Walking Lunge Exercise
The Walking Lunge exercise is a great strength training exercise. It works the quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and core. Walking Lunges are a core part of a lower body routine. Dumbbells or barbells can be added to increase difficulty. If you go fast, they can also be used for aerobic activity. The walking lunge is similar to a normal lunge, but you move yourself forward as you do each one.
In the walking lunge, your back leg is carried forward as you move along. After the previous lunge you just move forward for the next repetition. This creates the ‘walking’ lunge motion. You can also transform the exercise into plyometric lunges, or split squat jumps. This is achieved by jumping explosively in between jumps. To work both sides of your body, make sure to switch legs before each jump.
Many athletes and celebs use the Walking Lunge exercise to strengthen their lower bodies for their routines:
- The Lady Gaga workout uses the walking lunge exercise to show of her legs during the Monster’s Ball Tour.
- The Candace Parker workout utilizes Drop Lunges to help her with explosiveness, to reverse direction, jump up for rebounds.
- The Daniel Craig workout incorporates lunges to help give James Bond the ability to look good while running down his targets.
- The Henry Cavill workout for Superman uses Walking Lunges. He uses a sandbag, and usually does 3 sets of 20 meters. See 1:08 of this video for a glimpse of Henry Cavill doing Walking Lunges with a sandbag.
- The Mark Wahlberg workout uses this exercise during his leg workouts. He then supersets with Calf Raises.
- The Jennifer Lawrence workout for Hunger Games uses Walking Lunges to warm up.
- The Derek Jeter workout uses Walking Lunges to help him with the first-step explosiveness, and to reverse direction quickly on the infield.
- The Jessica Alba workout uses Walking Lunges exercises during her 3-2-1 workouts. She does them to start her lower body weight training circuits. These are also called Forward Lunges.
- The Eva Longoria workout uses this, along with dumbbell lunges.
- The Jay-Z workout, and the Beyonce workout, both use the Walking Lunge exercise. In fact, their trainer even has them do something called “Jumping Lunges.” Here, you jump to the opposite lunge, instead of simply walking.
- Known for her butt, the Jen Selter workout program uses walking lunges as part of her leg and butt routine.
Their trainer, Marco Borges, says when doing Jumping Lunges:
Use your legs as springs. Coil when you land to absorb and reduce the impact. Keep your back straight.
Walking Lunge Instructions
When doing the Walking Lunge remember to:
- bend your knees 90 degrees for a full range of motion
- don’t step too far, or you will exert pressure on your knee
- stop if you experience pain in the knee
Here are the steps to performing the Walking Lunge exercise. Master the Walking Lunge by going slowly at first, instead of forming any bad habits by going fast. If you go too fast, you are likely to forget to bend all the way down so your leg is 90 degrees to your body.
- Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, this is your starting position.
- Step forward with right leg and lower your body to 90 degrees in both knees.
- Don’t step out too far, and drop into a deep lunge.
- There should be 2 to 2.5 feet between your feet at this point.
- Keep your forward heel in contact with the ground as you drive back up
- Make sure to keep your weight on your heels to maintain balance.
- From here, push up, bringing the rear leg forward until you are standing straight again.
- Slowly step forward with the back foot to the next lunge position.
- Step forward with opposite leg and repeat, walking forward for all reps.
- Aim for 20 reps with each leg, and repeat for a standard 3 sets.
- Add dumbbell or barbell weight to increase strength training.
- Try to “walk” further each time, but don’t over-extend your lunge past 90 degree bends.
The Walking Lunge exercise gets harder the more dumbbell or barbell weight you add to the routine. For example, you may want to start with a 10 pound weight. The next week you can try going to 15 pounds. The quicker you move your feet, the more aerobic the exercise is, and the more calories you burn. Still, try to plant your feet firmly every lunge.
So, try to:
- Increase the distance and speed you go over time.
- Survey your terrain for obstacles before beginning the exercise.
- Avoid injury by firmly planting your feet before moving them again.
- Add plyometric jumps to your walking lunges.
- Add Glute Kicks, like the trainer does below.
- Try Jumping Lunges (see above)
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