Lunges are one of the most effective exercises that develop your lower body strength and endurance. You should already be familiar with lunges as they're natural and functional, it's something that you'd likely do every day without realising. For example, when you kneel down to put your shoes on, or when you tie your shoelaces. This article will demonstrate how to do perfect lunges for beginners as well as covering six variations so that all fitness levels can benefit.
The primary muscles worked by lunges are quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings. The secondary muscles worked are abdominals and calves.
Lunges are a beginners exercise as they’re safe and relatively easy to perform. You can practice them anyplace, anytime, and anywhere.
Stand in a split stance with right foot forward and left foot back. Your feet should be about 3-4 feet apart, and your hips should be forward and squared.
Lower your body down by bending both knees at a 90 degrees angle, dropping your upper body vertically straight down, keeping your abs tight and torso straight. Your front leg thigh should be parallel to the floor, and make sure that your front knee is behind your right toe. The back leg knee should be slightly above the ground. Keep your front foot flat on the ground.
Keeping your torso straight by engaging your core, push through with your front heel back to the starting position, keeping the weight in the heel of the front foot. You should feel contraction in your glutes, thighs, and your hamstrings.
After you've completed the number of repetitions you've set, switch to your left leg and repeat the same number of repetitions.
Beginners are recommended to do 8-12 reps, for 4 sets, this will give you a good burn. Intermediate and advance level athletes can implement these four tips below to make their workout more difficult:
Lunges are a unilateral movement, which means it trains one side of your body separately from the other. This exercise throws your body off balance as you lunge, which forces your core and abdominal muscles to be engaged. A strong core will improve your posture, create a better balance, and reduce your back pain. The more you perform lunges and use different variations and weights, the more your balance will improve over time. Lunges work on your proprioceptive nerves to react to positional changes much quicker, which enhances your body’s ability to balance.
For those of you who have back pain, you will benefit from this exercise the most, thanks to a little something called spinal deloading. Most weight lifting exercises compress your spine. This isn't a negative in itself, but over time it can cause pain and inflexibility. On the other hand, Lunges permit your spine an occasional rest and a chance to relax. This creates a more flexible and pain free spine.
This exercise will give you a tighter butt and sculpting it to make it look all round better. People often do squats to get the butt shaping effects they want, however, lunges are just as effective, if not better because it gives greater balance and coordination benefits.
It is a good way to train for everyday movements such as Lunges emulate walking as well as going up the stairs. So by training this, your legs will become more powerful and your everyday activities will feel easier. In today’s world, people often spend most of their day sitting in front of computer screens, this creates inflexibility, which limits our range of motion and causes mobility issues as we grow old. Lunges can help prevent that!
There are many variations to the Lunges ranging from beginner, intermediate and advance level. This will help to prevent monotony and increase incentives for you to get out there and rock your workout.
This variation targets your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and as well as your inner thigh muscles. To do a side lunge:
This works on the same muscles as Lunges, but it may help to improve your cardiovascular health more as it raises your heart rate from the additional movement. To do a Walking Lunge:
Reverse Lunges are great lower body strengthening exercises, they work on the same muscle grounds as Lunges. To perform this you should:
This is a great exercise to stabilise your hips, the movement is somewhat different than the Lunge. You would hold your lower body in the position of a curtsey for further glute firming. To do a Curtsey Lunge:
Jumping Lunges are a great lower body and a cardio workout. The explosive movement helps shed fat from the lower body, as well as toning your butt and legs. To do a Jumping Lunge:
The Forward Lung is more functional that static Lunge. It mimics the motions of your everyday activities such as walking, or walking up the stairs. It is an advanced version of the static Lunge. To do Forward Lunges:
My name is Pat Chadwick, I am a calisthenics coach with over 4 years of experience in helping people from all backgrounds to achieve their calisthenics goals. My goal is to become the number one calisthenics coach in the world as it is my passion to help people change their lives through inspiring bodyweight movements. I believe everyone deserves the right to feel good about their health, body, and be delighted inside and out.