A duck walk is an uncommon form of movement that involves walking in hunched or squatted position, relying on the muscles of the thighs, hips, and lowered legs for stabilization. It is sometimes used as a calisthenics workout during military training or in sports like rugby or soccer to build endurance and strength in the legs. During the 1950s, a transformed version of the movement was popularized by rock and roll icon-Chuck Berry, who was popular for duck walk across the stage to include an element of spectacle to guitar solos. Since then, it has popularly become a piece of various musicians, live performances, including Angus Young from AC/DC, while continuing to be used as a good form of muscular conditioning.
In comparison to the mule kick and bear crawl, the duck walk may not feels like the most terrible animal-inspired workout, and walking around the weight room may get some strange looks from your gym mates.
But in all its uncomfortable fame, the duck walk workout is one of the most challenging and helpful bodyweight movements you can perform.
The duck walk provides you all of the benefits of a bodyweight squat and expands them, said nutritionist and fitness direction Trevor Thieme, CSCS. The duck walk provides you in that squatting position for the whole set, reducing time under tension, a key growth stimulus.
How to Perform Duck Walk as an Exercise?
Lower yourself into a position of crouch. The most noticeable feature of the duck walk is it is the low position.
Begin by going into a squat, your center of gravity level on heels. Get as deep as you feel comfortable. You may need to lightly warm-up and stretch hips, ankles, and knees beforehand to make working from the motion easier.
If you are doing the duck walk for a workout, a slightly higher stance with parallel thighs to the ground will be more muscular demanding.
Manage Your Weight On Heels
To help instability, keep your whole foot in contact with the ground and the rest of your weight over heels. It will ensure that you are getting the most surface part possible and make you use minor adjustments to keep the weight evenly distributed. Tense the muscle in your legs all time you are at the bottom point, relaxing could lead to losing tightness and fall above.
Engage core by squeezing abdomen. Do not allow your body to turn or lean as you begin the walking motion.
Balance Weight On One Foot
At the lower part of the squat, lift one foot off the ground gradually. The entirety of your weight will currently be ready over your other foot. Put in almost no time becoming acclimated to keeping up your equilibrium in this stance. While duck strolling, you will shift back and forth between single-foot adjustments in a low squat.
Lower leg adaptability is significant at this stage since it makes adjusting on one foot a lot simpler.
Take A Step Forward
While balancing on the first foot, get your opposite foot front and across the body and set it down on the front side. Then, change weight to your front side foot, pushing your back knee forward as you perform so. Get centered on your front foot to stay upright. Hold arms in the front direction of the body or out to the sides to balance.
Get Into A Rhythm
Now do the same stepping action using both legs to begin walking. Make sure to shift balance carefully when changing from one foot to another. Duck walking can be more strenuous at the beginning, as you are commonly holding yourself in a one-leg squat, but it will slowly become easy with practice.
Try to reach 10-12 feet at a time by the duck walking, or aim for a precise number of steps to complete. Increase your steps or keep your distance with time as you feel better.
After every few steps, stand upward and let your legs recover.
Changing the Technique for the Stage
Squat down at a light angle
Flex knees to about a 45-degree angle and reduce your weight at your hips. Your head should come to a stop near chest level or slightly lower. Unlike the workout-focused variation, the duck walk version created to use on stage keeps you at a more vertical point so that you can keep playing or singing.
Stand on one foot
Raise your non-dominant leg and pull it straight out in the front direction at an angle with the floor. Put your dominant leg planted for good balance. Once again, your whole foot should be flat over the floor, with more of your weight swinging on the heel.
Since the rock-and-roll style duck walk is performed on one leg, it can be difficult to adjust and may tire you faster.
Try changing up which leg you utilize from time to time till you can perform it on both sides.
Use small hops to move forward
From this bent leg position, take one small hop over the grounded foot. You do not require to jump more high or far and only move forward at some inches at a time. Hop like this on one foot to increase your performance. Let your stretched leg hang over the ground or reach down with your heel if you need to correct the balance.
Make hops small and balanced. Your head should not bob upward and down more while you are going forward.
Concentrate On Your Upper Body
Straighten back and keep the chest up. It will allow you to create enough place to play the saxophone, guitar, or another instrument while duck walking. A more raised body position also will not need you to use hands to help your balance, releasing them up for groovy solos. Practice while holding or playing an instrument to see if you can pull off the two tasks one by one.
Warm-Up for the Duck Walk
Do A Few Light Squats
Make your muscles active and improve blood circulation before you trying to do a duck walk. With your heels over the floor, squat down till your thighs is level with the ground.
Hold for 1-second, then push yourself back up to a standing position. Perform 10-15 squats to guarantee you are sufficiently warmed up before you get movable.
