Inchworm exercise for strength and flexibility: Know how to do it properly

Inchworm exercise involves forward and backward movement with hands and legs. But some make mistakes while doing the inchworm exercise. Here's how you can do inchworm exercise in the correct way.

Inchworm exercise for fitness
Do the inchworm exercise for fitness. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published on: 25 January 2023, 11:30 am IST
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Ever seen a person performing the inchworm exercise? It will literally remind you of a worm that moves up and down. You just need your hands and legs to do most of the job, and there’s no need for a gym equipment to perform this exercise. While it seems to be an easy exercise, people don’t always get it right. Some move too fast or take big steps or sway their hips while doing the inchworm exercise. Now that you know the common mistakes people make while performing inchworm exercise, let’s find out the correct way to do it.

If you’re looking for no-equipment exercises for overall body toning? Inchworm exercise should definitely make it to the list. HealthShots reached out to fitness coach Sohrab Khushrushahi, to know all about inchworm exercise.

inchworm exercise
Inchworm exercise is great for strength and flexibility. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

No equipment, very little space for inchworm exercise

The inchworm is a total bodyweight movement that requires no equipment and very little space, says Khushrushahi. You basically start in a standing position, walk out on your palms into a high plank position and then walk back into a standing position. It is an exercise that can be used for a variety of purposes. It can be used as an active warm-up, as a progression exercise, or to add endurance to a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine. The intensity at which you do it will largely dictate if it feels like a gentle dynamic stretch or an intense HIIT exercise.

Benefits of inchworm exercise

The inchworm is a great dynamic exercise used to warm up and strengthen the entire muscular system. It mainly focuses on increasing flexibility in your hamstrings as well as increasing strength in your shoulders and chest. It is a versatile exercise that can be a part of anyone’s workout routine and the best of all, it can be performed anywhere. It is also a great way to elevate your heart rate without impact.

Who should do inchworm exercise?

It is an exercise that is great for people of all fitness levels. Whether you are a beginner or an athlete, anyone can do it.

inchworm exercise
People with shoulder or wrist injuries should avoid doing inchworm exercise. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Who should avoid doing inchworm exercise?

While it is generally good for people, those with shoulder or wrist injuries should avoid doing the inchworm exercise. Also, if you have cervical or lumbar spine issues then you should avoid doing this movement.

Correct way to perform inchworm exercise

• Begin this exercise by standing straight, with your feet hip-to-shoulder-width apart.
• Fold forward with straight legs and reach your arms down towards the floor, keeping your head in line with your back. If you have weak knees or less flexibility in your hamstring then bend them slightly as you forward fold.
• Slowly walk your hands away from your feet, extending your body into a high plank position.
• Slowly walk your hands back to your feet, getting your body back into an upright position.

The expert, founder of SOHFIT, says if you are adding it to an active warm-up, focus on slow and controlled movements. And if you are using it as part of a workout, you can do it as a part of your HIIT routine!

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About the Author
Natalia Ningthoujam Natalia Ningthoujam

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle- as a journalist in her nearly 13-year long career. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area.

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