How to Duck Walk

By Kim Nunley

The duck walk exercise involves walking forward while maintaining an extreme squat position. Despite their somewhat silly name, duck walks will have your hips and legs burning relatively quickly as they build muscular endurance in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and hip flexors. The exercise also has the potential to work your arms and provide cardio benefits. The duck walk works well when added on at the very end of a lower-body strength-training workout or done as part of a cardio circuit. Avoid doing duck walks at the beginning of your workout so as not to fatigue your legs before the rest of your session. Before doing duck walks, take five to 10 minutes to warm up your legs and hips with walking, slow jogging or low-intensity jump rope.

Step 1

Set your feet to shoulder-width apart and then squat down until your butt touches the top of your lower legs or heels. You’ll need to be on the balls of your feet to lower your butt all the way down. Engage your abdominals and lower back to keep your torso vertical. Keep your butt low for the entire set. Cross your arms over your chest or hold them down by your sides. If you want, you can hold your arms out in front of you or out to your sides to challenge the deltoid muscles in your shoulders.

Step 2

Step forward six to 12 inches with one foot and then the other to walk forward while maintaining the extreme squat position. Your butt should remain directly over the heel of your back foot as you walk. Keep your pace slow and steady.

Step 3

Decrease pressure on your knees by performing duck walks from a squat position. Instead of dropping your butt to your heels, lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. From this position, step forward 12 inches at a time. The wider angle at the knee in this version places less stress on your knee joints, but requires greater strength in your quadriceps.

Step 4

Perform the duck walk for repetitions, distance or time. If using reps, perform duck walk for two sets of 20 steps, resting 45 seconds in between sets. If using distance, set two cones 25-yards apart. Duck walk from one cone to the other, then rest 45 seconds before duck walking back to the original cone. If using time, perform the duck walk for 30 seconds. Rest for 45 seconds and then perform a second set.

Step 5

Make duck walks more challenging to your abdominals, obliques and lower back by interlocking your hands and placing them at the back of your head. Hold a dumbbell or medicine ball at your chest to increase the load on your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and hip flexors.

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