Let’s talk lunges!
Are you doing lunges regularly in your workout routines?
If not, you might be missing out on some awesome benefits and results you can get from one of the key exercises to train your lower body.
Why are lunges important?
Lunges are one of the best “compound” exercises, meaning they work multiple muscles across multiple joints (hips, knees and ankles).
Because your leg muscles make up the largest muscle group, doing exercises that work these muscles creates the highest calorie burn which is beneficial for a weight loss goal.
Lunges can also help you with a muscle building goal because having strong legs, core and cardiovascular system are all part of the foundation of developing the overall strength necessary to build a lean sculpted physique.
Furthermore, all variations of lunges are considered “functional” exercises. Practicing functional movements such as lunges will help you to prevent and decrease risk of injury in your daily life when picking up heavy objects, moving furniture or simply lunging to catch or pick something up off the ground.
There are many different variations of lunges, which is awesome for keeping your workouts fresh and interesting.
I recommend trying and using all the different types of lunges in your workouts and keeping your focus always on good form.
You are welcome to add resistance (weights, bands, or machines) to any of these lunge variations, but it’s not necessary to get good results, especially if you’re a beginner.
First, try these lunges with no equipment at all, just your body weight, and once they start to feel easy you can experiment with adding a bit of resistance.
Here are some of my favorite lunge variations.
(Hint* Scroll to the end if you want to see a sample workout using all of these lunges)
1) Reverse Lunges
- Start by standing tall on your left leg with your hands on your hips.
- Lift your right foot up behind you.
- Find your balance and make sure your heel stays planted on the floor
- Take a big step back with your right leg and lower your knee towards the ground.
- Stop when your front knee forms a 90-degree bend.
- Make sure to keep your head and chest upright rather than leaning forward.
- Press your left heel down into the ground as you rise back up and flex the muscles of your left leg.
- Switch sides and repeat all steps on with the other leg.
Tip: Reverse lunges are the best for beginners to start with. If you have any trouble balancing you can do these close to a wall or chair and hold on for balance.
2) Forward Lunges
- Start by standing firmly on your right leg with your hands on your hips
- Lift your left leg off the ground and take a big step forward lowering your back knee towards the ground until your front knee forms a 90-degree angle.
- Keep your core tight and your head and chest upright.
- Press back with your front leg to return to the standing position and flex the muscles of your right leg.
- Switch sides and repeat.
Tip: Be careful not to step too shallow or lean too much into the front knee as this can cause your knee to extend over your toes creating a shearing motion for your tendons and ligaments. The safest form is for you knee to be directly over your toes and the weight distributed straight down instead of forward. Take it slow and practice good form over speed.
3) Curtsey Lunges
- Stand tall and hold your hands on your hips
- Shift all your weight onto your left leg and step your right leg back and across the midline.
- Lower your back knee almost all the way to the ground or until you achieve a 90-degree bend in your front leg.
- Make sure that your hips are still facing front and not twisting or tilting.
- Press your front foot down into the ground with the weight on the heel to come back up to standing.
- Switch sides and repeat
- Tip: You should feel a good stretch across your outer hip, if you don’t feel it then step even further across and double check that your hips are still facing front.
4) Side Lunges
- Start by shifting your weight onto your left leg
- Lift your right leg and take a big step out to the side
- Keep your left leg as straight as possible as you bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle.
- Press back up and together with your right leg
- Repeat all reps on this side then switch
5) Sprinter Lunges
- Start by standing tall with your feet together and arms down by your sides.
- Take an extra large step back with your right leg while leaning forward and touching your fingertips to the ground on either side of your left foot.
- Your left knee should form a 90-degree angle and your back leg should be as straight as possible.
- Try your best to keep your chest up and your spine straight
- Press down into the floor with your left heel and rise back up to standing.
- Switch sides and repeat.
6) Jump Lunges
- Start in a lunge position with left leg forward and your right knee about 2 to 4 inches above the ground
- Bring your right hand forward and left arm back to gear up for the jump
- As you jump up use your arms to help and switch sides as you land in the opposite side lunge
- Make sure to land softly and control the descent.
- Pause for a moment to make sure your form is solid then jump and switch back to the starting position.
- Each jump counts as 1 rep.
- Continue alternating sides for the given number of reps.
Leg and Booty Firming Lunge Workout
How to do the workout:
- Do 10 repetitions of each lunge variation (5 reps per side), in order from exercise 1 to 6.
- Rest up to 30 seconds between exercises.
- After you’ve completed each exercise once, rest 2 minutes then start again for Round 2.
- After Round 2, rest another 2 minutes and finish the 3rd and Final Round.
- Stretch and cool down.
(Repeat these 6 exercises in order from 1 to 6, 3 times)
- 10 Reverse Lunges alternating sides
- 10 Forward Lunges alternating sides
- 5 Curtsey Lunges to the right, 5 Curtsey Lunges to the Left
- 5 Side lunges to the right, 5 Side Lunges to the left
- 10 Sprinter Lunges, Alternating Sides
- 10 Jump Lunges Alternating Sides
Rest 30 seconds between exercises and 2 minutes between rounds.
That’s it! Don’t forget to stretch and cool down after you’re done.
I hope you have enjoyed learning the importance of lunges, some tips on good form and experiencing a workout utilizing 6 different lunge variations.
Work lunges into your regular routine to experience the immense benefits of functional strength, balance and metabolism-boosting power.