Your core contains several important muscles. Will walking help your core? Is walking enough to train your core?
How walking can help your core.
Walking helps strengthen your core due to you’re upright stance. The more you stand back straight and head up, the more you’re making the muscles supporting your back and ribs work. Now, there are techniques you can use to aid in strengthening your mid section even more.
If you’re newer to walking workouts or getting back in after an extended break, you’ll probably notice your mid to lower back may start to ache as you walk. This is the muscles complaining from being unaided/unsupported as you walk. This will lessen after several walks. You’ll find you can walk further and further before feeling the beginning of the ache.
Hills and uneven ground
If you live in a rolling hills area you likely have noticed the core aches pretty quick in your walking. Since walking up and down hills puts you on a slant, your core muscles are being used more in ways they aren’t used to. I personally, got more aches walking down hills then I did going up.
Uneven ground is useful for strengthening your core more, though. If you want your core worked more head for those hills or set your treadmill to incline if possible.
How long it takes your core to acclimate?
Everyone is different but, for most, it takes 2-3 weeks of your walking routine for you to stop having tired core muscles, especially those supporting your back. If you’re not new to the walking plan, you may have this issue much less time or perhaps not at all. If you have worked your core in other ways, you may notice no pains from tired core muscles.
I’m sure I sound like a broken record, but it all really is an individual experiences, muscle aches and all.
What are the ways to aid working your core?
As stated earlier, standing with your back straightened and head held high is the best stance for walking. Slouching may relieve your core muscles strain a bit, but overall it is more likely to lead to a weaker core. A weak core can result in injuries.
Walking various terrain and longer distances are two of the best tips for strengthening your core. Stretches for your core help with that as well. Taking stairs up and down is a variation of terrain training. Walking at various speeds makes your mid muscles react to this changing behavior.
You will not end up with 6 pack abs from walking alone, but you should have a decent setup of core strength if you follow these tips.
More than your legs
So many think walking is all about your legs. Yes, an exercise plan primarily focused on taking walks is going to lead to strong legs. It also works and helps maintain many other primary muscle groups. Depending on your terrain and effort expended, you will be working your legs, arms, core, chest, and neck muscles.
Walking is a fantastic way to give your core basic structure. If you wish to build on that structure you can always add in other things to enhance the foundation.
Can’t wait to see you strolling along,