The lunges exercise is a type of resistance exercise you can use to strengthen your lower body. These include hamstrings, glutes, calves, and quadriceps. You can use this exercise to improve your function by practicing it from different angles.
In addition, these movements will help you work your muscles in different ways, which will help you benefit from other activities that you do outside. For instance, making side lunges will help you get stronger muscles in the body.
Lunges will also help to make your muscles ready for different sports. These include those that require lunging positions, such as running, basketball, and yoga.
How do you best perform the lunges exercise?
A basic lunge works through the hamstrings, glutes, and quads. To correctly perform a lunge, you need to do the following things:
- Start the exercise by standing up straight
- Put one foot forward and get to the right angle. Your back knee needs to get parallel to the floor, and the front knee should not go more ahead of the toes.
- Lift the front leg, lunge, and return to the initial position.
- Repeat the reps ten or twelve times and then switch between the legs.
Variations of the Lunge Exercise
These are some variations:
a) Walking Lunge Exercise
A walking lunge will work just the same as a typical lunge exercise. However, it will increase your heart rate more than a basic one. This is how you make a walking lunge:
- Start through performing a basic lunges exercise using your right leg to move forward
- Start lunging forward using the left leg rather than returning to the initial position
- The right leg needs to stay in a place that helps you get stable
- Continue to walk through a motion straightly as you lunge forward
- Alternate your legs for 10 to 12 reps over your legs.
b) Lunge Exercise with Torso Twist
A lunges exercise using a torso twist will give you an additional benefit to working your abs muscles and your quads and glutes. For making a lunge, you need to do the following:
- Start as you perform a basic lunges exercise using the right leg to get in the front position
- Bring the right leg in a forward lunge towards your front and stabilize your body
- Use the core for twisting the torso towards the right
- Take a pause and twist the torso towards the center
- Step back to stand using your right leg
- Lunge forward and switch legs using your left legs
- Perform about ten lunges on every side.
c) Lateral Lunges
A lateral lunge is also helpful for your thigh muscles, besides your glutes and hamstrings. This is how you can perform lateral lunges:
- Stand tall and keep your feet at a distance of hip-width apart
- Take a broad step in one direction and bend the knee, pushing the hips back
- Keep your feet flat towards the floor as you perform the lunge
- Push off using your leg and return to the standing position
- Perform around 10 to 12 lunges towards one side before switching in the other direction.
Most common mistakes made while performing lunges:
Although lunge exercises are pretty easy to perform, there are still some mistakes you may make. Therefore, it is essential to recognize errors you may make during lunges. Some mistakes are as below:
You might not step forward enough, leading you to make an angle less than the right angle. This is a problem in the lunges exercise, so you need to step out to the correct degree.
Your back ankle might collapse as you perform the exercise. Another troubling thing during this exercise is how you position your toes. You put too much pressure when you place your toes in a straight position forward. This can put you at risk of injury. The best way is to keep the toes a bit out to avoid injury. Also, it keeps the back ankle from collapsing as you perform the exercise.
You may round your shoulders, or you may lean forward. These are not the right things to do in the lunges exercise. Avoid these things as doing these things will only put too much pressure.
Also, make sure your chin is parallel to the ground. It might jut out, which can affect your results. The best way to avoid it is to pretend that there is a grapefruit right under your chin. This will help you properly align your upper body for the exercise.
Don’t let the front knee bend. Also, keep the front knee from getting past the front toes. Doing this is wrong, and you need to avoid it.
Keep the tailbone in a straight and inward direction. If you arch your lower back too much, you may put yourself at risk of an injury. Also, don’t protrude your hips as you perform this exercise.
Muscles the Lunge Exercise Helps
Lunges exercise is increasingly helpful for toning and supporting the whole lower body and lower limbs. Through this exercise, you can improve the muscle strength of your hips, hamstrings, quads, and calves.
Also, you improve your pelvic muscle stability as you do this exercise. Making this exercise an essential part of your workout routine is key. As a result, you will get a more muscular lower limb. Of course, you will need to do it in a proper form to get the best results.
Last Words on Lunges
Lunges exercise is a practical activity to aid in toning and strengthening the lower part of the body. Take special care as you perform lunges using proper form.
For example, your knee should not be over the toes as you perform lunges. Also, don’t extend the leg too far in a different direction as you complete the lunges.