Things to keep in mind while doing walking lunges for weight loss, stability
If it’s stronger legs or well-shaped buttocks you’re after, working on the lower half of your body, either in the gym or in the neighbourhood park, is a must. Gone are the days when people only focussed on building or toning their upper body and skipped the leg day, as the focus has now shifted to maintaining a balanced body type — even in mainstream fashion and the movies.
Walking lunges — a variation of the standing lunges — are an excellent option for building strength in your legs, losing weight, and improving overall balance and stability in the body.
Because the exercise requires you to step forward with every lunge, it is a little bit more challenging to execute than a standing lunge. It works out the larger muscles in the thighs as well as the tinier muscles responsible for balance and stability in the legs. No weight loss programme is complete without exercising these muscle groups.
- Benefits of walking lunges
- The right way to do walking lunges
- Things to keep in mind
- Tips to reduce muscle soreness after walking lunges
- Suggested fixes for common errors while doing walking lunges
Benefits of walking lunges
While conventional lunges focus more on the front thigh muscles (quadriceps), walking lunges spread the effect onto the hips and hamstrings besides the quads. The movement also works out your buttocks, specifically, the gluteus maximus — the largest muscle group in the body.
Another advantage: the walking lunge allows you to work out the legs while also focussing on maintaining overall balance so you don’t tip over to one side. This increases core stability.
Lunges have a few variations. For example, you can step forward or back while doing the lunges. You can also rest the back leg on a raised platform. Of these, walking lunges are the most technical as they make you work hard to maintain balance. For this reason, walking lunges are advised for improving overall balance and stability. (It is advisable to master squats and standing lunges before attempting walking lunges.)
The right way to do walking lunges
Equipment required: You can do this exercise without any equipment. However, adding a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells will help you increase the intensity of the workout and eventually get better results. Make sure you add the weights gradually — get used to the movement first. Add smaller weights when you are able to lunge the length of a long room without losing your balance. Increase the weights as per your comfort
Sets & reps: Three sets of 10 reps
Before you begin, remember that it is a good idea to work out with a trainer who can correct your posture and help you choose the right weights for the maximum benefit.
Warm-up for at least five minutes before you attempt the walking lunges. You can do this by jogging on the spot, squatting and doing hamstring curls.
How to do it:
- Stand straight at one end of the room. Your feet should be slightly apart. Roll your shoulders back and pull your belly button in — this will help you tighten your core and maintain balance. If you are using dumbbells or kettlebells, hold them firmly in either hand, with your arms on your sides.
- Now, take a big step forward with your right leg. Bend your knees: your right knee should ideally make a 90-degree angle with the floor, and the left knee should be inches off the floor. Your left foot should stay behind, heel lifted off the floor.
- Check your position; push your hips slightly forward and make sure your back is straight. Stay in this position for 10 seconds. If you are using weights, leave your arms by your sides to increase the load on your legs.
- Now, without letting your left knee touch the ground, get back up. Bring your left next to the right. Rest it on the floor for a second or two before taking your left foot forward. Bend both knees as before: this time, left knee at 90 degrees to the floor and right knee just inches off the floor. Check your posture and hold for 10 seconds. This is one rep.
- Do 10 repetitions. Feeling a little wobbly is natural, but if you lose your balance, set the weights aside and go back to standing lunges.
Things to keep in mind
Walking lunges are a great exercise for the legs and buttocks, but they are a bit advanced. Here are a few things you should keep in mind before you attempt them:
- If you’re new to working out, you can begin the exercise without any weights until you’re comfortable with the movements.
- If you feel any pressure in the knees while performing the exercise, it is advisable to wear a knee brace.
- And if you have had a history of knee problems or pain, it is advisable to consult a doctor before performing this exercise.
- Be safe and don't overdo the work out: remember that it is better to do a few minutes of exercise regularly rather than doing too much on one day and then skipping the gym for the rest of the week.
Tips to reduce muscle soreness after walking lunges
While leg exercises tend to cause soreness in the thigh and hip muscles when one is new to the exercise, your body gets used to the movements to be able to perform it with more ease gradually.
Delayed onset muscle soreness is the reason why most of us feel pain hours after we workout rather than while we are exercising. If your muscles are sore, make sure you don't skip the gym the next day. Instead, try doing a lower intensity workout like Yoga — this will help you recover faster.
Stay hydrated and keep working towards that fitness goal!
Suggested fixes for common errors while doing walking lunges
Getting the posture right is crucial in any variation of the lunge. To get the maximum benefit as well as to avoid injuries, try some of these tips:
1. Make sure you take a big enough step forward to lunge
If your stride is too short, your front knee may go past the toes as you lunge. This will put unnecessary pressure on the knees.
If you are new to the workout, try seeing your profile in the mirror as you lunge: the shin of the leg that’s in front should be absolutely straight and the thigh of this leg should be parallel to the floor.
Experts offer a simple rule: To lunge, take a much bigger step than you would to simply walk forward.
2. Make sure your feet are pointing forward, and not turned out or inwards
Some people may turn their foot in or out while stepping forward. This too will put unnecessary pressure on the knees. Make sure your feet are pointing straight ahead.
3. Don’t lean forward as you hold the lunge
Stop and roll your shoulders back whenever you feel you might be leaning forward.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
Updated Date: Feb 05, 2020 16:58:06 IST
Tags : Balance, Balance Exercices, Balance Improving, Core Stability, Exercices To Improve Stability, Kettlebells, Leg Exercices, Lower Body Exercices, Lower Body Strength, Lunge, Lunges, Muscle Soreness, Myupchar, Reuters, Stability, Stamina, Strenght, Walking Lunges
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