Lunges are one of the best leg exercises you can do.
They’re great at strengthening and toning the glutes and quads and engaging the hammies! They’re also great at improving balance and developing your core strength. Sounds pretty good, right?
When you do a lunge, your core must engage in order to keep body upright and balanced while you move your hips up and down; add some weight and you’re doing a highly effective strengthening workout!
Lunge comes in many variations, each working the muscles differently and helps you build balance between the muscle groups.
Here are 5 ways to do lunges.
This basic body-weight movement is the building block for the rest of the exercises on this list—and many workout routines in general. I’m using weights, but you should start without them if you’re a beginner!
Step 1: To start, stand up straight with your feet together, shoulders back, and core tight. Lift your right leg off the ground and take a step forward.
Step 2: Lower your body toward the ground until your right upper thigh is parallel to the floor and your right knee forms about a 90-degree angle. Straighten up by pushing through your right heel to return to stand.
Also known as a lateral lunge. This move not only strengthens your lower half, but hit those hard to reach inner thigh muscles and glutes. It also improves flexibility!
Step 1: Start standing, with your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core and take a big step out to the right. Bend your right knee (but make sure that it doesn’t extend past your toes) and sit your hips back, keeping your left leg straight and both feet flat on the floor.
Step 2: Push yourself back up to standing. Repeat on the other side.
Work your quads and glutes even more with walking lunges. The forward movement makes the glutes, hamstrings, and quads of the leading leg contract to their maximal, similar to a Bulgarian Split Squat Maintain good posture throughout, and be sure your front knee never goes past your front foot.
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body down until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees.
Step 2: Pause, then raise up. Bring your back foot forward so that you move forward (like you’re walking) a step with every rep. I like to add a little pulse before I come back fully. Alternate the legs each time.
The reverse lunge is a lot more forgiving, especially on your balance than a forward lunge. The move is still worth adding to your routine—especially for anyone new to working out or struggling with maintaining balance, dealing with knee trouble, or lacking mobility in the hips.
Step 1: Stand tall, with your feet together and your hands on your hips. Take a big step back with your left foot, landing on the ball of your feet.
Step 2: Lower your body down while bending your right knee until it forms a 90-degree angle. Push back up to the standing position and repeat. This time, step back with your right leg.
Step 1: To start, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands on hips. Keep your chest and eyes up and shoulders squared.
Step 2: Take a big step back with your right leg, crossing it behind your left leg. Bend both knees, lowering your body towards the floor until your left thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
There you have it!
I incorporate all of these variations in my workout routine. Not only are they effective but you can do them ANYWHERE! Give ’em a try, let me know what you think!