Walking lunges: Know how to do it correctly and its 6 benefits

If your goal is to strengthen your leg muscles as well as the core, hips, and glutes, look no further than walking lunges. Here's how to do walking lunges properly.
Walking lunges is a great way to strengthen your legs. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 2 May 2024, 06:15 pm IST

Are you looking to strengthen your leg muscles? If so, you cannot ignore the walking lunge exercise. Walking lunges is a functional exercise that effectively targets all the major muscle groups, especially those of your lower body, such as the knees, glutes, hips, calf, and quadriceps. What can make this exercise even more challenging is adding weights. Walking lunges not only benefit the lower body but also engage the core, promoting overall cardiovascular health. So, here’s how to do walking lunges correctly.

How to perform walking lunges?

“Walking lunges are a great way to work the muscles in your lower body, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves,” says health and fat loss coach Jashan Vij. It also involves the core, which helps improve stability. Here’s how to do walking lunges correctly:

Step 1: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your waist or relaxed by your sides.
Step 2: Take a big step forward with your left leg, bending your knee at a 90-degree angle and ensure that your thigh is parallel to the ground.
Step 3: Lower your body until your right leg is just above the ground, keeping your knee aligned with your ankle and not extending past your toes.
Step 4: Push through your front heel to return to the starting position.
Step 5: Step forward with the opposite leg and repeat the lunge motion.
Step 6: Keep your core engaged, your back straight, and eyes forward throughout the movement to maximise effectiveness and reduce the risk of injury.
Step 7: Continue alternating legs, walking forward with each lunge.
Step 8: Do at least 12 repetitions (reps) on each leg and perform 2-3 sets.

How to do walking lunges with weight?

Follow these steps to perform walking lunges with weight:

Step 1: Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides or a barbell across your shoulders.
Step 2: Follow the same steps as regular walking lunges, stepping forward with one leg at a time while maintaining proper form.
Step 3: Keep your core engaged to stabilise your body, especially with added weight. Also, ensure controlled movements to prevent injury and maximise effectiveness.

Also read: Static lunges versus walking lunges: What’s better for your leg muscles?

Perform walking lunges carefully, especially with weight. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Note: Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as you become comfortable with the exercise. Be careful if while using heavier weights.

5 safety tips to keep in mind while performing walking lunges

  • Keep your back straight, shoulders back, and core engaged throughout the movement to avoid strain and injury.
  • Keep your focus on maintaining balance with each step forward, keeping your movements controlled and steady.
  • Take wide steps but do not overextend your leg when you lunge forward. Otherwise, it can cause back pain.
  • Lower and lift your body in a slow, controlled manner to avoid the risk of injury.
  • Inhale as you lower into the lunge and exhale as you push back up to the starting position, maintaining a steady breath.

Also read: How to do Jumping Lunge for effective weight loss

Benefits of doing walking lunges

Walking lunges can be done with or without weights, making them the easiest exercise for people of all fitness levels. Here are 6 fitness benefits of performing walking lunges:

1. Improves balance

The movements of walking lunges require coordination and balance. When you perform this exercise, it helps boost stability, which can help prevent falls and injuries.

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It can be a great exercise to boost your fitness levels! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Strengthens lower body

Walking lunges primarily target the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, promoting muscle strength and endurance in the lower body. Since it also engages your core, it helps strengthen your upper body as well.

3. Engages core muscles

“To maintain proper form during this exercise, your core muscles, including the abdominals and obliques, are required. So, this exercise also helps stabilise your body, leading to a stronger core,” explains Vij.

4. Increases flexibility

Performing this exercise through a full range of motion helps improve hip flexibility and mobility, reducing the risk of tightness and discomfort. It can also help improve posture.

5. Enhances functionality

Walking lunges is a functional exercise. They mimic movements used in daily activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, or bending down, improving overall functional movement patterns or making everyday movements easier in real life.

Lunges can help in your weight loss journey. Image courtesy: Freepik

6. Boosts cardiovascular health

“Incorporating walking lunges into a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine can elevate your heart rate, providing cardiovascular benefits and aiding in calorie burning and weight management,” according to Vij.

Benefits of performing walking lunges with weights

Adding weight to walking lunges increases resistance, intensifies muscle engagement, and promotes strength and endurance in the lower body. It also enhances calorie burn, contributing to weight management and overall fitness improvement.

Also read: These 5 mistakes while doing walking lunges could be keeping you from gaining muscle

Who should avoid walking lunges?

If you are someone who has a knee or hip injury or experiencing severe joint pain, you should avoid performing walking lunges. Moreover, if you are pregnant, you should either refrain from performing this exercise or perform it with proper supervision to prevent falls.

Aayushi Gupta

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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