How to do the lunge exercise including variations of the exercise for example the standing, walking and the side lunge to name a few.
Benefits of performing lunges
The lunge is one of the best and most effective exercises that you can perform for your thighs and glutes. Benefits include muscle development of the thighs and buttocks. Good for burning calories therefore helping to improve muscle tone by helping to reduce body fat.
The lunge can be a difficult exercise to master, however if you get the technique right it’s a fantastic exercise that can be performed with or without exercise equipment. Plus it can also be performed on just about any flat service.
Equipment that can be used to aid the performance and add resistance to the lunge
Muscles Targeted by the lunge
- Primary – Glutes (Buttocks) – Quadriceps (Thighs)
- Secondary – Hamstrings
How to perform the lunge (Keep your movements slow and controlled)
- Stand with your feet together and keep your head up and your shoulders back. Place your hands on your hips, or if you are holding dumbbells or kettlebells keep them at the side of you.
- Lunge forward with your first leg and lower yourself in a down motion. Your front leg should be bent at about a 90 degree angle and your thigh should be parallel with the ground (don’t allow your front knee to go past your toes) your back knee should be nearly touching the ground, your back leg should also be bent at a 90 degree angle. Keep your body as controlled as possible.
- Use your front leg to push yourself back up, push off with your front heel (push with a up motion not back motion) and then step back until you’re standing straight up with your feet together, then repeat with your other leg.
- Standing lunge – with this version you would lunge forward like in a normal lunge and get in that same position. While in that lowered position you would lift yourself up using your front leg until it’s straight, however you wouldn’t bring your feet together you would keep them at the same distance and straighten both legs and then repeat.
- Walking lunge – perform a normal lunge, bring your feet together and lunge forward again with your other leg, so you are continuing in a forward walking motion.
- Rotational lunge – Perform a normal lunge and while you’re in a lowered position you rotate your body in the direction of your front leg until your feel the side of your stomach (oblique’s) stretching, hold for a short moment and then rotate so you’re facing forward again, and repeat with your other leg and rotating in the direction of that leg.
- Side lunge – instead of lunging forward you simply lunge out to the side, keep your body weight on your lunging legs heel, and your other leg straight, push yourself back up using the heel of your lunging leg.
- Master the technique using your body weight only before attempting this exercise, especially if you have never performed the lunge before, later you can add weight resistance once the exercise becomes easier.
- I have already mentioned this however it’s very important not to let the knee on your forward leg go beyond your toes as it can put a great deal of pressure on that forward knee.
- Think of the movement as a up and down movement rather than a back a forth movement.