Lunges come in lots of varieties. You can do stationary lunges in any direction — front, side, backward or any point in between — and have a damn fine exercise on your hands. But walking lunges ultimately made our list because a) they’re slightly more functional since you continually move forward instead of standing still and b) they provide an excellent finisher to any leg workout.
Main Areas Targeted: Quads, hams, glutes
Strengths: The walking lunge is a dynamic movement, requiring coordination and muscle recruitment to perform correctly. This exercise is predominantly a unilateral activity no matter which way it’s performed, with emphasis on the front rather than the back leg. You’ll get a good amount of co-contractions from above and below the knee joint, from the hip and core to the ankle and foot.
How-To: Holding dumbbells in each hand, step forward with one foot. Bend both knees to lower your torso toward the floor, making sure your front knee doesn’t pass your toes at the bottommost position. Stop just short of your rear knee touching the floor, then drive through the heel of your front foot while bringing your rear leg forward until you return to a standing position. Then step with the opposite leg into a lunge, repeating the pattern. Continue alternating down the floor. Most important, do not let the front knee turn in or out excessively.
I like this exercise as a finisher. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes, step evenly on both sides and keep your upper body tall.