decreased considerably for most people. In turn, fat has found its way into prime storage locations including the legs, abdominals and especially the butt. A workout does not have to be a debilitating experience and practicing simple steps, such as walking for thirty minutes per day, can really make a difference.


Go easy on the carbs, sugar and alcohol. Make simple adjustments that will work hand in hand with your walking workout so that the dreaded fat storage burns off while you walk. And be sure and drink plenty of water so your body can flush out all those toxins you will be stirring up.

Simple Stretch

Most people do not take enough time to get the blood to their muscles before a workout, even if it’s just walking. It is not rocket science, just do what feels good for about five or ten minutes before you set out. Try touching your toes (no worries here, you do not have to actually make it all the way, just until you feel a slight burn). Grab an ankle and pull your heel to your butt. Swing your arms round and round. Do a few jumping jacks and that is it. Simple, easy, ready to go.

Pick a Proper Route

A well thought out route can be the determining factor between enjoying your workout or hating it so much that you quit the next day. Do you enjoy the solitude of a park path or the fast energy of a busy street? Sometimes it is best to map out several routes to create a variety of scenes. However, if you can, make sure there are some hills or steps throughout your walking route as uphill walking is essential in strengthening the glutes.

Attire and Aspire

Try not to constrict yourself with tight fitting clothing or non-breathable materials. Pick loose cottons, good sneakers and maybe some music or even an audio book in headphones to keep you going.

Pace and Incline

Start out at a nice brisk pace watching your breathing (in through your nose and out through your mouth is best) and your form. Keep your back straight, your chin up and your arms bent for pumping. As previously mentioned, walking uphill will do wonders for your butt. When you get to a hill or steps, lean into it. Bend your knees and use your glutes. Visualize the enormous power of your backside muscles and let them do their job. Be sure and watch that your knees are not too strained. The more uphill choices you have on your path, the faster your backside will become toned and shapely.

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High heels don’t accentuate your butt in a way that makes it appear larger or fatter. Heels actually enhance your butt’s appearance by lifting your cheeks and accentuating your feminine curves. Heels also up the femininity quotient of many outfits and can even make the way you walk look more attractive.

Butt Lift

Heels make it look like your backside has had a literal lift. Heels cause your pelvis to tilt forward and your lower back to arch slightly.

As a result, your butt looks like it sits higher and might protrude a little more than before. Overall, this makes your butt appear more shapely and perky, but not bulkier.

Body Shape

Heels give your butt, legs, feet and even chest more shape by the way they re-align your body. The arch in your lower back pushes your chest forward, which improves your posture and makes you look curvier.

Your calf muscles contract and shorten, while your thighs tighten; this makes you look slim but toned. At the same time, heels add height, helping to give your body a long and lean appearance.

The higher the heel — not including the high platform part — the higher your butt appears to lift. Wearing heels also arches your feet, which has an attractive look and an elongating effect.

Hip Movement

A 2012 study done at the University of Portsmouth found that men consider women more attractive when they walk in heels rather than flat shoes. According to the study, women look more feminine in heels, as it makes them swing their hips and take shorter strides.

As a result, your butt and hips are emphasized when in heels, giving your overall appearance a womanly boost.

Clothing to Match Your Heels

To best feature your behind, choose a skirt that cups your butt, or have a tailor nip it in the center just below your tush. Make sure the skirt fits right; if it’s too tight it will flatten your butt.

Stretchy bandage-style and pencil skirts are examples of skirts that look best with heels to show off your butt.

If you’re wondering whether or not squatting in your stilettos might help you develop an ass that won’t quit, you might be disappointed.

At SpotMeGirl we’re big fans of throwing on a pair of Chuck’s, getting under a heavy bar and squatting like there’s no tomorrow.

But away from the gym we like to live the lean life by putting on a sexy dress, sliding on our favorite high heels and letting our hair down.

Life is all about balance right?

We’ve seen the latest trend of squatting in high heels begin to take off. And to be honest, it’s pretty concerning.

If you want to know why you should ditch the stiletto squat and use alternative leg building exercises, read on and find out more…

Where’s the high heel squat craze even come from?

The growth of the internet has been phenomenal.

From socializing with friends online line or internet shopping, to instant access to unlimited information (the best being this page obviously), it really has changed the way we perceive the world.

Unfortunately it’s also given a voice to idiots.

