Even though you hate it, leg day should be an important cornerstone of every exercise program. And while squats and presses are important, the fact that they keep you in a set position (that is, your feet don’t move) may be limiting you in certain aspects. That’s where lunges come in — when you step, you go through a greater range of motion which can help target your hamstrings and quads to a greater extent.
But with all of the different types of lunges, it can be hard to tell which ones you should stick to for the biggest payoff. With that question in mind, scientists compared three types of lunges — forward, walking, and jump — with a control group to round it out. If you guessed that the walking lunges were found to work the best, you deserve a (protein) cookie: they elicited a whopping 35 per cent increase in hamstring strength after six weeks. The results may be chalked up to the fact that the participants were young and therefore may have experienced greater gains due to their health and youth, but if you’ve ever done a set of walking lunges and had to hover above the toilet for days after, you know they are no joke. Moral of the story: leg day is good, and walking lunges are even better.