Take a slow-motion walk across your living room and strengthen your legs. Walking lunges use your butt, thighs and calves to move you forward. With each step, your glutes contract which strengthens and lifts your backside. Your quads, the fronts of your thighs, also tighten as you lunge. Strong quads help you run and walk faster. Your calves firm up each time you push off the floor and propel yourself forward. Your calves will look as if you're wearing high heels, even when you're not. The best part of walking lunges is that equipment is optional. You can lunge using only the weight of your body, or with holding dumbbells for added resistance.
Stand tall and center your weight on both feet with your feet together. Tighten your stomach by pulling your navel toward your spine. As you do this, straighten your spine and stand tall. Look forward with your chin parallel to the floor. If holding weights, grasp a dumbbell, between 5 and 10 pounds, in each hand with your arms straight at your sides and your palms facing you.
Shift your weight onto your right foot and lift your left foot off the floor. Lift only a few inches if you are a beginner, or bend your left knee and lift until your thigh is parallel with the floor if you have experience with lunges.
Step forward with your left foot and set your heel on the floor first, followed by the rest of your foot. Keep your toes facing forward and your knee facing the same direction. Step out as far as you can to focus on the muscles in your backside. Step closer to focus on the muscles in your thighs.
Bend both knees and lower into the lunge. Let your right heel come up off the floor. Aim to keep your shin in a straight line or only slightly tilting forward. Bend until you feel comfortable, but not beyond a 90-degree angle in your left knee.
Straighten your legs. Push off the floor with your right heel and step your right foot up to meet your left.
Shift your weight onto your left foot. Lift your right foot and repeat the lunge. Continue to walk forward as you alternate lunging legs. Complete eight to 10 lunges on each leg.
- Always warm up before you participate in resistance training. Walk, cycle, jog or dance for five to 10 minutes to prepare your muscles for training.
- Speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. If you have pre-existing knee discomfort, use caution and avoid sinking low into the lunge.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.