Walking Lunges. We all know them and probably have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them. They are one of the best lower body sculpting exercises, but boy, oh boy, they are tough and can lead to some serious DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) – regardless of how often you do them.
Why do walking lunges work so effectively?
They are a multi-joint exercise that taxes every muscle in the lower body. Due to the dynamic nature, they also challenge the core and require a high level of balance and stability.
This is all well and great, but what do we all really want?
We want sculpted legs, a tight booty and a tight and toned tummy. Walking lunges are one exercise that can achieve all of those things. You can also change the game in an extreme way with one thing…Tempo.
It is a simple change in this well-known exercise, but adjusting the tempo will allow for higher time under tension and a much higher metabolic demand.
What Do I Mean By Tempo?
Tempo refers to the pace of the exercise. For an exercise like a lunge, the coaching cues are usually to stay controlled, keep the weight on your heels when lunging and keep your chest tall and core tight.
Tension is when we lift heavy things, and our muscles contract against it.
When you take that tension and combine it with a specific tempo, you are creating time under tension. More tension on the muscle leads to a higher level of protein synthesis, which basically means that you are challenging the muscle at a higher level and creating a better environment for hypertrophy.
In simpler terms, the muscle is working harder, breaking down and then building back up to look sculpted and tight.
Let’s Change The Game
How do we change the tempo game when it comes to walking lunges? There are a number of ways you can do it, but today, we are going to slow down the eccentric (lowering) portion of the movement.
So, you will perform the walking lunge as you normally would:
Step 1: Step out to a stride length.
Step 2: TEMPO CHANGE – Drop your back knee toward the floor using a 3 second tempo to lower it down to the floor. This will keep the time under tension during each repetition.
Step 3: Keep your chest tall and abs tight as you push through your front heel to drive back up to the starting position. Continue the upward phase at a normal powerful tempo.
Step 4: Step with the opposite leg, following the cues above and continue stepping until you finish the repetitions.
You want to perform 3 sets of 6 repetitions per leg. Just 12 lunges does not seem like a lot, but the goal is to work harder and longer for each repetition, instead of having a high volume of repetitions.
Use a weight that is similar to or a bit heavier than your usual walking lunge weight. Make sure to keep all the weight on your heel when pushing up and focus on perfect technique with this new challenge.
Leave a comment below if you try these and let me know how they go for you.