You don't need anything but your body to do them. You could lunge down your driveway if you aren't worried about what your neighbors think. Or you can lunge down a hallway of your house. Hey, you can even lunge in place. Do them daily and lunges will shape and firm up your bum and backside. Who doesn't want that? And that's not all. Lunges strengthen your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves and condition the big muscles of your legs for other sports and activities.
Your bottom half will thank you if you work on mastering your lunge technique. Remember, form is important, but the best way to perfect your lunge is to practice.
How to Do a Basic Forward Lunge
With your chest lifted, chin up and abs contracted, take a big step forward with your left foot. Sink straight down so your front left knee tracks over the top of your shoe and your back right knee points down toward the floor. You are on your back left toe. Push back to the starting position. Repeat on the right leg. Keep alternating. A good place to start is with 10-12 lunges on each leg and work your way up to three sets.
Practice Makes Perfect
- Keep your knees aligned, front knee over your shoe and back knee pointing down.
- Watch yourself lunge with a side-view mirror. Make sure you aren't leaning too far forward or back or rounding your spine.
- Keep your knees, hips and shoulders all facing in same direction -- forward.
- Think about how you are distributing your body weight. Don't force your weight into your kneecaps but rather use them as a hinge. Engage your quads, hamstrings and glutes.
Pick up a pair of dumbbells and increase the resistance for a challenge. Better yet, add in an upper body exercise like bicep curls and get more bang for your buck! To vary up your basic lunge:
- Change directions.
- Add a medicine ball.
- Add tempo changes
Vary Up Your Lunge
Go For Reverse Lunges: Same idea as the forward lunge, expect you step backwards. Keep your front knee tracking over your shoe and your back knee points down.
Do Walking Lunges: Walking lunges are the same as basic lunges, except you alternate legs and you keep walking (moving) forward. Try doing walking lunges across the floor and back several times in a row. Add a set of dumbbells and do some overhead shoulder presses while lunging and watch your heart rate go up!
Try Cross Behind or Curtsy Lunges: Cross one leg back and behind the other, and come down into a curtsy lunge. The front foot stays flat on the ground and you are on the toe of your back foot. Pay attention to your knees and make sure to step far enough back so you are using your quads and not forcing weight into your knees.
Now sit back on your firm butt and enjoy your results!
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