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How Backward Walking benefits you

I typically walk my huskies every day-separately- through the great little city called Stanfield, NC. I get a workout, I get my vitamin D, and my huskies get a little bit of the energy out of them. Then I started backward walking…

This is them after the walks…

Anyways, Stanfield has some hills to climb. On one of the hills which is a back road, I can walk backwards to face the sun to work on my tan while they get walked. The sunlight is in perfect alignment with the hill at that time of day I walk my two canines.

So as I am getting my wanted solar satisfaction, I can tell I am also getting to work some different muscles than I am used to. That made me get to wondering what else-if anything-walking backwards is good for.

So what did I do? I googled that sh*t!

Turns out that backwards walking, also called retro walking, is good for you in a lot more ways than just working different muscles in your legs. It actually was started in ancient China(like no-one ever walked backwards before that, apparently).

great wall of chinaSo what did I do next? What I always do: share my new knowledge. I never knew in my last 49 years in this Universe that backwards walking is a thing!!

So below is a list of things that retro walking does for you:

  • less strain on the knees for the unfortunate ones who has problem with them.  If you think about it, not using the usual heel to toe walking action leads you to have less impact on your knees.
  • The different walking motion helps to realign your pelvis which has helped some people alleviate back pain.
  • the different leg workout helps strengthen calves and quads and actually helps the flexibility of your hamstrings

That was the mechanics advantages of backwards walking, but it is actually a better workout for your heart, meaning higher cardiovascular workout and better calorie burning…who knew?!?

So now what you all actually came for: Your brain advantages…

  • backwards walking sharpens your thinking skills because you are focusing on a new thing you are not used to doing. It’s a neurobic activity(helps you stay mentally sharp).
  • backwards walking enhances cognitive control pretty much for the same reasons. New things. Your brain always craves novelty.
  • backwards walking puts your senses into overdrive since you are moving in an unfamiliar way which actually enhances vision. I read that in two different articles of research so I am going with it.

brain health

Now obviously walking backwards has its pros, but it also has its cons: you may not know where the heck you are going or trip over something or off a curb to your peril. Rest assured, I have walked my hill backward many, many times so I am familiar with my route. I follow the asphalt mark in the middle of the road and know the trees above me(remember I am also working on my tan).


The reason I am saying this is that some may not have it as convenient as I but you can also do this on a treadmill-starting slowly of course. You can even work up to running if you are brave and/or daring enough. Pushing your limits is obviously the key here.

So there you go: More from me to you. I ask and you ascertain. Or maybe you already knew. Either way, comment if you would like and most definitely share this great new way I learned to optimize myself.


18 thoughts on “How Backward Walking benefits you”

  1. You walk your huskies does this take out about 1% of those girls energy? I always wanted a husky but wouldn’t be far to have a husky in an apartment and not be able to let him or her off the leash and run!

    I do the “retro” walking on the treadmill at the gym. This way I know I won’t hit a rock and fall over! Still might be pretty embarrassing if I feel off in front of a crowded gym!

    1. I have the two huskies and also live in a rural area and have a fenced in back yard so they always have a place to move around. Plus there is the occasional stray animal that is stupid enough to come in their yard…I am sure you can figure out what happens to them.

      So you are already in the know about the retro walking. I guess you are not an alpha for nothing, eh?

      thank you for your comments, Kurtis.

  2. I had never heard of this as an actual thing, lol. It makes sense though. Everything good comes from the ancient Chinese lol.
    Nice post.

  3. I absolutely cannot remember the last time I walked backward. I think I may have been less than 8 years old. I’m surprised to see that there are actual benefits to this though. And the thing about it is that they are great! I actually think that walking backwards is easier than walking forwards…atleast what I remembered, especially up a hill. But the advantage I like the most is the one that it has on your brain. I guess even the brain gets bored sometimes and anything new works to strengthen it. Guess who’s going to look pretty crazy walking backwards a lot more from now on. Thanks for this post!

    1. Thank you for your comments, Lindsey. Yes, when I walk backwards it is up a hill. Plus the tanning part. I get a lot of looks i suppose from people when i walk backwards but I am not one who cares what other people think…especially since it good for you. And you are very welcome.

  4. This is some really cool information about backward walking. I had no idea of all the benefits. I live on a dead end street and think it would be a great place to get used to it. The neighbors might think I am a bit “backwards” but my heart may like it!

    1. Well, the neighbors may be thankful for learning something from you. And your heart will definitely benefit.

      thank you for your comments, Suzette.

  5. Brilliant. I have often walked backwards after a long walk forwards and wondered whether there were specific benefits in doing so . I certainly felt a benefit. Now I know. Well done, guru!

    1. Hmm, never been called a guru before…that’s awesome and thank you.I will add to my resume.

      I am glad I enlightened you…I guess that is what gurus do.

      thank you for your comments and I hope all is well in your world.

  6. Ha, this is a hilarious blog post. Walking backward! Now, what can I say to that? I never tried it, I much rather see where I am going, not that I don’t know.

    But here is something that is about as straightforward as backward walking, having the face buried in a phone. Just recently, I remember, there was a guy whom I met on my way to the produce store.

    As we met his eyeglasses slid right off his nose, that was not because he was stunned by my good looks, but rather he got stopped dead in his tracks after meeting with my shoulder. Can you imagine, people lost their lives because of not paying attention to where they are in the space-time continuum.

    I recall that a Pokemon Go player got run over by a car because of not paying attention. So yaaaaaaaa, nope, walking backward is not going to happen for me. Not even in a controlled environment.

    Brent man, I was working hard today to get a blog post done, yours made my day. It was a pleasure to read, as always.

    Cheers friend,


    1. Well, i am glad you enjoyed and I hope my post did not disturb you too much as I enjoy reading yours also.

      Nothing can MAKE you walk backwards if you don’t want, but the facts are there. Optimize yourself how you want-or don’t. The info is there.

      Cheers and hope all swell in your world. thank you for the comments.

  7. I see people trying this out on the treadmill where I work out all the time. I didn’t get it. After reading this now I do. How long would you limit yourself to backward walking? It would be interesting to know what the world record is for distance walking backwards.
    Thanks for this, very interesting read.

    1. I would think just alternating for 10 ins at a time would be good for you. Back and forth like the process of muscle confusion. As far as the world record, the last was done in 1989 for a distance of 95.4 miles. you can google it. Thank you for your comments.

  8. I think I’ve spotted an opportunity here – shoulder mounted rear-facing wing mirrors so you can see where you’re going and obstacles to avoid! 🙂 Should reduce neck strain too.

    Interesting point though about the cognitive advantages of engaging in an uncommon activity.

    1. Well I would say that may just be a possible opportunity. Let me know if you need help with that. Yes, I was surprised at the cognitive pros on this too. But it does make sense. Thank you for your comments.

  9. Thanks for the info. I am always looking odd stuff up on google. Makes me happy that I’m not the only one! I think That I’ll skip the treadmill though. I think that would be a recipe for disaster. Winning on AFV might pay for the medical bills though.

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