If you want a toned and strong lower body, do walking lunges. As a modified version of regular lunges, walking lunges have many benefits.
This exercise helps tone thigh muscles, boosts strength and flexibility, improves core and hip stability, and enhances balance and athletic performance.
Read on to know the benefits of walking lunges, how to do them, and the muscles this exercise targets.
In This Article
Types Of Lunges
- Stationary Lunges
The stationary lunge includes a downward movement that involves a strong eccentric contraction of the hams, quads, and glutes.
This ensures that the entire weight of the body falls on the forward leg. The leg that trails (the backward leg) provides balance and support to the body.
During the upward movement, both the legs take the pressure to push the body back to the standing position.
- Walking Lunges
In the walking lunge, the downward movement remains the same, with the same pressure being put on all the leg and thigh muscles. However, the upward movement is different.
All the focus is on the forward leg. All the muscles of the forward leg are contracted maximally in the attempt to stand straight again. One needs stability while performing this exercise.
- Walking Lunges With Weight
In this, all the movements are the same as that in walking lunges. You need to hold a dumbbell in each hand while doing this exercise.
What Muscles Do Walking Lunges Work?
Walking lunges work on the following muscles and muscles groups:
Benefits Of Walking Lunges
Walking lunges offer the following benefits:
1. Improve Balance
A workout based on lunges works both sides of the body, making it a unilateral exercise. This improves balance and coordination (1). Exercises like squats and dead-lifts cannot provide similar results.
2. Boost Functionality
3. Aid Symmetrical Toning
Since walking lunges concentrate on the ignored parts of the body, they can help you achieve a symmetrically toned body. Walking lunges workouts take care of body parts that other exercises tend to overlook.
A study on soccer players showed that practicing forward lunges helped to strengthen hamstring muscles and improved the running speed (3).
4. Boost Hip Flexibility
Walking lunges boost the flexibility of the hip flexor muscles, which tend to become tight due to the sedentary lifestyle we lead (4).
5. Tone The Gluteal Muscles
The gluteal muscles are mostly left unutilized during regular workouts. Walking lunges can help focus on their activation and mobilize them with regular practice (2).
6. Improve Core Stability
Standing unilateral exercises (all form of lunges) help to strengthen the core and improve stamina (5). They help to strengthen the core muscles with their up and down motion.
7. Provide Rest For The Spine
While most forms of exercise would leave your back strained, walking lunges tend to provide rest and recovery to your spine. If you are into heavy workouts and weight training, walking lunges can be the perfect way to rest your spine (6).
Note: Walking lunge is one of the best exercises for sportspersons. It improves leg endurance, overall lower limb strength, and the firing pattern of the glutes and the hams.
- As walking lunges require more balance and coordination, there are chances of you falling. Concentrate on your breathing and practice walking lunges under proper supervision.
- Keep your spine and upper body erect while performing walking lunges. Do not lean forward.
- Engage your core and balance your torso and hip while doing this exercise.
Walking lunges target the glutes, hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, core, and back to strengthen the lower body and improve your stability, balance, and coordination. The other benefits of walking lunges, a modified version of regular lunges, include improved functionality, bad body posture, and hip flexibility. Practice caution while doing walking lunges as you may risk falling if you don’t have a good balance and coordination. Also, focus on your form and keep your spine erect and straight. Consult a doctor or a physiotherapist to find out if it is safe for you to do walking lunges and come up with what is best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you do walking lunges every day?
Yes, you can do walking lunges every day under proper supervision. However, perform different combinations of exercise for better results.
How many sets of walking lunges should I do?
You can do 10-20 repetitions with 2-3 cycles. If you are a beginner, start slowly and increase the pace gradually.
Do walking lunges make your thighs bigger?
Walking lunges help tone up thigh muscles. If you want bigger thighs, combine lunges with other forms of exercise and lift weights.
- Balance and Lower Limb Muscle Activation between In-Line and Traditional Lunge Exercises, Journal of Human Kinetics, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Does the Dumbbell-Carrying Position Change the Muscle Activity in Split Squats and Walking Lunges? Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Forward lunge: a training study of eccentric exercises of the lower limbs, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Hip-muscle activation during the lunge, single-leg squat, and step-up-and-over exercises, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Muscle activity of the core during bilateral, unilateral, seated and standing resistance exercise, European Journal of Applied Physiology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Spinal-Exercise Prescription in Sport: Classifying Physical Training and Rehabilitation by Intention and Outcome, Journal of Athletic Training, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.