Whether it’s the dab dance, words such as lol, rofl and lmfao (best one ever by the way), or the hundreds of crazy glute exercises that pop up on a daily basis, we have the internet to blame for a lot of crazy ideas.

And there’s no more crazy than the stiletto squat.

What is a high heel squat?

It’s as simple as it sounds really. Performing your squat workout wearing stilettos has become increasingly popular in the US as a way of supposedly tightening up your butt and legs – simply because of the way in which the height of your heels changes muscle activation.

Those that advocate squatting in stilettos tell you that the bigger the heel, the more benefit you’ll get.

And this has led to numerous women strutting up to the squat racks like a model hitting the runway in an attempt to build a booty like Sommer Ray and thighs like Michelle Lewin.

It’s even led to some gyms scrapping the more traditional legs, bums and tums classes, and opting for the more uber-cool ‘Stiletto Strength’ workouts.

And as you can guess, this has led to celebrity after celebrity coming out of the wood work to endorse it out of the goodness of their own hearts (and not the $ of course).

High heels actually do make you more attractive

Men are simple creatures. Give them a good ass and a great set of legs to look at and they’re putty in your hands.

Research from journals such as the Archives of Sexual Behavior (which is as hilarious, as it is empowering to read by the way) shows that when women wear heels, men find them more attractive.

But that doesn’t mean you should work out in them.

Are squats in high heels safe?

The fitness industry has seen some pretty dumb things in its time.

From tummy toning belts to shrink wrap fat loss gimmicks, we’ve suffered hundreds of false hope fads aimed at women who’re clinging to the hope that whatever new device is hot this month will solve their problems.

Bottom line is that as sexy as we look and feel in our favorite pair of stilettos, they’re likely to do us damage in the long-term:

  • Excessive pressure on your lumbar discs
  • Reduces balance and increases risk of falls, ligament damage and fractures
  • General joint pain
  • Bunions, ingrown toenails and skin issues
  • Shortened Achilles tendon and calf muscles

Here’s why you should avoid high heel squats

Elevating your feet doesn’t tone your butt

High heel squats are sold as a cure for your booty. But raising your heels increases how much your thighs work, not your glutes.

Now here’s the thing:

Women already have overly-developed thighs.

And weak ‘posterior chain’ muscles.

Because of our unique biomechanics, women tend to have strong quadriceps muscles and weak hamstrings and glutes. This is one of the reasons why we get knee, hip and lower back pain more often than men.

Any good strength coach knows that women need to train hamstrings and glutes much, much more frequently than their front thighs.

So while these celebrities and so called expert coaches think you’ll develop a strong booty from stiletto squats, you really won’t .

And will probably just make your thighs bigger too.

Heels give you sore feet just from walking. Imagine what squatting in them feels like!

You know the drill. It’s been a late night on the dance floor and as you crawl into bed you just know what’s waiting for you the following morning… sore feet.

Your heels will be in pain, your ankles will be swollen and your joints just won’t feel healthy. Even your big toes feel like they’ve been jammed through a mincer.

Doctors and podiatrists have been screaming about the damage that high heels can do to your feet for years. And that’s just from walking in them. What do you think these professionals will say about squatting in them?

Okay, some pretty personal trainer might tell you it’s cool to squat in heels. But let’s listen to actual experts too.

It’s dangerous as hell to squat in stilettos

It’s hard enough squatting in a pair of Chuck’s or weightlifting shoes, let alone high heels. Think about it – all of your body weight and all of the bar weight are amplified right through that small, heeled surface area.

It’s not going to take much for you to lose your balance or the heel to straight blow up under the weight.

And you’ll not be looking your best with a bruised head, smashed teeth or your leg in a cast from an accident like that.

When it comes to sensible, progressive exercises to build you legs and tone your butt, there are far better (and safer) training methods out there.

We’ve been here before unfortunately

A few years ago it was all the rage to wear sneakers that had a ‘unique sole designed to increase muscle activation’.

They were basically shoes with a high bow-wedge in the middle of the shoe. It made walking harder. And as such, allowed the companies selling them to make huge claims about helping to tone lower body muscles, improve posture, blah, blah.

It was all rubbish.

Once the science caught up with them and essentially ruined their lies and business model, they quickly become shoes for ‘improving your balance’ and not strengthening your ass and legs.

Because they just don’t work.

And once that science proves you wrong, you can’t legally make false claims.

High heel squats follow in the footsteps (pun intended) of these ridiculous claims. There’s just no evidence at all that they’ll improve your leg strength, or offer any benefits whatsoever.

