Total body tune-up

How to sculpt your upper body as you walk

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Walking does wonders for your heart, legs and hips, but it doesn’t do much to tone up your upper body. It’s easy to turn your walk into a whole-body workout, though: just use the objects you come across along the way. Park benches, picnic tables and even your water bottle can be used to incorporate an upper-body workout as you walk. Try adding these quick and easy upper-body exercises to your next walk, and track your progress on our printable exercise chart.

Sit tall on the edge of a park bench with your knees over your ankles and your hands resting on your thighs. Place a half-full water bottle between your knees and point it slightly away from you. Squeeze 20 to 30 times.

Sit tall on the edge of a park bench with your hands clasped and your arms extended straight in front of your chest. Keeping your back straight and chin slightly up, lean back until you feel your abs tighten and lift your right foot four inches (10 cm) off the ground. Rotate your arms and torso to the right, moving your hands from the 12 o’clock position to the 2 o’clock position. Keep your hands centred in front of your chest throughout. Return to the starting position and repeat six to 10 times before switching sides.

Sit on a park bench and hold onto the bench close to your thighs. Slide your hips off the bench and walk your feet forward so your knees are over your ankles and your back is vertical. Bend your elbows and lower your body while tightening your abs and lifting your right knee toward your chest. Straighten your arms and lightly tap your right heel on the ground beside your left foot. Repeat four to six times before switching legs.

Place your fingers under the edge of a picnic table with your palms up. Hold your upper arms tight to your sides. Keeping your body still and your shoulders down, press up on the underside of the table until you feel your biceps tighten. Hold this position for eight exhales, then relax your arms. Repeat four to six times.

Stand one step away from the end of a picnic table and place your hands on the table shoulder-width apart. Create a straight line from your head to your heels and let your heels come off the ground slightly. Keeping your abs and butt tight, bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the table. Return to the starting position and repeat six to 10 times.

Use our printable exercise chart to track your progress.