2. Walking Lunge
Why it works: “Until it was made popular by bodybuilding in the ’90s, this beast of an exercise was confined to group exercise classes,” King says. The walking lunge is a simple, yet effective variation if you want to target your glutes and hamstrings. Walking lunges place huge demands on your cardiovascular system because you’re activating so many primary muscles, King adds. What’s more, you can increase the challenge by varying your stance and weight. Hold dumbbells in both hands to develop grip strength, place a bar on your back (or even in the front rack position) to place a greater demand on your balance and engage all your major core muscles, or take shorter steps to put more of an emphasis on your quads.
How to do it: Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with your right leg, placing your foot down as if you were setting up a static lunge, flexing your knees (90°), and dropping your hips. Lower your left knee toward the ground. Just before it makes contact with the floor, drive up and forward through your right leg, stepping into a lunge on your other side.
Note: To target your glutes, switch your lead legs back and forth. Your trailing leg is minimally involved apart from stabilizing the lunge.
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