Walking is something humans are designed to do every day, but an inactive work environment, lack of time or lack of motivation can all add up to stop you from experiencing the benefits of this simple exercise. A focus point for many women in their workouts is the buttocks. At its core, walking is an aerobic exercise meant for burning calories and trimming fat, but it also builds the gluteus muscles, making your butt bigger and firmer over time.
Benefits of Walking
Walking is a low-impact exercise that should be relatively easy for anyone to do, barring any physical injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, just an hour of walking at a leisurely pace can help you burn between 200 and 500 calories per hour, depending on your weight. The American Council on Exercise adds that walking can also reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increase cardiovascular endurance and boost bone strength.
Walking and the Glutes
When you walk, you're working every muscle in your body to stay upright and to propel yourself forward. Your glutes contract and fire repeatedly to propel you, especially when you're walking at an incline. Since walking trims calories, you may find that your butt actually shrinks for the first few weeks of walking, but your actual gluteus muscles will be getting bigger and stronger. If you really want to make sure you're hitting those butt muscles during a walk, opt for the great outdoors rather than a treadmill, since the machine does a lot of the work for you.
Walking can certainly make your butt bigger, but this simple exercise alone probably isn't enough to make a big, noticeable change if you're looking to add serious size and shape to your backside. Supplement walking with strengthening exercises that specifically target your glutes, such as lunges, squats and mountain climbers. Interval training, such as stair work and sprints can also add some serious mass to your glutes, while still burning a ton of calories.
No matter how simple an exercise you think walking is, it can still place a lot of stress on your ankles, knees and hips, especially if you make it a regular routine. Walking injuries are more rare than running injuries, but they do happen. Invest in a pair of nice walking shoes with plenty of shock absorption, stretch liberally after a long walk, and be sure to take a rewarding day or two off if you feel you need it.
- MayoClinic.com: Exercise for Weight Loss -- Calories Burned in 1 Hour
- American Council on Exercise: Fit Facts -- A Walk a Day
- ShapeFit.com: Aerobic Training for Your Butt -- Will Cardio Help Get a Firm & Toned Butt?
- American Council on Exercise: Butt & Hip Exercises
- Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: Physical Activity-related Injuries in Walkers and Runners in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study
Steven Kelliher is an experienced sports writer, technical writer, proofreader and editor based out of the Greater Boston Area. His main area of expertise is in combat sports, as he is a lifelong competitor and active voice in the industry. His interviews with some of the sport's biggest names have appeared on large industry sites such as ESPN.com, as well as his own personal blog.