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What are Walking Lunges?

D. Messmer
D. Messmer

Walking lunges are lower body exercises that involve taking long and deep steps in order to work out the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. They are very similar to stationary lunges, except that instead of remaining in one place, the person performing walking lunges uses the steps of the lunge to move forward. Walking lunges provide a very good workout for the leg muscles and can be an effective cardiovascular exercise.

To perform walking lunges, the athlete begins by standing straight with the feet at about shoulder width. The walking lunges involve moving forward, so it is important to make sure that there is plenty space before performing the exercise. Also, during the exercise, it is crucial to maintain proper form and to focus on proper knee alignment.

Woman exercising
Woman exercising

The beginning of the exercise is similar to a traditional stationary lunge. The athlete first takes a large step forward with one leg. Then, the athlete bends the knees so that the body lowers towards the floor. Throughout the exercise, the athlete's back should remain straight, and the head should look directly forward. Also, both feet should always point directly forward. It is OK for the arms to move in whatever way they need to in order to maintain balance.

The athlete should continue to bend the knees until both are close to a 90 degree angle. If the athlete's initial step was the correct length, the front knee will be directly over the foot. The knee of the rear leg should be close to the floor but not quite touching it. Stepping too far will result in the knee not moving far enough forward during the bend, and not stepping far enough will cause the knee to go past the foot. The foot of the front leg will be flat on the floor, while the heel of the back foot will be raised off the floor.

At this point, the athlete should begin to straighten the legs in order to raise the body away from the floor. While raising up, the athlete should push off of the back foot and step forward with that foot. This foot will eventually come to rest next to the forward foot and the athlete will be back in the original standing position. The athlete will then repeat the process stepping forward with the other foot.

Walking lunges provide a good workout for the glutes, quads and hamstrings. They also improve flexibility in the legs and hips. If an athlete performs several walking lunges in succession, this lower body exercise can provide a quality cardiovascular workout. If an athlete wishes to increase the intensity of the exercise, he or she can hold weights in order to provide extra resistance.

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Discussion Comments


Another thing that the walking lunges do that the stationary lunges don't do is they force you to develop some of the smaller muscles that you use to maintain balance. Once you start walking lunges, keeping your balance will be one of the biggest challenges, and this requires the use of muscles that the normal lunges don't even touch.

All you have to do is try the two different exercises on different days and you should be able to listen to your body and determine the difference in the workouts. I imagine you will feel the burn more so in different areas depending on whether you did stationary or walking lunges. Both are great glute exercises.


@Laotionne - That's a good question. I'm not a physical therapist or anything, so I can't say for certain what the difference is between walking lunges and the ones where you stay in place and simply step back and forth. However, this article mentions that walking lunges can provide a good cardio workout, so my guess is that is the biggest difference in terms of benefits.

With the walking lunges you are adding walking to the weight lifting and that makes the workout more well rounded.


Are walking lunges any better than the stationary ones? I've never tried the walking ones, but the stationary ones seems to do a good job. I am always extremely sore the day after I do them, and I take that to mean they are working. They are one of the most intense leg exercises that I do.

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