You have probably already heard about how beneficial lunges are for your body, but you may not understand how they are beneficial to your overall health. More to the point, you may not know how to execute them properly. Lunges are about more than building strength in your legs: lunges exercise can also help you lose weight and avoid serious injury. And they aren’t just for athletes. Everyone can do them and benefit from them.
What Are Lunges In Exercise?
Lunges exercises are integral to an all-around body workout. You start in a standing split position. Then, you step forward with one foot and bend your knees so that your back knee is just a few inches off the ground.
Then you return to the split standing position and repeat the movement with the opposite leg. Some people may think that lunges exercise is to build strength below the waist.
And while lunges exercises are an excellent way to build leg strength, their benefits go way beyond that. For instance, the movements and muscles engaged in a lunge are ones we use every day.
The more you do lunges exercise, the more you are strengthening the muscles you need every single day, and if you are an athlete, lunges will help you build the muscles that help improve lateral quickness and explosiveness.
How To Do A Lunge
The great thing about lunges exercise is that you don’t need any equipment to do them. While it would probably help to perform lunges on a yoga mat or other kind of workout surface, it is not necessary.
So, if you have wondered how to do lunges, take a look at the following guide on how to do a proper, standard lunge:
- Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width and your hands on your hips.
- Step out with one of your legs about 2-3 feet in front of your stationary foot.
- Bend your knees and your lower body so that your rear knee is hovering a few inches off the ground.
- Push back up to your standing position and repeat the motion with the opposite leg.
When doing lunges exercise, it’s significant to engage your core as much as possible and to keep your hands planted on your hips. You should also do your best to keep your hips aligned to protect your knees.
If you do the lunges exercise properly, then you are also keeping your thigh parallel to the ground in the downward position. The weight of your body should be evenly distributed to both legs.
Lunges For Beginners
Lunges exercise can be a challenge for people who have never done it before or if you have knee joint issues, but the good news is that there are different types of lunges that are more congenial for beginners.
If you are of sound body, we recommend starting with some of these lunges types that were designed for beginners, but as your strength increases, try moving on to the standard lunge we described in the previous section.
Let’s take a look at how to do lunges for beginners:
- The Assisted Lunge – With this lunge variation, you use a stationary object to help you keep your balance as you dip down. Try balancing yourself with one hand against a wall or a chair so that you don’t topple over. The object you use should be beside you and closest to the leg that is farther back.
- The Half Lunge – With these lunges types you won’t dip down so that your thigh is parallel to the ground. Instead, go down only about half the way as you would in a normal lunge motion. This way, your thigh should be at about a 45-degree angle with the ground at its lowest.
What Muscles Are Worked In A Lunge?
- Quadriceps – The group of muscles in the front of the thigh that contains the highest muscle mass of any other group.
- Glutes – All lunge types also work out the glutes which are the muscles in your buttocks.
- Hamstrings – Lunges types of exercises also work out the muscles behind your shin.
- Calves – The muscles behind your knee in the back of your leg.
- Transverse Abdominis – This is the innermost of your abdominal muscles.
- Obliques – Oblique muscles are located on the side of your abdomen and help with spinal alignment.
- Multifidus – Many lunges types also work out the multifidus, which is a group of muscles that may help support the spinal column.
- Erector Spinae – The erector spinae muscles are located in the back on either side of the vertebral column.
What Are The Benefits Of Lunges?
Lunges exercise benefits are far-reaching. While they are typically executed to build strength in the legs, they have good advantages for your overall physical health. Such advantages include:
- Organ Alignment – One of the little-known lunges exercise benefits includes organ alignment. Strong obliques help keep the organs where they should be in your body.
- Spinal Health – Lunges exercise benefits also extend to the spine. Many of the muscles used in these exercises work out muscles that help support the spine.
- Rehabilitation – Lunges are often used to rehabilitate people who have sustained physical injury.
- Weight Loss – Since lunges engage so many different muscle groups, they are a catalyst for a metabolic response, so they can help you lose weight.
Variations Of Lunges
- Front Foot Elevated Lunge – Use a step or a platform to plant your forward foot for more leverage. You still get lunges exercise benefits, but with an easier motion.
- Dumbbell Lunge – It is a variation that includes lunges with weights. Instead of placing your hands on your hips, hold dumbbell weights directly at your side.
- Barbell Lunge – Another type of lunges with weights, the barbell lunge involves a standard lunge motion while holding a barbell behind your shoulders.
- Forward Lunge – Good lunges exercise benefits having a forward lunge, which is the same as a standard lunge; but with a larger step forward.
- Forward Lunge/Reach – As you step forward in the forward lunge position, reach one hand out in front of you.
- Sliding Lunge – Using a paper plate under your back foot, slide it back as you step forward. Then slide it back as you stand back up.
- Side Lunges – Side lunges are great for working out your inner thighs and glutes. Stand with your feet together, and instead of stepping forward, step to the right or left. Bend the knee down and lower your body. Return to the standing position and repeat.
- Rear Leg Elevated Lunge – Another beneficial lunge with weights includes the rear leg elevated lunge. Elevate your rear leg on a medicine ball or stationary object. Hold dumbbells at your side and step into the standard lunge motion.
- Low Lunge – Step back with your rear foot as far as possible and bend your front knee to lower your body as much as possible.
- Lunge Deadlift – This is one of the types of lunges with weights that are great for the hamstrings. Hold dumbbells at your side, do a standard lunge motion and then lift the dumbbells towards your front ankle.
Adding Weight To Your Lunges
Adding weight to your lunges is a great way to engage even more muscle groups. Small dumbbells are good for lunges with weights, as they can be used in several ways.
For instance, you can use dumbbells to hold or lift as you do side lunges, lateral lunges, or even a reverse lunge.
Common Mistakes During Lunges
- Some common mistakes that people make when doing lunges involve lunging too far forward. Only go as far as feels comfortable for your body.
- Whether you are doing side lunges, a reverse lunge, lateral lunge, or even a standard lunge, it’s also significant that you don’t rotate your rear knee – it should stay as aligned as possible.
- Your stance should be more or less your shoulder width.
Start on a padded surface to minimize the impact on your joints. You should stretch or warm up before starting your lunge routine. It’s also important not to extend the rear knee outward as you step forward for your lunge. How to do lunges correctly depends largely on the correct form and safety.
People Also Ask
Lunges can help tone your buttocks.
Side lunges are great for burning calories, which can help reduce overall body fat.
Start with three reps of ten for each leg.
Yes. A reverse lunge or lateral lunge with weights builds strength and improves balance.
Lunges engage more muscle groups than squats.
Not unless you want to do a reverse lunge or lateral lunge with weights.
We hope we have answered the question “how to do lunges” for you in this article and shed some light on this extremely beneficial exercise.