Skip to content

Are There Health Benefits In Walking Backwards? Lets Find Out – Hey?


The Health Benefits of Walking Backward, According to Fitness Experts

By Karla Walsh

See the very real physical and mental health benefits of turning your steps around.

You've heard it time and time again: Walking is one of the best forms of exercise for your body and your brain. In addition to being free and easy to do inside your home, on vacation, using poles as part of a hike, with your pup and beyond, walking has been proven to boost mood, promote weight loss, boost heart health and so much more. (And if you've been convinced that only running and higher-impact exercise "counts," we can confirm that walking can be a legit, super-effective workout.)

But how about walking backward?

It's not just for kids on the playground keeping an eye on the opposing team's dodgeball or capture-the-flag players. Some have suggested that 100 steps backward are equivalent to 1,000 steps forward; now, that's much more than child's play.

While that's yet to be scientifically proven, "mostly because our gait pattern changes when we walk backward (as opposed to forward), it is difficult to say with 100% certainty that, yes, indeed, 100 steps backward is equivalent to 1,000 steps forward. The stride length is often shorter than when we are moving in a natural forward trajectory," explains Erin Nitschke, Ed.D., a certified personal trainer, ACE health coach, fitness nutrition specialist, therapeutic exercise specialist and health and human performance college professor in Sheridan, Wyoming. "That said, walking backward is uniquely more challenging than walking 'normally.'"

Read on to see how to step up your walking workout by taking it back.

The Health Benefits of Walking Backward
"Walking—and doing other motions—backward can be a way to add some locomotion to your training. It can be a new mental and physical challenge if you've never tried it before," says Katie Kollath, CPT, a personal trainer and co-founder of Barpath Fitness in Golden, Colorado.

Since we utilize muscles differently and it's a slightly more unnatural movement, Nitschke says it will likely burn more calories than walking forward because "the body has to work harder than if you were walking naturally."

In addition, studies hint that walking backward may:

Improve balance, coordination, body awareness and overall walking form
Boost muscle strength and endurance
Offer relief for certain injuries in which forward walking is painful (as always, consult with a doctor or physical therapist for injury-specific exercise advice)
Accelerate metabolism
Combat exercise boredom
Increase exercise motivation (since it's novel)
Challenge your brain and muscles
Sharpen the brain (as learning new tasks tends to do)
Create less force on the knees than regular walking

When we walk forward, the heel strikes first; then we roll through the ball of the foot to the toes, where we push off to create forward momentum. In backward walking, the toe strikes first, then the ball of the foot, then the heel plants. It's entirely different, Nitschke says.

Who Should (and Shouldn't) Try Walking Backward
Individuals who have injuries with which exercise is not recommended, as well as those with serious balance concerns or any fall risk, should steer clear. Otherwise, anyone who can safely walk forward could practice walking backward, Nitschke says.

Nitschke recommends adding a few minutes of backward walking to your warmup and cool down. Using a treadmill might sound more dangerous than walking backward on a track or outside, but thanks to the handrails, the equipment can actually be a boon. If you have access to a treadmill, while holding on with each hand on opposite sides of the belt, try a slow speed of around 1 mph. Once you're comfortable, pick up the pace, eventually working up to a brisker rate of about 3 mph. Anytime you feel like you're getting a bit out of control, simply slow down and concentrate on the motion to regain your composure.

But don't think your options end at walking backward. Shuffling backward (keeping an eye out for any obstacles, of course) and reverse bear crawls "are more advanced forms of backward movement," Kollath says. "Moving in different directions—laterally, backward and diagonal—and in different planes is important in all of our fitness routines throughout life."


Walking is one of the best exercises you can practice for your overall health, plus it's free! Frequent walking can help you live longer, boost your mood, strengthen your joints and muscles and more. Furthermore, walking backward can improve your coordination, increase your physical endurance and sharpen your brain. But if walking isn't your thing, don't fret—your favorite exercise also provides great benefits.

Continued HERE

Walking Backwards or Reverse Walking Has Many Physical and Mental Health Benefits

By Chanchal Sengar - OnlyMyHealth 2020

Have you tried walking backwards? You must as this simple exercise has got a lot of walking backwards health benefits.

Is there is one physical activity that is easiest and extremely effective, it has to be Walking. This simple activity has exceptional health benefits that only a regular walker would know. But we won’t talk about regular walking here. This article is all about reverse walking or walking backwards benefits. This is no joke but science has backed the theory of walking backwards exercise benefits. Taking reverse steps is a holistic approach for mind and body.

5 Walking Backwards Health Benefits
Here are five reasons why reverse walking is the best cardio workout for your mind and body. From walking backward benefits for the mind to backward walking for physical health, we have covered them all here.


