There are so many reasons to love the lunge… it is one of the all time best exercises you can do for your body. Not only that, you don’t need any equipment (or very minimal weight) and you can do them anywhere, anytime.
First of all, lunges are one of the premier ways to improve flexibility and increase strength in the lower body, especially the ankles, knees and glutes. This exercise also improves single-leg strength and stability, especially with the front leg. It also develops the components of agility — foot speed, timing, total body coordination and lateral balance.
This makes lunges one of the best rehab and prehab exercises you will find for the lower body. How? Lunges can help fix postural distortions, protect you from injury and improve overall performance. That’s pretty good for just one exercise!!
In addition, lunges are also incredible for toning the legs and butt. And because they challenge your balance, they not only build toned muscle, they can also burn a lot of calories, if done right.
As time goes on and you get better at them, you can progress lunges into so many challenging and cool exercises, it’s almost limitless. But, in the beginning, it is absolutely critical to get the form right, so you don’t develop bad habits and work the wrong muscles.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you are working the glutes (butt muscles). So, keep that in the back of your mind. And, I will show you exactly how to do it in the directions below…
Okay, here is the proper form for lunges. Take your time and do them right, so you can get the most out of this incredible exercise…
HOW TO DO LUNGES
PROPER FORM FOR THE LUNGE
In a nut shell, you are stepping forward, bending your front knee and then stepping back. But, while that seems fairly simple, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind to do them safely and train your body to move properly.
So again, start very slowly and even have something to lean on close by, in case you have trouble with balance in the beginning. As time goes on, you will quickly get better at them.
- Stand in a neutral position with your head and neck relaxed
- Make sure you shoulders are unrounded and and look straight ahead
- Step about 2-3 forward softly with majority of your weight on the front leg
- Your back leg should now be balancing on the ball and toes of your back foot
- Gently and slowly lower your back leg down until your knee is just above the ground
- Do NOT let your front knee extend past the toes of your front foot (do NOT over extend the knee)
- Now, squeeze the glute of your front leg
- Push through the heel of your front foot (to work the glute, not the quads).
- Step back to the starting position
- Everything should be smooth and your feet should land softly and quietly
As you get better at lunges, you can start moving faster and with more power. Eventually you can add weights and play with different ranges of motion, platforms, surfaces, weights, etc…