How Walking Can Increase Flexibility

By Erin Palinski-Wade

Walking can help you increase your flexibility. As you age, you lose range of motion and the flexibility of your joints. That is, of course, unless you work on keeping it. Regular stretching should be part of any exercise routine to increase flexibility and prevent injury. However, certain exercises, just by their nature, help to naturally increase flexibility. And walking is one such exercise.

Even without stretching before and after a walking workout (which is not recommended — a proper warm‐up and cool‐down are always your best options for a successful workout and injury prevention), the interaction of your legs, arms, core, and head while walking help to increase your flexibility. Taking long step helps to stretch your hip flexors. Walking uphill stretches your calf muscles. Swinging your arms while you walk helps to stretch your arms and shoulders.

The more often you walk, and the more you switch up your walking workout and walk in different areas (for example, walking uphill or hiking), the more you challenge your muscles and joints. Varying your walking workout also helps you take your joints through their full range of motion, increasing your overall flexibility.