The pre-walk moves to supercharge your daily step count

Physiotherapist and founder of Go Chlo Pilates, Chloe de Winter on the sneaky tricks to walk faster and longer. 

Walking is an incredibly underrated form of exercise. Simply getting out and about can boost your mental and physical health, and it’s never been more popular thanks to pandemic fuelled lockdowns..

But while you may think you’ve mastered the humble step (it’s just one in front of the other, right?) – there are a few sneaky tricks to help you walk faster, and longer.

Physiotherapist, and founder of online Pilates studio ‘Go Chlo Pilates,’ Chloe de Winter shows us the five best moves.

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Not all muscles are created equally.

To get the most out of your sweat sesh you’ll need strength and endurance in your calves, glutes, quads, hamstrings and core – plus flexibility and movement in your spine.

How do you do that? By following these key exercises..

Squats x 20

This powerhouse move activates some of your biggest muscles around the hips and knees – like your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Fire these guys up and you’ll surprise yourself by being able to walk much further than you usually do.

10,000 steps will soon feel like a piece of cake!

How to:

  1. Ground yourself from the heels and send your hips back, bending through the knees.
  2. Take your hands in front of your chest as you sink downwards.
  3. Stand back up, pressing the hips forward and growing tall through your spine.

Calf Raises x 20

Arguably the most important exercise to do before a walk or run! Calf raises strengthen your calf muscles, which reduces the risk of injuries and conditions like plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and shin splints.

Less painful niggles = less time recovering on the couch = more time speeding up your stride.

How to:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Keep your feet parallel with your toes pointing forward.
  3. Keeping your knees straight, press through your toes and lift.
  4. Lower the heels down.

*Remember to always press through all ten toes, including your big toes!

Reach Toe-Tap Twists x 10

This move will get your spine ready, while giving you a nice stretch through the upper back and hamstrings. It ensures your body feels more open, and stops you feeling stiff on your walk.

How to:

  1. Stand with your legs wide and toes pointing forward.
  2. Open your arms out wide
  3. Reach your left hand to the right toes, while keeping your right arm wide.
  4. Stand and twist to the other side, and repeat!

Side Leg Lifts x 25 each leg

Glute activation is so important for walking! In fact it’s important for running, standing, climbing, and cycling! This quick exercise will help with hip and knee control on your walks and will make a huge difference to how your body feels as you stride. Silky smooth!

How to:

  1. Stand on one leg with your hands on your hips.
  2. Slowly open the opposite leg out to the side and bring it back in, keep your toes pointing forward and stand tall.
  3. Swap legs and repeat!

*You should feel this one in both the standing AND moving leg.

Arm Circles x 10

After a long day sitting hunched over in front of a computer, this move is the key to unlocking your body. It will open you up through the chest and shoulders, making you feel nice and loose before a walk.

How to:

  1. Stand hip-distance apart.
  2. Keeping the elbows straight, draw giant circles forward, up and around with the arms.

Chloe de Winter is a physiotherapist, Pilates instructor and founder of online Pilates studio Go Chlo Pilates. Access a huge library of expertly designed Pilates classes at Go Chlo Pilates today. Visit her website here and visit her on Instagram at @gochlo_pilates.

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