Primary Muscle Group: Legs
Secondary Muscle Group: Abdominals
Equipment Needed: None
The Benefits of Lunges
Lunges develop your lower-body strength and endurance. They’re also a great beginner move. When done correctly, lunges can effectively target your lower-body muscles without placing too much added strain on your joints which also make it good for rehabilitation after an injury. A lunge is a single-leg bodyweight exercise that works your hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core and the hard-to-reach muscles of your inner thighs. Lunges can be done in one spot or walking in a straight line if you have enough space.
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The Risks of doing Lunges
When doing a lunge it’s important to keep your balance and remain upright by keeping your abdominal muscles tight. You need to avoid letting your knee cave inwards or outwards as this will put an unnatural movement on the knee joint causing you an injury. This type of injury could make you not able to exercise for a few months so make sure you keep control of every rep.
So before giving lunges a go, here's exactly how to do them without risking pain or injury.
How To Do Lunges
1. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Engage your core.
2. Take a big step forward with right leg. Start to shift your weight forward so heel hits the floor first.
3. Lower your body until right thigh is parallel to the floor and right shin is vertical. It’s OK if knee shifts forward a little as long as it doesn’t go past right toe. If mobility allows, lightly tap left knee to the floor while keeping weight in right heel.
4. Press into right heel to drive back up to starting position.
5. Repeat on the other side.
For Perfect Technique
• Keep your back straight by having your abdominal muscles tight at all times.
• Don’t let your knee go past your toes.
• For best results, Keep the exercise slow and controlled so that you really make the muscles work hard.
Once you have mastered the Lunge exercise you can try alternative exercises that target the similar muscle groups such as;
How To Do Jumping Squats
1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands by your side, chest up, shoulders rolled back, chin up, and looking straight ahead.
2. Push your glutes out, bend your knees, and squat down or assume a sitting position. Your knees should not overshoot your toes. Bend slightly forward to prevent your lower back from curving and getting hurt. (as you would during a normal squat)
3. Bring your palms together as you squat down.
4. While getting up, propel your body upwards and jump. Throw your hands down to generate force. (this is the plyometric part of the exercise)
5. Land gently on the floor and squat down. Bring your palms together, making sure your knees are not caved in (this causes injury) and not overshooting your toes.
How To Do Side Lunges
1. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed straight forward.
2. Step out with your right foot as wide as possible and point this toe outwards slightly.
3. Engage through the right heel as you drop your hips down and back while keeping the left leg straight, stretching the groin on the left leg and keeping both soles of the feet on the ground and toes pointed straight forward.
4. Push up off your right heel to bring yourself back to the full standing start position & that’s one rep complete.