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Walking For Exercise With A Twist That Will Please The Whole Family

by Sarah on November 9, 2010

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Walking is a great low-key exercise – low stress and it keeps you moving.  But it’s not too appealing to active kids.  And you’re looking for exercise that will fit with the whole family fitness plan – not just you.


Sure, you can jazz it up with a family hike. 


But sometimes you’re looking for a way to sneak a walk in that keeps you a little closer to home.


Here’s a great way to get everyone walking right out your front door and make it an adventure . . .  


Not to mention work out muscles you never thought you had. This walking with a twist is a legs exercise extraordinaire . . .


And get a good workout in ¼ of the time it would take to just walk it off . . .


Funny Walking For Exercise That The Whole Family Will Love


If you watch your kids, they probably are already in on the secret.  Walking straight ahead is boorrring!  Watch them.  Notice how they have to skip.  Walk in baby steps.  Hop. Dance!


And think about it:  They are having more fun – and working more muscles – than you would ever just going on a walk.


So try it.  Put some funny walks in your walking routine.


Here are a bunch to try:


The Sashay


If you’ve taken ballet class you know the sashay.  Football players do a version of it too.  Stand sideways with your knees slightly bent and your feet perpendicular to the direction you’re going to be moving in.


Make a big step sideways in the direction you want to go in.  Now with a bit of a hop, slide your second foot the rest beside the first one.


And then take a sideways step again.


Careful – don’t turn your foot to point in the direction you’re going – stay sideways.  Up your pace and then sashay like a dancer for 50 meters or so.  Turn and do it facing the other way with the other foot leading the way.


The Grapevine


Surprisingly enough this traditional Greek dance is another football favorite – Jets star running back LaDainlian Tomlinson uses this as part of his workout.


Stand sideways again like for the sashay.  Step out to the side with your left foot.  Cross your right foot in front of the left foot and step out with the left foot to the side again.  Now cross your right foot behind the left foot.  Step to the side with your left foot again.


As you speed this up you’ll find your hips twisting back and forth – a great core workout.  Just try to keep your shoulders facing parallel to the path you’re walking.


After about 50 meters turn around and lead with the right foot.




This one is deadly on your thighs and butt.  So be prepared for stiffness – and new sleek muscles.


Face forward this time.  Now take a big step (kind of like a Mother-May-I-Giant Step) ahead with one foot and bend your knee.  Keep your back leg straight as you go down and then rise up again and swing your foot forward taking another giant step.


Kangaroo Hops


This one will really whip your legs into shape. Stand facing forward with your feet together.  Bend your knees and swing your arms forward as you jump as far as you can forward.  Keep hopping as far as you can.


Running Backwards


Running is a good workout.  But have you ever tried it backwards? A whole bunch of new muscles are engaged. 


Don’t worry to get the best effects you don’t need to run a long way this way.  Just turn your back down the path and jog backwards. 


Just make sure you assess the path before you start and occasionally glance over your shoulder to make sure you’re not going to hit something.




Start with your feet together.  Now at the same time, bend one knee lifting one leg forward while jumping off the other foot.


Step onto the foot of the leg that was bent and jump up off that leg as you bend the other foot and move forward.


How To Use Funny Walking Exercises


My husband and I do these funny walks even without the kids.  They’re a great 15-30 minute workout.


We’ve enjoyed some great family walks with our kids sprinkling these walks into our routine as we amble up the road.


But you can also turn this into great games of


  • Follow The Leader
  • Simon Says
  • Mother May I
  • New versions of tag (Declare which kind of funny walk people can use i.e. skipping or sashaying)
  • Funny races


Also, don’t get stuck on these funny walks.  Invent your own.  Your kids can make something up and you can follow.


Believe me, you will get an amazing workout just by using these other muscles and moving in a new way. 


It won’t take a long time to feel these walks.  In fact, be careful, you can quickly workout your muscles to the I-cannot-move point without knowing it.  So build up your strength and endurance with these. Start with small doses and extend as you get stronger.


But most of all have fun.  Funny walking for exercise might turn into one of your family’s favorite ways to move!



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