If you are wondering whether or not walking builds muscle, the answer is yes! Walking does have many muscle-building benefits. While this exercise is utilized more often for tone, there are are many ways to build and improve muscle strength, as well.
Building Muscle Mass
According to a study published by PubMed.gov, three main components of muscular development were identified. The components were listed as muscle damage, metabolic stress and mechanical tension. Muscle increases will occur when muscle fibers are broken down and overloaded. This will only happen during any sort of consistent weight training.
When fibers are broken down, they will adapt and heal back at a larger size. Recent indications have shown aerobic exercise will contribute to development and growth of skeletal muscle tissue.
Muscle Build Vs Tone
In order to build tone or muscle mass, you will need to strength train consistently. If you are planning to target the muscles in your lower body, use the following exercises: lunges, step-ups, deadlifts, calf raises and squats. It is recommended to complete four to six sets of six to 12 repetitions with these exercises, at least three days per week. Toning muscles, meanwhile, is a bit different. Always make sure you wait 72 hours before exercising the same muscle group.
Ways To Build Muscle Mass While Walking
Are you looking to build or add lean muscle during your walks? Try to implement these three tips:
1. Do Bodyweight Exercises
Perhaps you can introduce a little strength training into your exercise. Here is the suggestion: begin by walking for five minutes at a moderate pace. After the five-minute walk has been completed, pause and do a strength training interval for 20-30 seconds. Feel free to ramp up your routine by adding push-ups, squats or even planks. Not only will this make your exercise more enjoyable, it will also help build lean muscle more efficiently.
2. Change Up Terrain
Adding a variety of terrains to your walking workout can result in numerous benefits. This means constantly changing up your paths. Try walking on a plethora of roads, trails, grass or even some inclined surfaces. Changing terrains will work your lower leg muscles and help stabilize you through different ground levels.
3. Add Intervals
Even though this may be hard to do at first, refrain from always walking at the same pace every time. Add intervals to increase the intensity. For example, try walking at a moderate pace for several minutes, then speed up for the following 30 seconds. Doing this frequently throughout the walk will increase your heart rate and help you burn more calories. Of course, this will also help build muscle.
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