As a personal trainer with years of experience, I always advise my clients not to focus just on ab crunches to strengthen their core. And one of the best additions I recommend is doing slow and steady walkouts.
However, most people don’t get the form quite right, and that generally makes it a bit too easy and less effective. So, I teamed up with a few colleagues to come up with complete instructions.
And I also got a physio to explain which muscles you’ll target with this bodyweight exercise.
- The trick to this exercise is to take baby steps as you walk your hands out from the standing position and increase the amount of time each rep takes.
- While crunches on the floor or a stability ball are effective for the abs, walkouts will target more core muscles, including the obliques.
- You can make this workout more intense by adding push-ups and not always placing your feet hip-width apart with my simple variations.
How Do You Do A Proper Walkout?
You do a proper walkout by keeping your legs straight and feet in the same place while taking very short steps with your hands until you get to a high plank position, an excellent exercise to help promote weight loss.
Here are my instructions for you to follow step by step:
- Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart.
- Bring your upper body slowly down until your hands are on the floor in front of you.
- Now, slowly walk your hands forward just a few inches at a time.
- You’ll eventually get into a plank position with your full body in a straight line.
- From here, walk your hands back to the starting position and stand up tall again.
If you’re struggling to keep your legs straight at the start because you're not quite flexible enough, then it’s OK to slightly bend your knees.
But this could be a good indication that you could do with some benefits from stretching .
What Muscles Do Walkouts Work?
Hand walkouts will work muscles in your core, hips, back, and upper arms at different stages of the exercise.
Here is a more detailed list that my physio provided about the specific muscles:
- Abdominal muscles: Your abs will pretty much fully engage from the start from the upper to the lower ones .
- Obliques: These are the side abs, and with some variation to the positioning of your feet, you can better target these areas .
- Hip flexors: These muscles run through your pelvis, and you’ll mainly feel these as you progress back to the starting point and stand up .
- Triceps: As you move your hands on the floor, you’ll engage your triceps, and you can add some extra strain with push-ups at the halfway point .
- Upper back: By adding our push-up variation from below, you’ll also find that you engage your back muscles.
The main benefit you get from the walkout is great exercise that targets all core muscles.
It’s a great compound exercise, and with the right form, you’ll get a fully ripped core .
Another thing my clients like is that you can gradually increase the intensity by doing more repetitions, slowing down the movement, or adding push-ups.
And because it’s a low-impact workout, you won’t end up doing damage to your back or hips in the process.
There’s even some benefit for flexibility as you’ll be stretching your hamstrings in the process.
“Compound exercises are moves that involve more than one joint and muscle group at a time, as opposed to an isolation exercise that only works one muscle/joint at a time.”
- Heather Black, CPT, Nutrition Coach
Here are two simple ways to make this exercise a bit more intense.
First of all, as you walk your hands out, pause at the mid-way point and do a downward dog push-up. And you can do the same at the halfway point once you’re in a plank position.
The other thing you should consider is getting into a different stance at the standing position.
You can either have your feet hip-width apart or get them much closer together.
And by placing one foot on top of the other, you’ll create a slight imbalance that forces your body to work harder to maintain a straight line.
Are Walkouts Effective?
Yes, walkouts are effective for training your core. They are also very low impact for your leg joints, hips, and shoulders, meaning that you won’t be adding unnecessary strain on your body. Increased muscle strain with lower joint strain is always an effective approach.
When Should You Do Walkouts?
You should do walkouts on your upper body and core training days. This exercise will mainly impact your abs, but with some slight variations, you’ll also strengthen your back and shoulders. You could also do these as part of a warm-up routine to get your full body activated.
Shape Up Your Core and Maximize Gains
Adding a low-impact workout like this that targets everything from your hips to your shoulders is an excellent way to build up strength and stamina for a wide range of other workouts.
And by dialing up the intensity, you’ll also turn this into a great cardio workout.
For this much strain on your entire core, I’d recommend adding one of the high-quality protein powders we tested to the mix:
These will help with your recovery time and reduce the amount of soreness you get.
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