The lunge belongs in the basic, multiple-joint exercise category because the hip, knee, and ankle joints are mobilized, as a result, the lunge recruits muscles in addition to the quadriceps: the glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
How to Do It
From a starting position with your feet together and both legs straight, take a step forward with your right leg, at first, go down about 8 to 10 inches (about 20 cm). As you get stronger, you will be able to use a greater range of motion to make the exercise more difficult. Once you reach the bottom position, push back up with the right leg. Don’t straighten the right leg completely; keeping a slight bend maintains constant tension in the muscles. after completing a set with the right leg, move on to the left leg with minimal rest.
Beginners can bend the rear leg if they lack flexibility. As you get used to this exercise, little by little, your muscles will get more flexible. You will find the lunges more challenging by gradually keeping the rear leg straighter and straighter.
If you are new to lunges or feel that you are going to face balance issues, use one hand to hold something solid, like a wall or chair, for balance. As you get more advanced, placing your hands on your hips will allow you to train your balance as well as your muscles.
• Lunges are both a muscle builder and an excellent stretching movement.
• If you had to select only one leg exercise, it should be lunges; they recruit the quadriceps, hamstrings, and buttocks.
• Very little equipment is required to perform lunges.
• Body weight lunges will provide very little lower back stress. Even weighted lunges are far safer for the spine than squats.
• Working one leg at a time can be time-consuming.
! The farther or more heavily you step, the more stress your kneecap will receive.
• rest your free hand (if you have one) on the muscle you want to isolate (glutes or quadriceps) to better feel the muscle contracting.
• Because the psoas major muscle is stretched during each step, lunges have a tendency to arch the low back. pay attention to your spinal pos-ture especially if you add extra resistance by holding weights.
• The wider your stance or greater your step is, the more your glutes and hamstrings have to work. Leaning your torso forward a little has the same effect.
A wide stance (top) or longer first step (bottom) emphasizes the glutes and ham-strings more.
• A narrower stance or step preferentially targets the quadriceps.
A narrow stance or first step emphasizes the quadriceps more.
• As noted earlier, the first step you take forward determines the range of motion of the exercise. It can be narrow or wide. Begin with a small step to help you master the exercise. To increase the difficulty, take progressively larger steps. You can take a step forward or backward, depending on your preference.
• alternate legs on every repetition, or do an entire set on one leg and then move to the other leg.
• Stand up completely or rest your foot on the floor and do only a partial movement.
• add weight by holding a dumbbell in each hand or a bar or staff on your shoulders.
Lunge variation with dumbbells
Lunge variation with a bar
• If you have space, do walking lunges across a room or outdoors. You can also perform walking lunges on a treadmill.
• Instead of doing a forward lunge, do a side lunge. Side lunges are riskier for the knees, but they recruit the adductors more powerfully than regular lunges do.
• You do not have to use extra weights to render the exercise more difficult. By putting the foot of your working leg on a bench, you add resistance on your thigh without putting any additional pressure on your spine.
Bench step-up variation start position