  1. Increases leg strength
    There are muscles on both sides of the legs- forward and backward. As we usually walk forwards, only forwards muscles are exercised. Reverse walking, thus, exercises the back muscles which help in increasing leg strength and make them stronger.
  2. Relieves Knee Pain
    A knee injury or knee pain makes it difficult for a person to walk. One of the walking backwards exercise benefits is easing the stress on knee joints. The journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders published a study that shows that reverse walking promotes knee rehabilitation. People with knee problems can do this activity which doesn’t strain the knees but strengthen them. One more study published in the ‘Journal of Biomechanics’ vouches for backward walking to lower anterior knee pain.
  3. Improves body coordination
    Reverse walking for physical health and better body coordination. As you are going against the motion by walking reversely, it will challenge the body to maintain its coordination. Your mind would guide you to take careful steps that shows its mental health benefits.
  4. Therapeutic benefits
    The Journal of Physical Therapy Science published a study that shows how Reverse Walking releases happy hormones in the brain to ease stress. It calms down your senses to get over stress. You can also try pranayamas like Bhramari Pranayam to fight stress.
  5. Prevent back pain
    Poor flexibility in the body is the real reason behind different body pains, especially, back pain. If your hamstrings are inflexible, you are highly likely to get lower back pain. Reverse walking for at least 15-20 minutes a day would work your hamstrings and prevent back pain issues.

Important Things To Note
You must be very surprised by the benefits of reverse walking and would want to do it right away but stop! There are some cautions that you need to read before taking reverse steps.

If you are doing outdoors, check if someone is behind you, you may not want to bump into someone with your back!
Wear the right shoes to support your ankles and maintain the grip. Investing in good shoes minimizes leg injury risk.
If you are doing this indoors, do in a vacant space with no hurdles like furniture, toys, pet, etc.
If you plan to do this on a treadmill, Keep the Speed Slow or else you might trip.
You can also do a mix of both forward and backward walking for better results.

Article Source HERE

The Simple, Surprising Move That Will Make Your Walking Routine Way More Effective

From Prevention.Com

We all know the many benefits of walking. Not only is it one of the most accessible and affordable workouts available, but it's also one of the most effective if you're looking to boost your cardiovascular health and keep your weight in check. And while adding bursts of high-intensity intervals to your walking routine is all the rage right now, there's another tweak you can make to your go-to walking workout that has a host of upsides: walking backwards.

"It may sound silly, but walking backwards activates a number of different muscles than walking forward, and it's a lot more beneficial than most people expect," says Beverley Marr, a chiropractor and co-founder of PurePosture, Inc. Feeling a little nervous about putting your workout in reverse? It's understandable to be a little timid at first, says Marr. "Walking backwards can be unnerving, because you can't see where you're going—and visual cues are an integral part of balance and feeling safe," she says. When you're first starting out, choose a smooth, open surface—such as a big field or the beach—to keep potential tripping hazards to a minimum, suggests Marr.

Here, Marr and other experts share the top 5 reasons why you'll want to start incorporating walking backwards into your exercise routine. (Got 10 minutes? Try Prevention's new 10-minute workouts and 10-minute meals to lose weight—and keep it off. Here's how to get started.)

It uses under-used muscles—and helps you blast calories as a result.

When you walk backwards, you reach back with your toe and roll through your foot to your heel. This works the anterior tibialis (shin) muscle, as opposed to the gastrocnemius (calf) muscle, which tends to do all the work when you walk forward, says Marr. Walking backwards also works your glutes, which immediately engage as you begin to reach back with you toe. Research backs this up: According to one study, backward walking showed higher energy consumption (read: bigger calorie burn) in the lower limbs than walking forward.

It puts less strain on your knees and low back.

Think about it: When you walk forward, your heel strikes the ground first, creating impact in your knees and low back. When you walk backward, the ball of your toe strikes the ground first, which distributes the shock over a greater surface area and leads to a softer impact. What's more, your posture tends to be more erect when walking backwards, adds Marr. "When we walk forward, we tend to lean forward—and the exact opposite is true when backwards walking," she says. "Standing taller and swinging your leg behind helps lengthen the hip flexor muscles, which are often the source of low back pain when they're tight."

It improves balance.

Mike Mills, a personal trainer in Philadelphia, says that because you can't see where your legs are going when walking backwards, it prompts you to concentrate on lifting and landing your foot all while maintaining a straight upper body—a combination of actions that'll test your balance. Research backs this up: According to one study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, backwards walking improves balance and gait.

It keeps your walking workout interesting.

At some point, all of us face exercise ennui due to performing the same workout repeatedly. Walking backwards keeps things interesting, says Mills. "Just a few minutes of walking backwards while doing your usual walking workout is a really great way to switch things up and keep you interested in your workout," he says. Which also means it's more likely you'll stay consistent with your workouts.

It boosts your brainpower and creativity.

Research shows that breaking out of our usual ways of moving our bodies—such as walking backwards—can help us foster more creative thinking. To wit: One study asked 30 students to spend a morning walking backward wherever they went and had a control group of 30 students walked forward as usual. At lunch, all of the students were given two standard tests of creativity, and those students who'd walked backwards all morning outperformed the control group on creative tasks.

Article Source HERE

Lori Shemek, PhD Health Expert and Author of Inflammation Terminator says:

Did You Know? Walking 100 Steps Backward - Retro Walking - is Equivalent to 1,000 Steps Forward Walking.

Walking in reverse makes the heart pump faster and circulates more blood and oxygen to the muscles and organs, including the brain and help improve knee osteoarthritis.

It is different, using different muscles and one can get better at it.

Two Webpages I found about the Therapeutic Application of Reverse Walking:


By Alyssa Kuhn - Physio Therapist and Osteo Specialist

Backwards Walking for Rehabilitation of Lower Extremities
By Courtenay Schurman, MS, CSCS

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *