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A Pilates Teacher's Guide: Step Up Your Game: Walking on the Spot vs. Outdoor Walking

inding strength and serenity amidst the comfort of home, she demonstrates that your fitness journey can thrive in any setting
Embracing wellness in her own space, this dedicated Pilates enthusiast transforms her living room into a personal studio.

Hello, fellow Pilates enthusiasts!

As January rolls in with its resolutions and challenges, a popular trend has emerged – the walking challenge. But here's a fun twist: not everyone is venturing outdoors; some are opting to walk on the spot at home. This raises an interesting question: does walking on the spot offer the same benefits as a brisk walk outside? Let's explore this from both a general and an anatomical perspective.

Part 1: General Benefits of Walking on the Spot vs. Outdoor Walking

Walking on the Spot: Convenient but Effective?

  1. Weather-Proof Workouts: The unpredictable UK weather can't put a damper on your indoor walking routine.

  2. Surface Control: A consistent indoor surface can be gentler on the joints.

  3. Step Counting Fun: For those with fitness trackers, it's a quirky way to meet daily goals (though attaching your watch to your dog is a cheeky shortcut!).

Outdoor Walking: A Holistic Approach

  1. Scenic and Stimulating: Fresh air and changing scenery can boost mental well-being.

  2. Varied Terrain: Outdoor surfaces provide a natural way to enhance muscle engagement and balance.

  3. Full-Body Workout: The varied landscape challenges your body in ways indoor walking can't.

Part 2: Anatomical Insights – Stride and Structure

The Stride in Outdoor Walking

Outdoor walking involves a full stride, engaging the calf muscles, hamstrings, and glutes more dynamically. The heel-to-toe motion and navigating different terrains also challenge ankle stability and core strength. However, the impact on harder surfaces can be tough on joints.

Marching on the Spot: A Closer Look

Marching involves lifting the knees, primarily engaging the quadriceps and hip flexors. It's easier on the knees and hips due to less impact. However, it lacks the full range of motion of a walking stride, potentially leading to muscle imbalances if not complemented with other exercises.

Combining Both for Optimal Benefits

As Pilates teachers, we understand the importance of balance – not just in our routines but in our approach to fitness. Why not recommend a mix of both? Outdoor walking for a holistic, full-body exercise and marching on the spot as a low-impact, convenient alternative.


Whether stepping on the spot or striding through the streets, the key is to stay active. Each method has its unique benefits and can be a valuable part of a well-rounded fitness routine. Let's encourage our students to embrace both, ensuring they reap the full benefits of movement in all its forms.

Happy stepping, and remember, variety is the spice of life – and exercise!


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