You will feel easier to move and get into challenging positions after your muscles have been primed. An energetic stage show can make a better substitute from a warm-up.
Flex Your Ankles
Raise one foot over the ground. Point your toes and hold this for 5-10 seconds. Then, pull toes back to your shin and bend your foot, again holding for many seconds. Repeat this workout with both feet to loosen up ankles and make them balance your weight. You can also stretch ankles by getting down into a complete squat and leaning above the balls of your feet while ensuring heels remain over the floor.
Stretch Out Your Legs And Hips
Perform a couple of minutes of static stretching after warm-up. Workouts like standing quadriceps, forward lunges, hip circles, hamstring stretching will help to increase flexibility to move into a deep crouch. Stretching is important for elongating and boosting blood flow to the ligaments and tendons, which can easily be torn or strained by low leverage movements like the duck walk.
Do not avoid stretching if you feel stiff, as it can greatly lower your chances of getting hurt.
Duck walking can be interesting and fun in the right setting, but it is not for everyone. Skip any movement that feels difficult or keep your joints in unstable positions, particularly if you have suffered an injury to any part of the hips, ankles, knees in the past. Even the uninjured and young should be aware of the risk of duck walking, as it is such an unusual form of locomotion.
Those with mobility or arthritis problems should think two times before jumping throughout with squatting movements. If you sense pain at any point while duck walking, stop instantly.
Which Muscles are targeted in Duck Walk?
Ducks are not known for building strong legs, but you will be if you learn how to walk like a duck. Here are the muscles targeted by duck exercise.
These muscles are present on the front side of the thighs, which are responsible for extending the knee. The four different muscles of quads are the rectus femoris, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius, and Vastus Lateralis.
Your glutes or butt muscles are best for shaping jeans. Together, the gluteus maximus, and minimus, and the gluteus medium work to stretch the hips, draw thighs outwards and rotate the legs, and balance the pelvis.
Your calves, located over the backs of legs between knees and heels, are responsible for pointing toes and plantar flexion like when leap, jump, or run. The gastrocnemius and soleus are the two primary muscles that manage calves.
Duck Walk Exercise: Benefits
Duck walk is certifiably not a hard exercise. It may appear to be awkward before all else yet it will give numerous benefits.
Benefits Of Flat Belly
A duck walk is a complete body workout. It is a low-impact workout, but its intensity is high. This moving target a lot on the lower belly as it engages the muscles that make the stomach tighter and toned.
Promotes Ankle Strength
Doing duck walk also helps to strengthen ankle muscles. Duck walk particularly places pressure on the ankle joints and develops connective tissues near these joints and makes them stronger.
Duck walk also promotes your immunity and stamina. By lowering health problems, it helps in scar healing in calf muscles. Duck walk also activates and your body in a whole day.
Increases Body Flexibility
This is a workout that keeps the emphasis on boosting the flexibility of muscles. It augments the hip movements and lower back pain. You learn to strike the perfect body balance and increase dexterity with this workout.
Duck walk benefits to tone calves muscles and strengthen ankles. That means no more sprains, cramps, and varicose veins.
If you perform the right steps, you will see that you are holding the squat position, and then move ahead, using the lower leg. This motion makes thighs work very difficult.
Helpful During Pregnancy
Duck walk is helpful for pregnant women. It strengthens thigh muscles and lowers pain and strain during delivery. However, it may look funny, duck walk workout is beneficial for you. Whether you are looking in front to lower fat or trigger muscle mass, it always goes a long way in providing this cardio and sees the change.
Duck walk is a best kegel exercise
Kegel workout focus on pelvic floor muscles, and similar to duck walk. That is why expert says, if you are pregnant or have tight pelvic muscles, then you can do duck walk.
Is Duck Walk bad for knees?
The duck walks or full squat also keeps extreme pressure on the knees. It is an ineffective workout for knees and the effect on ligaments and cartilage are kept at an extremely weak point.
Try this instead:
If you are deadest on combining them, then you can perform squat down till your thighs become parallel to the floor, and do a duck walk to reduce knee stress. Avoid doing traditional duck walks to prevent ligament or meniscus tear risk. Instead, include wall sits and jumping squats to develop muscle strength.
WHY DUCK WALKS Workout WORKS:
A duck walks workout put huge pressure on glutes and thigh muscle. For example, with the normal squat, you are going from a complete range of motion with the muscle so parts of the muscle are not always affecting as much when you are at different points. With Duck walks, as you are staying low, the pressure stays consistent over the same muscle fiber, which leads to quick fatigue.
When doing Duck Walks, it is easy to bring butt up in the air. Try to resist this and keep it as much as low possible to do a better workout.
Duck Walks is known to influence on knees. Therefore, if you are experiencing knee pain or knee injury, then withdraw from this exercise. Even if you have healthy knees, still avoid this workout.