Surprising: walking backwards is good for your health

walking backwards

According to fitness experts, there are some health benefits to walking backwards

When we think about walking backwards, we usually assume it is something only children do. But it turns out that many adults could also benefit from taking a walk in the opposite direction. According to research, it might even be healthier than walking forward. 

Walking backwards

Anyone who has tried to do it will know: when you walk backward, it is way harder than walking forward. And that means that you won’t be able to do it on autopilot. Katie Kollath, a personal trainer and co-founder of Barpath Fitness in Golden, Colorado, told EatingWell: “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.” Erin Nitschke, a certified personal trainer, ACE health coach, fitness nutrition specialist, therapeutic exercise specialist and health and human performance college professor in Sheridan, Wyoming, explains to Eating Well: “…the body has to work harder than if you were walking naturally.”


Some of the benefits that might come with walking backward are:

  • Strengthening muscles
  • Better metabolism
  • Better balance and coordination
  • Challenges your brain and sharpens it
  • Less force on your knees

And that is why Nitschke recommends that everybody spends a few minutes walking backwards during warmup and cooldown. If you feel like you have backward walking under control, try some other forms of backward movement. Like shuffling or a reverse bear crawl. Kollath explains: “Moving in different directions—laterally, backward and diagonal—and in different planes is important in all of our fitness routines throughout life.”

Are you walking backward yet?

Read more: This is why you should go for a walk after every meal

Source: EatingWell | Image: Unsplash, Sébastien Goldberg