Lunges are a great unilateral movement to work not only the muscles involved but also work balance and stability.
They can be done with little space required
-difficulty can be added by including weight- kettlebell or dumbbells
Here are some lunge variations:
The reverse lunge
- start with the feet hip width apart and facing forwards
- with your back remaining straight take one foot backwards, allowing both knees to bend as the back knee touches the ground lightly
- push off the back foot keeping the front foot firmly planted
- drive through the heel and return the leg beside the other
Repeat on the other side
this works the glutes, quads and hamstrings and is also a great way to improve knee stability
We often forget to move laterally. Lateral movement is great for stabilizing the hips and works your inner thigh and glutes.
- start with your feet together
- Step out wide to the side, transferring the weight over to the side you just stepped with, keeping both feet planted on the ground and facing forwards
- sit back into a squat position and go as low as you feel you are able to
- drive through your foot and return to the starting position
Repeat on the other side
Static (split squat) Lunges
During this movement the feet remain in the same position (static)
This movement is great for those of us who are not so good with balance when moving and is the least challenging of all the lunges. Static lunges help build balance and strength from a stationary position.
Muscles worked are your thighs and glutes
- Start in a split stance- hip width apart with one leg in front of the other
- Lift onto the toes of your back foot and lower that knee down to the ground allowing the front knee to bend also to a 90 degree angle parallel to the ground
- Press through the heel of your front foot and straighten the legs back up.
- Keep your torso upright. Most of your weight should be felt through the front leg
Repeat 8-10 reps and then switch to the other leg
Alternating jump lunges
Similar to the reverse lunge but with an element of power and plyometric transition with a jump from one lunge position to the other by switching feet in the air
This exercise challnges the same muscles as the regular reverse lunge but also adds a cardiovascular effect by increasing the heart rate and helps burn more calories.
tips to help your jumping lunge
- master the basic lunges first-reverse lunges and walking lunge
- aim for soft landings, avoid landing hard on your knee
- chest and torso stays upright
- be light on your feet and try to spring through the ball of your feet to gain some air time
- you can increase the difficulty by increasing reps, jumping higher and spending less time on the ground
Try some lunges today and let us know how you get on!
Happy lunging !