What Muscles Does Walking Work?

Walking is actually one of the best exercises to do. It’s easy, convenient, and it can be done almost anywhere. However, if you haven’t yet realized this secret, it’s time to change your perspective! There are many benefits to walking.

Walking is simply a ‘repeated gait cycle’ consisting of two phases, including hundreds of participating muscles. Are you curious which parts of your body are taking part in this action? Let’s take a look at our article about what muscles walking works with below!

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Correct Technique When You Walking

There are some steps that a person have to do when walking 

Technique Walking

  1. Start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slowly lift one foot off the ground and place it in front of the other foot, making sure not to twist or turn your legs as you do so.
  3. Raise the foot behind you to stand on tiptoe, and a small step should be visible between your feet and ankles. This is the point where you will begin to move forward.
  4. Keeping your weight evenly distributed between both feet and toes, take a significant step forward with your leading foot, placing all of your weight on it.
  5. Lower that foot to the ground, and repeat this sequence for the other foot.
  6. For best results, keep moving with a slight upward curve in your back to maintain good posture and prevent hunching over yourselves with fatigue from your neck muscles down through each leg as you walk.
  7. Be aware of your body at every moment, feeling your weight on each foot, and make minor adjustments as necessary.
  8. Don’t forget to breathe while you’re walking! It’s easy to get so caught up in walking that you forget all about your oxygen supply and end up running out of air mid-stride.
  9. During walking, we use many muscles in our legs, but some support more work than others.

Muscles Related To The 2-Phase Walking

The act of walking requires many different muscles for it to be successful. Walking is a complex activity, requiring the simultaneous use of many different muscles to succeed. It is simply a ‘repeated gait cycle‘ consisting of two phases. 

The stance phase accounts for 60% of the gait cycle, divided into the heel strike, support, and toe-off phases. 

+ Heel strike: The foot hits the ground heel first in the heel-strike stage. 

+Support: After the heel strike stage, the rest of the leading foot hits the ground, and the muscles work to cope with the force passing through the leg. This is known as the support stage.

+Toe-Off: In the toe-off phase, the foot prepares to leave the ground – heel first, toes last.

calf muscles

The swing phase is the second phase, which accounts for 40% of the cycle. It can be divided into the leg lift and swing phases.

+Leg Lift: Once the foot has left the ground, the lower limb is raised in preparation for the swing stage.

+Swing: In the swing phase, the raised leg is propelled forward. This is where the forward motion of the walk occurs.

Phrase 2 walking

There are hundreds of muscles relating to walking, ranging from the hip, legs, or even the core and arm…..However, the muscles of our legs play a vital role in walking gait. To be more specific: 

The Gastrocnemius Muscle 

It is a powerful muscle located on the back of the lower leg, which comprises two large muscles? They attach at the back of the heel bones and help you point your toes, bend your knee, and push off with your heel. In addition, it is involved in raising the leg to bring it forward for the next step during walking.

Gastrocnemius Muscle

The Gluteus Maximus Muscle 

It is located in the buttocks. It assists with supporting body weight and assisting with hip flexion and extension during walking. When you walk, this muscle helps you extend or straighten your leg at the time of impact, which helps propel you forward as it pushes off from behind like a pogo stick.

Gluteus Maximus Muscle

The Rectus Femoris Muscle 

It is located on the back of the thigh. This muscle assists with hip extension and flexion during walking. It is also involved in lifting the lower leg back during walking. This long muscle attaches at both ends close to the front of each hip bone and crosses both joints (the hip and knee). It helps to extend the lower leg and straighten the knee. The rectus femoris is one of three muscles that work together to help you lift your knee and straighten it.

Rectus Femoris Muscle

Triceps

Triceps

This long muscle of the upper arm (back of arm) attaches at the back of your upper forearm close to your elbow and crosses both joints (elbow and shoulder). When used with other muscles, it helps you extend or straighten your arm.

The Anterior Tibialis Muscle 

It is located at the front, which is the most significant muscle at the front of the leg. This muscle assists with knee extension and flexion during walking. 

Anterior Tibialis Muscle

The Hamstrings 

They are located at the back of the thigh, starting at your hip and inserting into the knee. Hamstring tendons attach them to bones in your pelvis, knee, and lower leg. The hamstrings assist with knee flexion and extension during walking. 

Hamstrings

Soleus

This muscle is located in your lower leg, and it is responsible for flexing the ankles and extending the toes. Walking allows you to lift feet off the floor and push off with your ankle against gravity, so when you walk up an incline by pushing off with the calf muscle. 

Soleus

Calf Muscles

These are located in your lower leg. They allow you to flex your foot while walking. To do this, they have to contract, which allows you to bend your ankle, pull toes towards the shin, and rotate the shin inwards or outwards.

Calf Muscles and tendon

The Deltoid Muscle

It is attached to both sides of the shoulder blade, connecting your arm to the trunk of your body. It assists with shoulder rotation and shoulder abduction and adduction, helping you move your arms in different directions. This muscle also allows us to bend our wrists.

Deltoid Muscle

Shoulder Muscles

Shoulder Muscles

This group of muscles is located over the shoulder girdle, and it is responsible for the movement of the arms. During walking, the shoulder flexors and extensors control most of the arm movements, including swinging arms, rotating arms to an upwards position, and they also help to raise arms across the chest or above the head.

