Lunges are one of the best "leg exercises" you can do.
They’re great at strengthening and toning the glutes and quads and engaging the hammies. They’re also great at improving balance and developing your core strength (1).
When you do a lunge, your core must engage in order to keep body upright and balanced whilst you move your hips up and down.
The lunge is beneficial in many more ways.
Besides it is simple and easy to add to your routine, lunge comes in many variations, each works the muscles slightly differently and helps you build balance between the muscle groups.
Here are 5 ways to do lunges.
This basic body-weight movement is the building block for the rest of the exercises on this list—and many workout routines in general. Ace it to work your way up to more challenging lunges.
Step 1: To start, stand up straight with your feet together, shoulders back, and core tight. Lift your right leg off the ground and take a big step forward.
Step 2: Lower your body toward the ground until your right upper thigh is parallel to the floor and your right knee forms about a 90-degree angle. Straighten up by pushing through your right heel to return to stand.
2. Side Lunge
Step to the side—also known as a side lunge or lateral lunge. This move not only strengthens your lower half, but hit those hard to reach inner thigh muscles. It also improves flexibility.
Step 1: Start standing, with your feet hip-width apart. Engage your core and take a big step out to the right. Bend your right knee (but make sure that it doesn't extend past your right toes) and sit your hips back, keeping your left leg straight and both feet flat on the floor.
Step 2: Push yourself back up to standing. Repeat on the other side.
3. Walking Lunge
Work your thigh muscles even more with walking lunges. The forward movement makes the glutes, hamstrings, and quads of the leading leg contract to their maximal. It’s basically like performing a single-leg squat. Maintain good posture throughout, and be sure your front knee never goes past your front foot.
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body down until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees.
Step 2: Pause, then raise up. Bring your back foot forward so that you move forward (like you're walking) a step with every rep. Alternate the legs each time.
4. Reverse lunge
The reverse lunge is a lot more forgiving, especially on your balance than a forward lunge. The move is still worth adding to your routine—especially for anyone new to working out or struggling with maintaining balance, dealing with knee trouble, or lacking mobility in the hips.
Step 1: Stand tall, with your feet together and your hands on your hips. Take a big step back with your left foot, landing on the ball of your feet.
Step 2: Lower your body down while bending your right knee until it forms a 90-degree angle. Push back up to the standing position and repeat. This time, step back with your right leg.
5. Curtsy Lunge
Step 1: To start, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands on hips. Keep your chest and eyes up and shoulders squared.
Step 2: Take a big step back with your right leg, crossing it behind your left leg. Bend both knees, lowering your body towards the floor until your left thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
There you have it!
5 ways to do lunges. Lunges are my go-to exercise for strengthening and toning the legs and butt. They are super easy and friendly on the knees as oposed to other leg exercises such as squat, especially if you're just getting "started with working out."
Start with the basic lunge and work your way up to other lunge variations that are more challenging.
Which lunge variations will you try next? Leave me comment below to let me know.