I’ll be straight with you…REAL quality leg training is TOUGH. It hurts and it’s uncomfortable.
And if you want great legs, you MUST put in the time using challenging exercises such as squats, lunges and variations of the two (leg press is ok and optional).
So on that note, I’ve got a deadly variation of the Walking Lunge exercise that will push your legs to the EDGE…I call it a Bar-In-Front Walking Lunge.
And the reason I call it that is because that’s what it is…you’ll be doing a standard Walking Lunge exercise holding the barbell in front of you rather than putting it on your back or holding dumbells.
This use of the barbell has several advantages…
First, you don’t need a rack or a spotter to get the bar in position on your back for a barbell lunge.
Second, if you train at home and your dumbells don’t go heavy enough (or if you don’t have any) and if you don’t have that squat rack or spotter, then this is a GREAT exercise for targeting the legs. When you train at home with limited equipment, it can tough to find exercises that you can do without safety equipment (like a rack) that really challenge the legs. This exercise is it.
Third, holding the long Olympic bar is good for balance when doing the exercise. If you’ve ever seen a tightrope walker holding a giant pole while walking, it’s a similar concept.
So first, load a barbell with a weight you pick up and carry fairly easily. I’ve got 135 lbs on the bar. Grip with a moderately wide grip…I used pinkies on the smooth ring of the bar. A narrower grip will give you less control over the bar while too wide will have your grip giving out before your legs are fully worked.
Stand up with it.
Now take a step forward, coming down into the lunge position. At this point, the bar will be resting on your thigh, as close in to your body as you can set it.
Now stand up pushing up and forward, bring the bar up with you.
When doing a Walking Lunge, you can either pause at the point and stand on two feet and get your balance before stepping forward again or you can just take another straight forward without setting your other foot down. That’s the way I like to do it – definitely more challenging.
Come down into the next step, again, resting the bar on the thigh at the bottom.
When you’ve gone as far as you can in one direction, set the bar down, step over to the other side of it then pick it up and go back.
In this view, it’s easier to see where the bar is set…right up close to the body. The arms are bent as you come down.
Keep going until you’re back to the original start position.
Then turn around and go again, if you have it in you! This will depend on how much weight you’re using, your leg endurance and your grip strength.
I can promise your legs will be a quivering mess by the time you’re done and you will be breathing extremely heavily…Walking Lunges are very good for the legs and for the lungs.
You can use this exercise as a finishing exercise for your leg workout (you won’t be keen to do much more for legs after a few rounds of it) or as a mainstay of your leg training, especially if you train with limited safety equipment.
I like to go for distance-reps on this one, doing 4 times back and forth, for example.