Unleash the beast in your lower body workout with monster walks.
No, we’re not talking about a trek through a haunted castle, but a simple exercise that’ll awaken muscles you never knew you had.
Walk forward like Frankenstein’s creation (with a bit more grace), and discover why this monstrous move is becoming a favorite in gyms everywhere.
Let’s stomp into it.
- Monster walks primarily target the glutes and outer hips (gluteus medius and minimus).
- The exercise involves placing a resistance band around your thighs, ankles or feet and walking forwards.
- They are a variation of banded lateral walks.
What are Monster Walks?
Monster walks take the familiar territory of banded lateral walks and chart a new path forward, literally.
Instead of moving side to side, these walks challenge you to move forward, while pushing outwards against the band.
It’s like a surprise party for your lower body, hitting muscles from angles that other exercises might miss.
Want to build strength, improve stability, or add variety to your leg day? Monster walks might just be the thrilling plot twist your workout routine has been waiting for.
How to do Monster Walks
To do the monster walk exercise:
- Place a resistance band around your legs, ankles or feet.
- Bend your knees so you’re in a quarter squat.
- Step forward with one foot, then the other, just like walking, but keep the band tight by pushing against it.
- Continue walking like this for 10-15 steps.
Gluteus Medius and Minimus
These muscles play an important role in hip abduction and overall hip stability. When you step forward, maintaining tension in the band, the gluteus medius and minimus kick into action, keeping your hips level.
Check out our guide on other gluteus minimus exercises you can add to your workouts.
With each step forward the resistance created by the band engages your gluteus maximus.
This is the largest muscle in your body and is involved in most lower body movements… yet many of us, due to a sedentary lifestyle, don’t activate our gluteus maximus as much as we should, which can lead to variety MSK issues.
Think of your core as the control center, keeping everything balanced. During the monster walk, it works to keep your body upright and stable, especially as the band tries to pull your legs together.
The quads join the monster parade by helping you stay in that slight squat position as you walk.
And let’s not forget the muscles in the back of your thighs, the hamstrings. They’re like the backstage crew, working diligently to support your glutes and quads in this forward marching performance.
Where Should You Place the Resistance Band?
When it comes to monster walks, the placement of the resistance band plays a defining role in the challenge of the exercise.
The lower the band goes on your body, the more monstrous the challenge becomes.
Place the band around your feet if you’re looking for a workout that roars.
If you’re new to monster walks, you may want to start higher, for example, around the knees, and gradually move it down as you become more comfortable.
Monster Walks Benefits
Strengthens Lower Body Muscles
The resistance band adds extra challenge, turning a simple walk into a muscle-building adventure.
Compared to gym machines and more common weightlifting exercises, the way the band applies resistance to the lower body makes it a refreshing way to strengthen the glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Improves Hip Stability
Think of your hips as the steering wheel of your body. Monster walks help tighten the grip on that wheel, strengthening muscles around the hips that keep you balanced.
It’s like adding power steering to your daily walk, helping prevent injuries and improving your posture.
This can play a big role in injury prevention, especially for runners.
Enhances Coordination and Balance
These walks are not just about muscles… they’re also require good coordination and balance.
The resistance band guides your steps, training your body to move with control and grace.
Versatile and Accessible
You don’t need a gym filled with scary machines for monster walks.
Just a band, some space, and a willingness to walk like a friendly monster. It’s an exercise you can do anywhere, whether you’re traveling, at home, or hiding from fictional beasts.
A perfect exercise for fitness enthusiasts, athletes, or anyone looking to add some fun to their workout routine.
Monster Walk Alternatives
Banded Lateral Walks
Similar to monster walks, banded lateral walks involve placing a resistance band around your legs, but instead of moving forwards/backwards, you move sideways.
Place the band around your thighs or ankles, get into a half-squat position, and step to the side. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and maintain tension in the band.
It’s a more common version of monster walks, targeting the same muscles differently.
Banded Glute Bridges
Banded glute bridges are a supine exercise focusing on the glutes.
With the band around your thighs just above the knees, lie on your back with feet flat and knees bent. Push your hips upward, squeezing the glutes at the top, then lower.
The band helps further engage the outer hips (gluteus medius and minimus) as you need to actively push against the band throughout the exercise.
An incredibly effective exercise, clamshells target the hip muscles. While lying on your side with knees bent and a band around your knees, keep your feet together and open your top knee as far as comfortable, then close it. Repeat for the desired reps.
You can add a band to increase difficulty, but even bodyweight clamshells can be surprisingly challenging. Opt for very slow and controlled repetitions.
How Many Monster Walks Should You Do?
Start with 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 steps in each direction. As you grow more comfortable and stronger, you can gradually increase the repetitions or add resistance with a stronger band.
Monster Walk Vs Lateral Walk: What’s the Difference?
Monster walks have you moving forward, engaging the muscles with a forward motion, whereas lateral walks involve stepping side-to-side.
Both are great for targeting the glutes and thighs, but monster walks put a different twist on things, giving those muscles a unique challenge.
Monster Walks are a forward-marching twist on the classic banded lateral walks, targeting key muscles like the glutes, core, quads, and hamstrings.
Whether you’re looking to build strength, improve stability, or add a bit of fun to your routine, monster walks and their versatile alternatives offer a unique and engaging workout.
March on with confidence, knowing these exercises have the potential to bring monstrous success to your fitness journey.