Waiters Walk Exercise: Steps, Benefits, Muscles Worked

Waiters Walk exercise using kettlebell or dumbbells to strength shoulder
(Last Updated On: April 5, 2023)

If you have weak deltoids or plan to strengthen your shoulders and maximize your gripping ability, doing the waiters walk exercise will provide great value for these primary muscles.

The waiters walk is a simple and easy-to-perform workout, which can increase the balance in your body core, and stabilize the erector spinae in one go.

Moreover, it provides more flexibility in your upper body, which reduces the risk of injury to your muscles.

It is a multi-functional use that acts as a multi-joint exercise, to promote and stabilize the scapula muscles, which in-return stabilizing and improving the anterior, posterior and lateral structure of the shoulders.

In this article, we are going to discuss all the aspects related to the waiters walk, the correct exercise steps, the benefits behind it, the muscles used during the exercise and for whom is this the most suitable exercise. Let’s start with the warm-up steps before starting as follows.

Do you Need to Warmup before doing the Waiters Walk

As a standard rule, for any intense exercise you want to start with, it’s best to warm up the target muscles, in order to get them activate and triggering before you start the actual workout.

Regarding the waiters’ walk, it is not an intense exercise, but it contains a load mechanism on the body, which is better to warm up even a little before doing the walk, to avoid any muscle injuries.

  • Arm Overhead Stretch.
  • Straight Arm Circles: By start moving arms in a small circle and while progress make the circle larger.
  • Child Pose Exercise.

You can find the step-by-step details of the above exercises by following this Shoulder Warm-up article.

Regarding the wrist, there are many workout that can be done, such as resistance stretches, to move the hand up and down, as well as rotate. You can find these steps easily with the wrists action pin. You can find these steps easily through the wrists mobility pin.

After completing the warm-up, your muscles are now ready to perform the exercise as follows.


Waiters Walk Exercise Step-by-Step

Waiters walk is a straight forward exercise routine, where different types of weights can be used whether it is a barbell, kettlebell or dumbbells, it is your choice to choose between any of them, but the best option is for kettlebell or dumbbells because their handles can be better for control while holding and moving.

Waiters Walking workout using kettlebell to strength scapula and wrist

If you want to use the barbell as a weight, you need to place it slightly back above your head from the center body core, in order to maintain the required balance, and ensure a safe alignment position for your back.

Moreover, you can either use one hand or two at a time, during the exercise, as it is usually used with one hand, to reduce the load on the body, as well as to perform the routine in a better way, concentrating your strength with one hand, in oder to develop muscles on the right method.

Now, let’s begin with steps of Kettlebell Waiters Walk Exercise:

  • Grip one weight of the kettlebell in your hand and hold it up beside of your head.
  • Keeping your arm straight, palm direction facing the wall, and the ball-shaped weight rests on your forearm “optional”.
  • Now start walking normally in a straight line for a few metres, pressing your shoulder back.
  • Then switch to the other hand and repeat the steps.

Make sure not to bend your wrist backwards, as this will create needless pressure on your joints, which can lead to potential injury.

Waiters Walk exercise using kettlebell to strength shoulder

You can do the same steps if you are using different weights such as dumbbells, but without having to rest the weight on your forearm.


Waiters Walk Benefits

Now it’s time to cover some important points, so what are the benefits and gains from waiters walk:

  • Build wrist and forearm power.
  • Increased grip ability.
  • Torso and shoulder stability, as walking engages the abdominal muscles and core of the spine.
  • Build more stability and strength for the upper body parts, the reason why! The body is trained to load intense weights.
  • Improve the stability of your arm at the joint when performing a 360-degree movement. When you lift the weights and then sending them down when the routine is complete.
  • Develop the lat muscle, which covers large parts of your middle and upper back, and build a strong bond with your shoulder muscles.


Waiters Walk Muscles Worked

Now let’s discover which muscles and parts of the body that are engaged and worked during a waiters walk workout:

  • Shoulders, primary muscles.
  • Forearms, secondary muscles.
  • Wrist, secondary muscles.
  • Lats, secondary muscles.

In general, the exercise strengthens the muscles of the upper body, by tolerance extra weight and increasing the endurance of the body.


