Q: How does the walking lunge differ from the stationary lunge -- is one better than the other for leg development?
A: The walking lunge works the same muscles as the stationary lunge, but the emphasis and involvement of those muscles differs significantly between these two popular leg movements. Incorporate both variations into your leg routine to avoid plateaus in muscle growth and keep your training fresh.
The lunge is a great movement for developing the thighs and strengthening the hips. Lunges target two primary muscles groups:
1) the hip extensors, comprising the gluteal muscles (glutes) and hamstrings
2) the knee extensors, made up of the four muscles collectively known as the quadriceps.
The muscles used in the lunge are the same as those utilized in the squat, but the lunge provides greater range of motion, allowing more substantial glute and hamstring development.
Bodybuilders are known to sometimes neglect less obvious muscle groups, especially as they become so focused on training the larger and more noticeable ones. The hip adductors (inner thigh) and abductors (outer thigh) are prime examples of overlooked muscle groups. Although they're relatively small and barely visible, they add to hip stability and overall thigh mass and are critical to athletic performance. Lunges contribute significantly to their development.