A lunge is familiar to you If you have seen somebody on a knee proposing. A lunge is a workout where one leg is positioned forward with the knee bent and foot flat while the other leg is positioned behind.
It is used by athletes and people who would like to get their lower body flexible, stable, and stronger.
This post on how to do a lunge is essential to get the best out of a lunge workout. Learning how to do a lunge perfectly will help you get the best out of your lunge workouts.
What muscles do lunges target?
Lunges engage and tone muscles of the core, butt, and legs.
- Quadriceps – located in the front of the thigh
- Glutes – located in the buttocks
- Hamstrings – posterior thigh muscles located between the hip and the knee
- Calves – back of the lower leg
Different variations of lunges engage more of different muscle groups that’s why it is important to do them all. For example, the reverse lunges activate more of the glutes and hamstrings, while side lunges work your inner and outer thigh.
How to do the basic lunge perfectly.
- Stand by standing with feet hip-width apart and arms to the side.
- Take a big step forward with the left leg while shifting your weight to the heel so as it hits the floor first.
- As you take the big step forward, lower your body until the left thigh is parallel to the floor, and the left shin is vertical. The right knee should take a bend and kneel.
- You should focus your weight on the left heel throughout the exercise and arms holding your waist.
- Pause a few seconds and then return to the starting position.
- Repeat procedure but this time alternating to the leg that didn’t take the big step. (right leg).
Variations of lunges.
Once you master the basic lunge all the other variations of lunges will be quite easy. There are quite many variations of which you can do to spice up your workout routine.
With this you start by standing with the feet hip-width apart. While engaging your core, take a big step backward and kneel with the foot that took the step back.
After a simple pause, return the leg back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
This looks like the basic lunge; the only difference is that in this you will be walking as you perform. Instead of returning to the starting position, the other leg at the back will just take a step of its own.
It will be a continuous walking like motion with each making a lunge with the other leg as you move forward.
From the starting position, take a big step to the right with the right foot. This a lunge performed to the side keeping the toes forward, feet flat on the floor, and shifting all the weight to the right heel.
Send your hips back as you lower yourself down to a point where your right thigh is parallel to the floor. For balance, extend the arms in front of you. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other side.
Start standing with hands on the waist and feet hip-width apart. Step the left leg behind the right leg and bend the right knee while engaging the glutes lowering your body until the right thigh is parallel to the floor.
Lightly tap the left knee to the floor and return to the starting position. Repeat with the other side this time stepping the right leg behind the left leg.
This is one that combines most of the lunge variations. The basic lunge, reverse lunge, curtsy lunge, and lateral lunge are performed in this variation. You start with a forward lunge with the right foot, lunge laterally, reverse lunge, and then the curtsy lunge all using the right foot.
You then repeat with the other side using the left foot too.
Split lunge jump.
This is like the basic lunge just that this involves explosive jumps while performing it. Start by standing with feet hip-width apart. Instead of taking a step forward, with this variation you jump into a forward lunge with the right off forward.
Driving your right heel into the floor, explosively jump up. Switch legs in midair so that you change and take the lunge with the left leg too. For smooth motion, pump your arms as if you are running.
How many lunges should I do a day to see results?
Many success stories are linked to doing 100 lunges every day for 30 days. People have seen tremendous results after this challenge.
This is much possible because lunges aren’t demanding as to how running, swimming, or any other intense workout.
Lunges can also be done at working maybe during a lunch break and it doesn’t require a huge space to be performed.
For a beginner, 100 lunges might get all your legs shaking. It is just your body that isn’t used to this type of stress.
For the start, aim at doing 75 lunges in sets of 5.
That is 15 lunges per set. For a complete rep of a lunge you should do both the legs to count it as one.
Always take rests of about 2-5 minutes in between sets.
This is a routine you can do during the first week of your 4 weeks challenge.
As you get stronger during the second week, switch to 100 lunges with sets of 4 and 20 repetitions in each set.
What are the benefits of doing lunges?
There are many benefits associated with doing lunges. For example, improving hip flexibility, shaping your butt and many more discussed below.
Increase stability and balance.
Lunges increase the stability, performance, and balance of the lower body. The leg movements activate the growth of stabilizing muscles to develop balance and stability.
According to fitness experts’ lunges are much better than squats and deadlifts to increase stabilization.
Doing lunges can help you strengthens your core. Since lunges engage your core during workouts, they help build stability at the core and abdominal areas.
A stronger core helps you deal with posture correction and reduced back pain.
Lunges strengthen leg and buttocks muscles.
Lunges target leg and buttocks muscles toning and strengthening them.
They are great for increasing strength of the calves, hamstrings, and glutes plus more minor lower body muscles.
It improves spine health.
Lunges help improve overall spine health and correcting your posture.
Bigger and toned butt.
Lunges are also among the butt toning exercises. They target areas around the glutes, thighs, and the whole butt giving it shape and toning it.
Better moods and calm stress.
Just like other exercises, lunges can calm your mind. They help to relieve stress and improve self-confidence.
A toned lower body and glutes help to gain confidence in yourself when you wear tight pants or at the beach.
It improves the flexibility of the lower body.
Lunges can help you improve lower-body flexibility. Doing lunges helps to increase the flexibility of the hips and knees.
To get the best out of your lunge workouts, you should eat foods that are nutritious yet won’t add fat to your body.
These are weight loss foods that are high in nutrients yet low in added sugars and calories. They are foods that can be eaten even while on any weight loss diet plan.
For instance, you have to choose good carbs that will give you energy and are rich in weight loss fibers and other nutrients. You can check on the good and bad carbs for weight loss that will help you get a toned body.
Vegetables and fruits are important while toning your lower body using lunges. They provide the body with the essential nutrients for building lean and toned muscles.
The bottom line.
Lunges will help you accomplish a toned, shapely, and stable lower body. The many variations of lunges will help you focus on all the muscles individually.
That means don’t stick to one variation of lunges for better results. You can choose to do different variations on a workout day or do a different variation of lunges each workout day.
However, doing other exercises can help you have fun workouts and target other muscle groups too. It is also advisable to do other workouts for a full-body toning and weight loss.
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