Toe walking exercises have become relevant as a way of working your butt quickly during your spare time, or even for multitasking by toe walking your way to the fax machine. The concept of saving time, skipping the gym and achieving a toned butt is appealing to many butt-conscious consumers with a busy schedule. Big business has answered the demands of the people by producing products specifically to encourage toe walking.
Simply lifting yourself on your toes does not work your butt. It is the gastrocnemius and soleus that are used during dorsiflexion (for pointing your toe up) and plantarflexion (pointing your toe down). Toe walking works the glute (butt) muscles in an indirect way. The glute muscles are used when the hips are activated to align the legs with the body. Toe walking creates an unstable posture that requires you to use your butt muscles to keep your balance.
Toe Walking Technique
Toe walking is a straight-forward concept. With that said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind so you get the most out of your walks. Focus on keeping your heels as high off the ground as possible as you walk. Take your time; walk slowly with a stride of no more than 6 inches. Moving too fast and taking steps that are too big increase your chances of losing your balance.
Whether they are slightly rounded or wedged, all fitness shoes strive to make the user walk on her toes. These shoes are to ensure the absent-minded toe walker is forced to toe walk so she can't forget her workout. The companies that make these shoes tout their effectiveness for burning calories and toning muscles. However, Edward R. Laskowski, MD and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist for the Mayo Clinic, cites an independent study by a nonprofit fitness organization that found no evidence that wearing fitness shoes improved muscle tone or an increase in calories burned. Fitness shoe companies have been taken to court for outrageous claims.
Safety and Caution
Toe walking creates an unstable stance and increases your odds of falling. Toe walking is not advised for the elderly or anyone else with fragile bones. You should not toe walk during activities where falling over could have serious consequences, such as holding a baby, using sharp objects or climbing a ladder.
- MayoClinic.com: Do Toning Shoes Really Work?
- AceFitness.org: Will Toning Shoes Really Give You A Better Body?
- Racewalk.com: Walk on Toes
- Federal Trade Commission: Skechers Will Pay $40 Million to Settle FTC Charges That It Deceived Consumers with Ads for "Toning Shoes"
- General Anatomy: Principles and Applications; Norman Eizenberg et al.
Jason Cooley began writing in 2005 as the owner of a personal-training business, authoring advertising copy and business contracts. He has since served as a writer with Oral B and On Top of My Diabetes.