The walking lunge is the most underrated, yet most economical exercise you can do for the entire lower body. Few movements blast the quads, hams, and glutes like the walking lunge.

It's also a highly effective mobility exercise because it brings balance into the equation for most of the kinetic chain. The ankles, knees, and hips all need a functional degree of flexibility to perform it efficiently. In this context, I'm defining mobility and functionality as the ability to perform the movement through a full range of motion, pain free.

But you actually need to be strong enough to hold a proper position in the lunge. People often think they need more mobility, but the truth is they just aren't strong enough to hold an efficient position.

The great thing about the lunge? It'll give you feedback. If it's any of the problems above, and you know what you're looking for, then you'll understand the imbalances and weaknesses you're struggling with.

The Challenge

In my No Weights, Big Wheels program, you start every workout with the walking lunge, but it can be an effective stand-alone challenge as well, or it can be used as a brutal finisher to your normal leg day.

These should be done with just bodyweight. For the rep and set scheme, use the "total reps performed" method. Just keep lunging until you get all the reps done. Take mini-breaks as needed. Yes, this will vary from workout to workout.

Also, count the reps correctly. This drives me nuts. Left leg lunges, count to one. Right leg lunges, count to one again. That's not two reps. That's ONE rep. One rep, which each leg has to complete.

I'm also going to be kind and take into account that beginners and intermediates probably won't be busting out hundreds of lunges at a time on the first day. I'm splitting the foundation movement into two phases. A beginner to intermediate phase, and an advanced phase.

Sets & Reps

Beginner to Intermediate

  • Week 1: 50 lunges
  • Week 2: 75 lunges
  • Week 3: 100 lunges
  • Week 4: 125 lunges
  • Week 5: 150 lunges
  • Week 6: 200 lunges
  • Week 7: 225 lunges
  • Week 8: 250 lunges

Advanced

  • Week 1: 300 lunges
  • Week 2: 325 lunges
  • Week 3: 350 lunges
  • Week 4: 375 lunges
  • Week 5: 400 lunges
  • Week 6: 425 lunges
  • Week 7: 450 lunges
  • Week 8: 500 lunges

Related:  The Bodyweight Workout for Big Guys

Related:  No Weights, Big Wheels