Does Waiters Walk is Convenient for Me …

In general, there can be a few criteria to follow, to make sure that this workout suits you or not:

  • The Body Shape: Most of the body sizes can be the most appropriate shape, except for the very thin, because you need some balance, especially while carrying the weight on one side while walking, and this body shape is difficult to provide balance, which is in contrast to that moderate and fat body, which provides more stability and body mass heavy. Due to the center of gravity of the body that provides stable movement steps.
  • Ensure Healthy of your Wrist, Forearm and Shoulders: These parts are the primary components of the muscles worked while perform waiters walk, so if any of them get stiff or injured, it will be risky to proceed with the exercise, as it will lead to increased risk to these parts of the body due to the intense weight-bearing, and lead to seeking for medical attention.
  • Sports Field: If you engaged in sports that use the arm as a base, whether it is a professional sport or a hobby, then this exercise will be very useful in your field. Such sports are American football, cricket, volleyball, tennis, and any other similar sports that use the arm, shoulder, or gripping ability. The waiters walk will provide you with great value, with more stable arm movement and more powerful throwing of the ball.
  • Job Field: Some jobs require strength arms or a strong grip, in case your job involves lifting items in a shop or warehouse, or building wood or iron materials, which requires gripping ability while working on tools, these and similar jobs require strength on the portability and ability of your hands.
  • Body Building: Any bodybuilder who is ready to work out the muscles of the upper body, be sure this exercise is a good fit for them, if he/she adds it to their exercise routine schedule.


Mistakes Waiters Walk Should Avoid

There are wrong movements that Waiters Walk should be aware of and be careful not to do during the exercise, as this may lead to a potential risk of injury.

  • Beginners in the Waiters Walk: Beginners who are just started should be caution when starting the exercise, in order to protect themselves from muscle rupture due to heavy weight, or dislocation at the wrist joint, due to pushing the fist back more than usual, which leads to abnormal pressure on the tissues, which can lead to injury. Best way is to warmup when start, and then use light weight.
  • Weight Capacity: Use light weight when starting the workout, the better, because the muscles are still not stimulated at first to bear a heavy weight, after that warm-up, you are ready to go to choose a heavier weight that is suitable for you.
  • Poor alignment of your Back: The core of the spine must be aligned to be in the correct position and shape while carrying heavy weights, by standing as straight as possible while walking. If it causes backward bending and severe curve shape, it will put pressure on the intervertebral disc, which should be avoided.
  • Unbalanced Body, especially on one side of your body: What happens during walking While carrying the load on one side, it is normal for the body to align the shoulder down towards the side of the load, and lift the shoulder on the other side up, this imbalance will result in a twisting of the spine and alignment of the shoulder to one side. In the right way, you need to walk making sure that both shoulders are evenly aligned at the same level, even if the load is on one side.
  • No Stability while walking: Make sure you walk steadily in a straight line while practice, this way your brain will build more stability over time while training, increasing your body balance.
  • Heavy weight for weak Arms: Weak or very slim arm structure can still practice, but what they need to avoid, is loading heavy weight, that can cause injury or fraction bones. The right way to pick the right weight that you feel comfortable exercising without risking your body, so in the end you exercise safely.



On summary, the waiters walk is a great exercise for strengthening your shoulder muscles, and the ability to grip firmly, as well as it will add more flexibility in your wrist while movement.

Make sure before starting the exercise, to warm up with lighter weights, in order to start your routine in the right way and prepare your muscles, then you can continue with the workout.

Keep your attention, on the weight capacity that you are using, especially if you are training with one hand, do not add excessive weight than what your body can handle, it will not bring you any benefit, except to expose your body to more potential injuries.

The best way is to use a weight that is neither heavy nor light, and it is best to choose a weight that is challenging for you, so that you can perform the exercise in the correct steps, while maintaining your safety.

There are a lot of benefits that you can gain from this exercise, the most important of which is to build more stability and strength for the upper body parts.

Avoid yourself from wrong movements for wrist and waiters walk mistakes, such as bad alignment curve of your back, unsteady walking, overloading, and others. In order to protect yourself from any potential risk.

If you are interested in training your shoulders and upper body muscles to increase the mass appearance of your figure, you can workout in your own home with the Reliance Hydraulic Twister, a multi-functional tool that covers most upper body muscles with one tool.

If you have any questions or feedback, please add your comment below, I would love to hear from your experience.