No, grapevine walking exercises aren’t performed by winemakers trying to crush their grapes. Instead, they’re lateral walking activities that suit a few purposes. If you're new to exercising or have been inactive due to illness, injury or spending too much time sipping coolers by the pool, the grapevine can ease you into a new routine and help you develop balance. Increase the speed a bit and the grapevine becomes a good warm-up drill. Ramp up the intensity, and now you have yourself a solid cardio exercise. However you do it, the grapevine move should leave you with improved balance and agility.
Warm-Up or Cardio Grapevine
Stand erect with your knees slightly bent. Step to the side with your left foot, then step your right foot behind your left.
Stride to your left again with your left foot, then bring your right foot next to your left, coming back to the starting position.
Continue your grapevine in one direction as far as you can go -- or as far as you want. As a warm up, walk through your grapevine slowly, keeping your feet on the ground between steps. As a cardio workout, jog through your grapevine at a more rapid pace, adding bounce to your grapevine steps and staying on your toes.
Repeat your grapevine in the opposite direction by stepping to the side with your right foot and then stepping your left foot behind your right.
Stand on a straight line on a gym floor or create a straight line with masking tape. Make the line at least 10 feet long.
Begin at the line’s left edge, standing straight with your arms hanging naturally at your sides. Cross your left foot over your right, then step to your right with your right foot so your feet are next to each other on the line again. Try to place the balls of your feet on the line with each step.
Continue the pattern until you reach the line’s right edge, then head back in the opposite direction, crossing your right foot over your left.
Turn your right shoulder toward a staircase so your body is perpendicular to the steps and your feet are parallel. Next, step your right foot to the side onto the first step.
Step your left foot up onto the second step by crossing it over your right foot.
Move your right foot onto the third step by crossing your right leg behind the left. Continue the pattern until you reach the top of the stairs, then walk down the staircase normally. Perform the exercise for one minute, then repeat on your left side, with your left foot going up the stairs first.
- To perform the grapevine as a warm-up exercise, begin slowly, then gradually increase your tempo.
- See your doctor before starting a new exercise routine, particularly if you've been inactive or have any health concerns.
- If you’re doing the grapevine to improve your balance after an injury, proceed at a slow walk until you get used to the movement and have a spotter next to you. If you can’t do the exercise by yourself, have the spotter face you and hold your hands while you’re in motion so you don’t fall. If you have had an injury, always consult with your physical therapist before starting a new exercise.
- Pregnant women who experience any discomfort near the pubic bone should avoid the grapevine exercise.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.