Summary – Don’t waste your time with the stiletto squat

Squatting in high heels is the latest in a long line of crazy ideas, concocted by so called expert trainers who’s knowledge base can be scribbled down on the back of a free pass for your local gym.

Stiletto squats are unsafe and will more than likely lead to long-term joint issues. It doesn’t target your glutes and will just focus more attention on your quads.

Even then, the load will have to be so light that you might as well just ditch the heels, stick on some flats and train like a real woman should.

Never look for a shortcut. train hard, train clever. Everything else will come in time.

Would you exercise in high heels to tighten the butt?

In America, the practice in high heels is more popular. Women do squats and sit-ups in shoes with heels, and this trend is becoming popular in the UK. And there is a special series of exercises to tighten buttocks and thighs, which, if you work in a shoe with a heel, quickly comes to results.

Even when they go out in high heels, women are faced with pain in the feet and ankles, and now more and more of them who practice in shoes with high heels.

Although most cited negative consequences of life are shoes with heels, fitness fans claiming that they secret sculpted body.

But there’s a catch – in order to benefit from them, you have to practice in shoes with very high heels.

This trend promotes the celebrities too. Victoria Beckham was recently posted on Twitter a photograph of herself and exercise on a treadmill in shoes with heels high 12 inches.

Personal trainer Niki Manasseh (29) developed a practice in shoes with heels that claims to tighten the legs, buttocks, thighs and abdominal muscles. Niki started to deal with this a year and a half ago.

Try doing lunges and squats in shoes with high heels. The muscles will be tighter than ever. Menu is quite logical that the results faster, since the articles are slightly raised, so the leg muscles and buttocks are already strained. Heels should be at least 8 centimeters long, and the good thing is that in this way you are doing and the smallest muscles – says Niki.

The results, she said, are stunning. After only a year of regular practice, her clients had visibly spent hips and tighter butt- and none of them have broken heels.

On the other hand, doctors emphasizes the negative side of wearing high-heeled shoes, warning that they shorten the Achilles tendon and ankle and exercise pressure on the spine, as those who wear them have to throw your hips forward to maintain balance.

Running in Heels seems silly, since the risk of falling and injury to large, but if you try it first slowly, you will realize that it is not that hard once you get used. Squats should you do with your feet apart and descend to the height of the imaginary seat. I kick-boxing training as part of these exercises. Then there are breakthroughs in which it goes to the limit of endurance. And the best part is what comes after – it feels tight and sexy, because your shoes at the heel gives extra confidence – says Niki.

However, physical therapist Tim Alardis, warns about the negative effects by this trend.

– Practicing in the shoes of the heel is ridiculous and borders with madness. That increases the tension in the legs, and the greatest burden falls on the thumb, which can lead to ankles. You can damage the joints, and the knees, hips and back suffer unhealthy pressure. Therefore, it may lead to severe back pain, injuries and inflammation. I understand that this may well affect the formation of muscle, but there are many safer ways to get muscles and tighten up, and you do not have negative consequences – he says.

Photo by emelec / CC BY

Running on a treadmill is a great way to help your heart and whittle your waist, but it can also be a great tool to get a perky butt.

  1. Hilly workouts: The next time you hop on the treadmill, don’t do your regular flat workout — add rolling hills into the mix. Adding inclines will both keep your workout interesting and target your glute muscles. Try this treadmill workout with hills to work your backside.
  2. Walking lunges: Adding lunges to your treadmill workout helps you warm up before a run. Walking lunges also have the distinction of helping you shape a perky, lifted backside. “It’s a great way for women to tone the butt, to get that kind of shelf butt,” says Jennifer Pattee, owner of Basic Training. “Normally you can’t really spot reduce, and it’s hard to really tone specific muscle groups, but that one works.” To do walking lunges on the treadmill, slow the speed down to 2.5 or 3 miles per hour, and up the incline to 15 percent. Hold on to the handrails if you need help balancing.
  3. Go backward: Don’t lower that incline just yet: you can work your backside even further by walking backward on the treadmill. Turning around helps strengthen your glutes as well as calves and quads. Lower the speed to a very slow walking pace (2.5 miles per hour) and grab on to the handrails before you turn around.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

Walking Backwards on the Treadmill

You may not realize this, but walking the wrong way may be the solution to relieving your back pain. There was a study released the other day that walking backwards on a treadmill can give some back pain sufferers some relief. I admit that I do occassionally use this technique for some of my clients. And there is a good reason why that is.

