Strength is the name of the game for Rebecca Voigt Miller, a 12-time competitor at CrossFit Games, so who better to give her a super move to build it?
“This weighted walking lunge is a great exercise for the legs, but it also strengthens the arms, shoulders and core,” says Voigt Miller, also a coach and owner of CrossFit Training Yard in Toluca Lake, California, and a Reebok athlete.
The mechanics can be straightforward – alternating thrusts while holding dumbbells overhead – but the full impact on your body is nuanced. On the one hand, “holding the weight above your head while launching requires a lot of balance,” she says. “Numerous muscle groups are recruited to achieve complete stability. (It is the last compound exercise.)
Now, let’s talk about the weight you should be carrying with your dumbbells. “A moderate to heavy weight – whatever it is for you – is beneficial, but it can be just as challenging with light weights,” says Voigt Miller. Even those will involve the core more, which is part of the magic of this movement. If you don’t have two dumbbells, you can lift a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell over your head, as Voigt Miller demonstrates in this video.
Just remember: “This movement is not just about brute force. It requires the ability to act correctly, ”she says. “After getting it right, there is definitely a sense of accomplishment.”
Some tips, before you start:
- Establish a strong starting position by actively pushing the weights above your head and strengthening your core.
- Keep the weights directly above your shoulders and don’t let them swing sideways or too far in front of or behind your body. Also, look forward to it; this will help to keep your back in the correct alignment.
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart with each step. Placing one foot directly in front of the other can cause you to lose your balance. Go through both legs when standing up, not just the front leg.
How to make a lunge over the head
A. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your center occupied, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Clean the weights to the front position of the rack so that they rest on your shoulders, then press them over your head to begin, keeping the core attached.
B. Support the center and take a big step forward with your right foot, bringing your knees down to 90 degree angles.
C. Push the back foot and press the front foot to keep the weight centered on both feet. Tighten the buttocks at the top.
D. Take a big step forward with your left foot to do a repetition on the opposite side.
Try to do 5 sets of 10 reps (5 per side).