Lunges can be done anytime, anywhere and require NO EQUIPMENT or GYM! Here we review the proper way to perform a lunge.
Adapted from a blog post written by Amanda Fitz
What is a lunge? Lunges are a body resistance exercise that work the leg muscles (ie: quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteal muscles) and help you achieve shapely, toned legs and backside. A long lunge will emphasize the gluteal muscle engagement, whereas short lunges will emphasis engaging the quadriceps. Lunges can be performed in a variety of ways to best accommodate your fitness level and can be done with body-weight or with dumbbells. Lunges are a great conditioning exercise to add to your fitness routine!
Before you incorporate this movement into your exercise routine, let’s be sure you’re practicing good technique so you don’t do more harm than good.
The Basics: It’s important to do lunges properly so you don’t put unwanted strain on your joints. Here’s how to perfect your form:
- Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up. Pick a point to stare at in front of you, either eye level or slightly higher, this will prevent you from looking down. Rule of thumb, keep your shoulders over your hips in a straight line; this will prevent you from leaning forward. And ALWAYS engage your core (tighten your abdomen).
- Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting/standing position.
Challenge Yourself: Once you you have the basics down, you can modify your lunge workouts in many different ways to engage different muscles. For example:
- Weighted lunges : increase your lunge strength by holding dumbbells at your side, thus adding more weight to your lunges, or do a bicep curl with dumbbells while you lunge to work your upper body while strengthening your legs.
- Walking Lunges : increase your balance by performing walking lunges in a straight line and back.
- Jumping lunges : increases your stamina and endurance by performing a plyometric jumping lunge, also know as a split squat jump, where you jump explosively between a right leg lunge to a left leg lunge.
- Reverse lunges : stepping back instead of forward. A reverse direction requires more skill and helps improve balance and coordination
- Side lunges : increase your balance and flexibility by performing side lunge. Stand with your feet and knees together, hands on your hips. Take a large step with your right foot to the right side and lunge toward the floor. Make sure your right knee does not extend past your toes and keep your left leg relatively straight. Push off through your right foot to return to the start to complete one.
Lunges are a quintessential movement that build lean muslce mass which melts away fat helping to create toned beautiful legs. Now, who doesn’t want that? We hope you’ll include lunges into your fitness routine if you haven’t already!