When done properly, walking lunges are an excellent exercise for glute development.
Walking lunges for glute development:
1. Pull with your front leg for glute/hamstring activation instead of pushing with the rear leg. Quality of muscle contraction matters. I would recommend slowing your pace if you find it difficult to activate your glutes through each rep.
2. Maximize hip extension range of motion with each rep by safely lowering your rear knee as close to the ground as possible. For me, this means the trailing knee gently touches the floor each rep. Maximizing resisted hip extension and flexion allows for greater glute activation. Glutes are powerful hip extenders.
3. I often pre-exhaust performing 5-6 high volume sets of leg press (feet high) for glute activation prior to lunges.
4. Frequency for hypertrophy: 1x/wk does not cut it for most people when it comes to hypertrophy. A recent systemic review suggests training major muscle groups 2x/wk provides superior results compared to 1x/wk.
5. Breathing: If you listen carefully to the training video linked above, you can hear me exhaling forcefully during the drive phase of each step.
6. Nutrition: Simply put, without consumption of adequate quality proteins, your glutes will not grow. In clinic I snack every 3hrs between patients including a protein source with each meal.
Dr. Aric Sudicky co-founded London, Ontario’s first medically integrated personal training and nutrition program. He is a former Canadian Fitness Professional of the Year award winner, an obesity researcher, and is currently completing his residency training in family medicine. You can follow Aric via his facebook or twitter pages.