Walk It Out!
The pushup walkout is a functional exercise commonly used to challenge the whole body. When equipment is not available, it is a great one to challenge the body without any machines or dumbbells and it can also be done in a fairly small space. The pushup walkout is a great exercise to increase core strength, upper body strength, as well as stretching, and it can be modified depending on the different fitness levels and why we have selected it for this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women.
How It's Done:
The walkout exercise begins by having the individual standing with feet shoulder-width apart (a). Bend over so that your hands hit the floor (b), bend at the knees if needed. Then walk your hands out as far as possible keeping a stable back and not hyper-extending (c). Walk the hands back toward the feet and return to standing position (e and f)). Progress the exercise by walking hands out further as well as walking hands side to side, adding a bit more challenge to both your core and upper body. *See below for figure d modification.
Photo via Women's Health Magazine
Things to remember:
The pushup walkout exercise can also be done as a warm-up, always making sure that the knees are slightly bent, as you go down the first few times (at least). Straighten the knees only if your level of flexibility allows you to do so, and once you have done a few repetitions to loosen up the lower back and hamstring muscles.
Make sure you continue breathing through the exercise and move at a pace that is comfortable to your body, increasing the number of repetitions to increase the challenge level. You will usually “feel the exercise” with at least 10 repetitions, or even less depending on your level of overall fitness and stretching.
*Challenge: The walkout exercise can also be finished with a push-up at the end (d), either with straight legs and toes on the floor or by placing your knees down on the floor to have more core support and less challenge.