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Runners Need Walking Lunges in Strength Training Program

Increase Your Speed: Walking Lunges

There is a common misconception among people who run; they often think that their workouts can be limited to running. This is unfortunate since strength training helps to build lean muscle mass, and it can actually help your running. The perfect leg strengthening exercise for running is the walking lunge.

Walking lunges emphasize the propulsion phase of running, aka forward motion. Isn't that what running is all about, moving your body forward through space? Not only that, but aside from strengthening (and toning) your glutes, walking lunges can help increase your stride length, which ultimately will help increase your speed, and who doesn't want to run faster?

If you run, I highly encourage you to add some walking lunges to your fitness routine. I would start with two sets of 10 lunges per leg. You can add hand weights to increase the work. Or to challenge your sense of balance, try holding a physio ball over your head while taking your lunges for a walk.

If you need to review this wonderful exercise, check out Back to Basics: Walking Forward Lunge.

Fit's Tip: Walking lunges are also a great conditioning exercise for downhill skiing, telemarking, and cross country. Yes, I think the everyone in the world could benefit from walking lunges!

Join The Conversation
kksmom kksmom 6 years
I have the same problem with larger thighs. I grew up figure skating, so they really didn't stand a slim chance! I decided to do my lunges DURING my runs to help reduce bulkiness. I did 100 during my 6-mile run, and plan to integrate that strategy into my training.
Pixie462 Pixie462 9 years
I did three sets of 10 two days ago and I can't walk, sit or climb stairs. My butt and thighs really hurt - they must really work. I can't wat to do them without the pain!
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
insanitypepper insanitypepper 9 years
I love my lunges & would do them all day long if they didn't make my thighs huge. I know women aren't "supposed" to get bulky, but every time I add squats & lunges into my workout I have to wear larger pants. And since my waist doesn't get proportionately bigger from the lunges, my pants wind up being too lose there. It's a raw deal!
funkygeorge funkygeorge 9 years
Thanks for the advice fit.
Fitness Fitness 9 years
funky george - no doubt your quads and hamstrings are working too. Focus on pressing through your heel as you step/lunge forward as you switch feet. Try going a little bit slower too!
luvofashion luvofashion 9 years
Lunges= good to know!!!!
splayer splayer 9 years
I love walking lunges! They're tough but they work.
funkygeorge funkygeorge 9 years
I think I am doing something wrong when I do lunges, I never seem to feel it in my butt, just my legs.
pugglelover pugglelover 9 years
I have a love, hate relationship w/ lunges. I hate doing them but I love how my legs and butt are looking since I started to include them in my exercise routine
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
This is a great exercise...
marygrace marygrace 9 years
this is really true. as a runner, for a long time i thought that since running is such a good workout and calorie burner, i didn't have to do any other exercise. after i started doing strength training exercises, i found that my running performance improved. doing squats and lunges, for example, made it easier to run hills.
Di75 Di75 9 years
These are great, but be careful if you haven't done them lately. I just started back to doing these a couple of days ago and I am STILL sore and actually can't walk great right now! I say start slow. Definitely build up to adding weights.
Fitness Fitness 9 years
kxm24 - you crack me up (no pun intended)
mrsgrillo mrsgrillo 9 years
My track coach in HS had us do these up and down the football field twice a week. I died the first few weeks, but I did improve my 400 time!
Novaraen Novaraen 9 years
Lunges are the BEST all around. I do these at work...when no one is Whenever i have to walk to the bathroom or to the lunch table...i do lunges. Just 10 of these can make your butt feel a bit sore the next day. Thats how good they are!!
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
Lunges are just cruel!
kxm24 kxm24 9 years
I love this exercise, i love all types of lunge exercises, but this might be my favorite. i have an obsession with having a nice butt, maybe to compensate for my lack of chest :) I also really like the one where you lunge and then jump up and switch legs continuosly. I think that one it is a good cardio workout too.
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