Walking Lunges work several of the same muscles as Leaping Lunges, but different ones as well. Walking Lunges work the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, calves, and inner thighs; basically, Walking Lunges work the entire leg. This is a great exercise when [tag]teaching little league baseball[/tag] to target the entire leg in a short time. If done right, these [tag]lunges[/tag] will produce quick results in strengthening and toning the entire leg.
To do Walking Lunges, athletes should begin by standing with their feet together. They take one leg forward and step on it, sinking into a lunge position. This should be a forward lunge, with the body facing the front leg. Legs should both be in a 90 degree angle position. It is the coach’s responsibility to remind athletes to never let their knees extend over their ankles during the exercise.
Once the athlete has lowered himself/herself into the lunge position, he/she should push up with the back leg and return to a standing position. The back leg should come forward to meet the front leg. This motion uses the hamstring, calf, and glute muscles, while the initial step into the lunge uses the quadriceps. Both motions use the inner thighs to maintain balance and keep the athlete from falling to one side. During the entire exercise, athletes should keep their hands on their waists or down to their sides.
After the back leg comes forward to meet the front leg, the athlete should take that same leg and lunge it forward. Basically, this means that the athlete alternates which leg steps forward. This exercise can be done in 3 sets of 10. If you feel that your athletes need a bigger work-out from this exercise, have them hold weights in their hands when they lunge. Even a few pounds will make a big difference in the work that the legs perform.
During this exercise, [tag]baseball[/tag] [tag]coaches[/tag] need to ensure that their athletes keep their backs upright the entire time. It is easy to let the back hinge forward, so that more weight is over the front leg, but if athletes keep their backs straight, they will keep their weight even over the front and back legs. This gives an even work-out to all the muscles, instead of favoring one leg over the other.
To stretch the muscles used in Walking Lunges, use the same stretches as used in the Leaping Lunges and the running [tag]drills[/tag]. In addition, athletes should stretch the calf muscles by flexing one foot up to the sky and placing it against a wall or some other vertical surface. This elongates the calf muscle and helps relax it after a work-out. Also, athletes should spread their legs farther than shoulder-width and reach downward, attempting to touch the ground with their hands. This stretches the hamstring muscles. They can also lean to one side or the other, stretching one leg at a time before hanging in the middle position.