In Shape While You Walk

Featured Article, Fitness, Workout Plans
on March 20, 2013

Build your strength with every step and get in shape while you walk with this creative routine from Equinox group fitness instructor and personal trainer Jodi Cornish. “Power walking with weights will help get you out of your comfort zone and increase your heart rate in a shorter period of time than regular walking,” says Cornish. “Plus, the sprints and strength exercises will fire up your muscles and increase your metabolism, helping you become stronger and leaner.”

RELATED: Training for a Multi-Day Walk

To do the workout, you’ll need a watch or timer and a pair of 1.5- to 3-lb hand weights. (New to exercise? Do this workout without the weights.) Get ready to walk your way to a better body!

Warm Up: 5 minutes walking at moderate pace

Strength Stop 1: Squats with Hammer Curls

Woman squatting to exercise.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out, shoulders back and head up, arms by your sides with palms facing in. Push your hips and butt back, bending your knees to lower down as if sitting in a chair (don’t let knees go past toes); at the same time, keeping your upper arms in, bend your elbows to raise the weights forward (as shown). Squeeze your butt muscles and rise back up, lowering the weights to the previous position. Continue for 45 seconds.

Power Interval 1 (with hand weights): Note: During this interval, keep your chin level to the ground, head up and shoulders relaxed. Squeeze your ab and butt muscles with each step, and pump your arms from front to back.

  • Power walk for 2 minutes at a moderately brisk pace
  • Jog for 1 minute at a moderate pace
  • Run or walk as fast as you can for 30 seconds
  • Repeat above sequence two more times, then jog 1 minute at a moderate pace

Strength Stop 2: Push-Ups

Woman doing a wall pushup.

With feet shoulder-width apart, place your hands (also shoulder-width) against a tree, wall, or back of a park bench; your arms should be straight with head up and neck long, and your abs tight. Keeping your body in a straight line, bend your elbows at least 90 degrees to bring your body toward the tree, wall, or bench (as shown), then straighten them to return to the previous position. Do 10 reps.

Power Interval 2 (with hand weights): See above

Strength Stop 3: Step-Ups

Woman exercising with step ups.

Stand in front of a curb or low step. Keeping your back straight, step up with your left foot (make sure your foot is completely on the step) and raise your right knee (as shown). Step back down and repeat on the other side. Continue for 45 seconds. (No step or curb? Do lunges instead, alternating sides and keeping your front knee behind your toes.)

Power Interval 3 (with hand weights): See above 

Jodi Cornish is the creator of TreadZone, a treadmill interval training class. Learn more at