Retro walking requires some degree of concentration and mindfulness at first because your body is challenged to move outside of its ordinary movement. You engage your hamstrings walking forward, but walking backward requires your quads to fire (per CNN). If you’re starting a retro walking program, the main disadvantage is that you can’t see where you’re going. That means you have to rely on your feet rather than your eyes for feedback, according to Eldergym. Older adults might start at a wall and take 10 steps forward, then walk backward until they safely reach the wall.
You can try retro walking on the treadmill. Begin for about 10 minutes twice a week at a slow pace while holding onto the handrails. Be sure to stand up straight as you focus on each step. As you become acclimated to the movement, you can try to walk without holding to the handrails (per Access Sports Medicine).