Lunges are a great exercise to help you shape your lower body, increase muscle tissue, develop core strength and increase hip flexibility. This multi-joint, functional exercise can take many different form in order to help you achieve your goals. This effective lower-body exercise will work your glues, quads and engage your hams into the movement. By strengthening these large muscles, you can give your metabolism a boost to help with your fat-loss and muscle gains.
Not only lunges strengthen your lower body, but they improve your core strength as well. If you want to efficiently perform your lunges, you must engage your core muscles, back and abs. If you don't do this, you will develop incorrect form and increase the risk of overuse injuries. Improving your core's strength is essential for your day to day life, and for your overall athletic performance, because a strong core helps relieve lower-back pain and improves balance, posture and stability.
- Stronger Legs
- Improved Glute Activation
- Stronger Core
- Improved Hip Flexibility
- Improved Balance and Coordination
- Multiple Muscles Recruitment
- Enhanced Symmetry
- Spinal Deloading
- Better Functionality
- Gluteus Maximus
- Adductor Magnus
- Tibialis Anterior
- Gluteus Medius
- Gluteus Minimus
- Quadratus Lumborum
4 Lunge Variations
Incorporate these 3 lunge variations into your lower-body workout routine. Do 3-5 sets of 10-30 reps for each leg. Keep your core tight throughout the performance and make sure your chest is up. Your front knee should never go beyond your front toe. And of course, if you want to make it more challenging, you can add weights to it to increase the difficulty level.
Remember to keep your body straight, shoulders back, and keep your chin up to prevent yourself from looking down. Challenge your muscles as you perform these variations and try to do them with controlled movements and full range of motion. Also, don’t forget to repeat the exercise on both of your legs!
1. Walking Lunges
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and place your hands on your hips.
- Step forward with one leg, by flexing your knees to drop your hips.
- Lower yourself until your rear knee touches the ground and make sure that you maintain a correct upright posture.
- Press through your front heel to extend both of your knees and raise yourself back up.
- Step forward with your other foot to repeat with your other leg!
2. Barbell Front Lunge
- Grasp the bar with a clean grip and place it on your front deltoids, pushing into the clavicles and lightly touching your throats.
- Step forward with one leg and squat down by flexing your hips, while keeping your body upright and maintaining correct form. Make sure that your knee doesn't go beyond your toes as you descend.
- Push back up and return to the starting position.
- Repeat with the other leg!
3. Elevated Front Lunge
- Stand on a step or box and place your hands on your hips.
- Step back with one leg and lower your body into a lunge.
- Push through your rear foot and straighten your front leg as you return to starting position.
- Repeat with the opposite leg!
4. Kettlebell Lunge
- Grasp one or two appropriately weighted ketllebells and let them hang at your sides while keeping your arms straight.
- Step froward with one leg and keep your core tight and upper body straight.
- Descend until your rear knee almost touches the floor.
- Press through your heel to return to your starting position.
- Repeat with the opposite leg!
Make sure you master the basic bodyweight lunge before attempting a walking lunge or another lunge variation. But consider adding them to your training once you're on top of your bodyweight lunge. Incorporating variations is a great way to ensure that you break through your fitness plateau and to reduce the risk of overuse injuries. Plus, lunges are so versatile that you can easily get creative and it's almost impossible to get bored with them.
Remember, lunges are most effective when you keep your core tight and maintain proper form. Otherwise, just like with any other exercise, the results will be minimal and you risk exposing yourself to overuse injuries and developing incorrect form, which can significantly affect your symmetry and balance. Incorporate these variations in your training if you want to benefit from a strengthened core, improved glute activation, improved hip flexibility, stronger legs and multiple muscle recruitment. You’ll see amazing results coming out of this in no time!