Admittedly, it’s a little odd to start walking the wrong way on the treadmill. Not only are you walking the wrong way, but if you are in a crowded gym, you are staring at the guy that is walking on the treadmill behind you. It’s a little odd and definitely takes some getting used to. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get the treadmill started, and then do a turn or step on the side until you position yourself just right. Don’t go at too fast of a speed though. This exercise takes a lot of getting used to. And when you do this, it’s advised that you don’t hold on to the rails (if possible) and that you attach the safety cord to your shirt so you don’t fall off the treadmill. But why would you do this, and more importantly, how does this help your back pain?

How this helps Back Pain

If I were to narrow this down to 3 things backwards does to help back pain, it would be this:

1. It stretches the hamstrings. There was a study done, not too long ago, that showed a correlation between backwards walking and an increase in hamstring flexibility. With the sedentary jobs that many of us have, stretching your hamstrings can only be a good thing.

2. It strengthens the glutes. Anytime you extend the leg back, there is a glute (gluteus maximus) contraction. The glutes are the most important muscles you can have developed to give your back support. By walking backwards you are doing continuous glute contractions for the entire time you are walking. Can you imagine doing bicep curls for 15 or 20 minutes? That’s essentially what is happening for your glute muscles by walking backwards.

3. It stretches your hip flexors. Hip flexor muscles, like the Tensor Fascia Latae. The hip flexor muscle tighten up while sitting at your desk all day, and walking backwards stretches this muscle back out.

So how long do you need to walk backwards on the treadmill. In the most recent study, they found that people experienced significant back pain relief by walking for 15 minutes, 3 times a week for 3 weeks. Participants also saw an increased range of motion. Now that you understand how this exercise works, it makes sense why they would feel like they had range of motion. Freeing up the hamstrings and hip flexors to move helps this happen.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. But if you are experiencing back pain, hopefully this little tip/trick, will help.

Downloadable Back Pain Exercises

If you haven’t already, be sure to download my free back pain report.

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If you would like to set up an appointment to learn more about what you can do about your back pain, you can call us at 281-500-6055 .

The Benefits of Walking Backwards on the Treadmill

Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN

Walking backwards or jogging backwards on the treadmill works muscles in an entirely different way than walking forwards. Specifically, by walking backwards on the treadmill (especially on an incline) you engage the quad muscles (front of thigh) and calves to a great extent. Ideally, as with any type of treadmill workout your goal is walk the hands off of the side rails for best results.

Walking Backwards on the Treadmill Helps You…

Engage your postural muscles to much greater degree. They are forced to take serious action. So are your legs, hips and the muscles that control your ankles. That’s why walking backwards at faster speeds, without holding on, will condition your hip, knee, and ankle stabilizers for added benefit to your daily tasks and sporting endeavours. One of these benefits is an improvement in your proprioception or balance.

It’s Important to Start Slow

Anyone with 2 healthy legs—and this includes older people, large people, and people who are new to exercise—can walk backwards without holding on. The key is to work at a pace that is initially comfortable for you to allow you to get used to the novel motion. Don’t be a hero right off the bat. Start slow and build from there.

Walking Backwards Variations

Backwards Walking With Incline: Walking backwards with an incline is something else! When working on the treadmill I add this into all of my warm-ups. Sometimes, I’ll even grab some hand weights and power walk while really focuses on driving and pushing forcefully off each leg.

Try this: set the incline at 15 percent and 2 mph, assuming that you are adjusted to walking backwards level without holding on. You will soon feel a nice burn in your thighs. If you can go faster, do that for an intense thigh burn.

Now, if you can’t last longer than a few minutes, that’s perfectly fine. Do brief intervals at 15 percent/2 to 3 mph, alternating with walking forward with a lower incline (or level) for a few minutes, back and forth, for 30 minutes.Incline low-walk: As you walk, lower your center of gravity so that you’re in a one-quarter squat position. Keep your back straight! Do not pitch forward! This will intensify the fire in your quadriceps muscles.

Interval Training

You needn’t spend a whole lot of time walking backwards to reap benefits. So if you prefer to do a one-minute interval here and there of these creative uses of a treadmill, that will surely contribute to your fitness goals. Even if you’re a runner training for a race give a couple of these “power-building” backwards workouts a try. I guarantee that in just a few minutes your thighs will be burning like never before! Just watch what it will do for you runs.

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What muscles does walking work out?

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