walking lungesShare on Pinterest

Walking lunges are a variation on the static lunge exercise. Instead of standing back upright after performing a lunge on one leg, as you would in a static bodyweight lunge, you “walk” forward by lunging out with the other leg. The movement continues for a set number of reps.

Walking lunges strengthen the leg muscles as well as the core, hips, and glutes. You can also make walking lunges more challenging by adding weights or doing a walking lunge with a torso twist.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of walking lunges and how to incorporate them into your fitness routine.

Share on Pinterest
  1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your hands can stay by the side of your body or on your hips.
  2. Step forward with your right leg, putting the weight into your heel.
  3. Bend the right knee, lowering down so that it’s parallel to the floor in a lunge position. Pause for a beat.
  4. Without moving the right leg, move your left foot forward, repeating the same movement on the left leg. Pause as your left leg is parallel to the floor in a lunge position.
  5. Repeat this movement, “walking” forward as you lunge, alternating legs.
  6. Do 10 to 12 reps on each leg. Perform 2 to 3 sets.

Walking lunge with torso twist

Share on Pinterest

Equipment needed: Medicine ball or one free weight

  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Engage your abs and hold a weight or medicine ball in front of your midsection with both hands, elbows bent at 90 degrees.
  2. Step forward with your right leg putting your weight into your heel.
  3. As your right foot strikes the floor and stabilizes, bend the right knee, lowering down so that your knee is parallel to the floor in a lunge position. Pause.
  4. When stable in your lunge position, twist your upper body to the right, holding the weight with both hands. The movement should come from your torso.
  5. Twist back to center and start to lunge forward with your left leg. Repeat the same movement on the left leg, “walking” forward as you lunge and twisting to the left.
  6. Perform 10 to 12 reps on each side.

Walking lunge with weights

Share on Pinterest

Equipment needed: two dumbbells

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Hold one dumbbell in each hand and keep your arms at your sides, keeping your torso upright.
  2. Keep your arms relaxed at your sides throughout the whole movement. Step forward with your right leg, putting your weight into your heel.
  3. As your right foot strikes the floor and stabilizes, bend the right knee, lowering down parallel to the floor into a lunge position.
  4. Without moving the right leg, move your left foot forward, repeating the same movement on the left leg. Pause as your left leg is parallel to the floor in a lunge position.
  5. Repeat this movement, “walking” forward as you lunge, alternating legs.
  6. Do 10 to 12 reps on each leg. Perform 2 to 3 sets.

Walking lunges require more balance and coordination than static lunges. One of the biggest risks is injuring yourself from falling due to a loss of balance. Incorrect form may also increase your risk for pulling a muscle.

Walking lunges are generally considered safe for most people. If you’re a beginner, you may want to start with a static lunge until you have the correct form. It’s important to have good form when doing walking lunges, which can help prevent injuries.

Follow these tips to stay safe:

  • Keep your body upright through the movement. Try to avoid leaning forward too much.
  • Keep your core engaged throughout the entire lunge.
  • Don’t overextend your leg when you lunge forward, which can cause your back to arch.
  • Try to step out enough so your body is comfortable vertically, and your torso and hips are straight down. Not stepping out far enough is also unsafe for your knees and can lead to injuries.

If you’re new to exercise, it can be helpful to work with a trainer, or a friend or family member familiar with walking lunges. They can help make sure your form is correct and provide tips to help you get the most from this move.

Walking lunges can help strengthen the lower body. They can also help stretch out the hamstring and glutes.

Incorporate both static and walking lunges in your routine for best results.

What muscles are worked?

Walking lunges work the following muscles:

  • quadriceps
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • calves
  • abdominals
  • hips

Other benefits of walking lunges are listed below.

Increase range of motion

Walking lunges can help increase your range of motion by helping to increase flexibility, and loosen up your hips and hamstrings. This can help improve posture and balance, which can be beneficial to athletes, casual exercisers, and fitness novices alike.

Enhanced functionality

Walking lunges are a functional exercise. They mimic movements you do every day like standing up, sitting, and stepping forward to pick something up off the floor. Practicing walking lunges regularly can help make these everyday movements easier in real life.

If you’re looking to improve your physical fitness level and strengthen your legs, try adding walking lunges to your weekly exercise routine 2 to 3 times a week.

If you’re new to fitness, you can start by doing 10 to 12 walking lunges at a time. If your goal is to lose weight or tone your body, try other lunge variations, too, such as jumping lunges or lunges with a bicep curl.

Additionally, try cardio or high-intensity interval training 2 to 3 times per week, alternating days with strength training, like lunges, on the other days.

If you aren’t sure how to set up an exercise routine, consider working with a certified personal trainer who can make a schedule for you to follow, or look for a routine online.

Walking lunges are an excellent functional exercise for strengthening the lower body. Add them to your workout routine a few times a week to strengthen your legs, hips, glutes, abs, and more.

If you’re new to exercise, practice performing a static lunge first. Once you have the movement down, you can try walking lunges. Work with a certified personal trainer if you aren’t sure you are doing the movement correctly.