Back Muscles

Back Muscles

This group of muscles is on either side of the spine and runs from the skull base down to the pelvis. These muscles help us stand up from a crouched position, lean back, and stabilize the spine during motion. During walking, the erector spinae muscles work to control the movements of the trunk.

Abdominal Muscles

Abdominal Muscles

These muscles help rotate the body and help us sit or stand from lying. Much like the back muscles, the abdominal muscles help control the movement of the trunk during motion.

Trapezius

Trapezius

This muscle is located in your upper back. It controls the movements of your shoulder blades. For example, during walking, it helps you to shrug your shoulders when you swing arms across your chest or lift arms above your head and also helps with rotation of shoulder blades during arm movement when you walk, such as turning off to the right lane when crossing an intersection on the right-hand side.

In addition, there are other muscles such as heart muscles, chest muscles, and diaphragm. 

Heart Muscles 

Heart Muscles

Are working out when people are walking as it requires more oxygen from the lungs. These muscles act like a pump to circulate through our bodies.

Chest Muscles and the Diaphragm 

Chest Muscles

Are also group muscles that get some good exercise with walking, which help us exhale and inhale when walking.

Diaphragm

Benefits Of Walking Everyday

Walking is a fun activity that has lots of benefits. We will go over the many benefits you can get from walking.

Make a healthy heart

Walking is good exercise, and it doesn’t require any gear or equipment, just yourself, your shoes, and most importantly, your time! It is not only an active form of relaxation but also an excellent way to improve cardiovascular health.

Studies show that 20 minutes per day of walking has been shown to help people with a heart condition reduce their risk of dying from heart disease by 70%, stroke by 60%, and other circulatory issues by 50%. Therefore, walking may help you live a longer life since it’s been proven that people who walk have healthier hearts, brains.

Have a healthy mood and brain 

healthy mood and brain

Another great benefit of walking is that it makes you feel calmer and improves your mood. In addition, it helps with depression, anxiety, and stress as you will have a chance to meet friends,  go out, or even stay at home and do some walking exercises.

Increase digestive system function

digestive system function

Walking is also helpful for your digestive system. The act of walking activates the muscles of the stomach, gallbladder, and intestines to help dissolve food, allowing nutrients to be absorbed. It also helps break up waste in the colon. The increased peristaltic waves and muscle contractions help move waste through the intestines.

Improve self-esteem and losing weight

Having a good body shape may help you be more confident in front of people. Therefore, losing weight is a good choice. It also helps impact your life positively by increasing energy and improving your self-esteem. If you are someone with obesity and want to lose weight, consider planning a walking program right now.

One study showed that obese people who walked 10,000 steps a day had a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) than those who did not walk as much. 

Lower the risk of breast cancer

breast cancer

Another benefit of exercising even just 5 minutes daily is that it helps women lower their risk of developing breast cancer.

In conclusion, walking has many benefits, and they are not just simply because it involves moving to music, but instead because it involves every aspect of fitness. For this reason, anyone can benefit from walking!

FAQs

How many types of muscle sprains?

There are two types of muscle sprains: acute and chronic. Acute sprains occur when a muscle is stretched or torn. These are usually the result of sudden movements like jumping or landing awkwardly. Chronic sprains occur gradually over a long period. They usually happen because of repetitive walking, jogging, and running.

What is the difference between acute and chronic muscle sprains?

The difference between an acute and chronic injury is that the muscles are rapidly stretched in an acute injury, but not so with a chronic one. As a result, acute injuries often cause pain and swelling that can last for several hours to days; however, chronic ones can take months to heal, depending on the severity of the strain.

What happens if muscles are injured?

The body compensates when one muscle group is injured or weakened by weakening others to maintain mobility; this is called functional compensation. This can lead to weakness or imbalance of muscle groups within the body that can be dangerous to your health. 

Can you gain muscle by just walking?

It may come as a surprise, but walking is enough of a workout to cause an increase in muscle mass.

The key to gaining muscle weight from walking is to do it correctly. Make sure your form is good and that you’re alternating the intensity of your walk with periods of faster and slower speed. If you do this, then over time, you will see results in terms of increased metabolic rate and thus more muscle development. 

What happens if you walk too much? 

See, your muscles can become tight from being overworked. If you walk too much and don’t stretch out simultaneously, your muscles will tighten up.  Walking fewer miles each day helps avoid this situation. However, you should always warm-up before exercise and stretch afterward to get the most out of your workout despite how much activity you’re doing.

How long does it take for us to see results from walking? 

Walks work muscles in the legs, buttocks, and abdominals. Most people start feeling a difference in their health after just 3-4 weeks of walking regularly. But to see fundamental changes in these areas, you’ll need to do more than go for a walk. If you want to see the change in your waistline or your buns, try adding resistance exercises such as squats and lunges. Once you get good at those moves, add weights for even more challenges. And of course, don’t forget to do plenty of cardio walking is a great place to start!

Can you get toned from walking? 

Many people who walk regularly may find that they’ve developed toned muscles in their arms, legs, or bum. But what exactly is happening? The primary explanation is that walking works the muscles of your core and back, causing them to tone up. It’s a similar concept to how weight training works for muscle toning. However, in weight training, you typically lift weights not just move your body repetitively as you walk.”

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