Lunges are a staple in every workout if you want to achieve better looking legs in a short amount of time. Lunges are also an exercise that you can do anywhere. Whether you’re on vacation, at the park with the kids, or watching tv, these exercises pack a punch without any gym equipment. Use these lunge variations to work key muscle groups such as the glutes (butt), hamstrings, quads, and calves.
The Muscles Worked in a Typical Front Lunge
Lunge Variation – Front, Back Lunge
Start on by choosing a leg (in this example, I am using my right leg).
- Step forward with your right leg. Plant your right foot and lower your body until your knee is close to a 90 degree angle. Your left foot should be bent securely on the floor.
- Push up from your front heal to straighten both legs.
- Return to starting position. Then, lunge back with the same leg (right). Perform a lunge and return to starting position.
Be sure to pause in the middle. This will help with balance and form.
Do 12 to 16 repetitions on the right leg, then repeat on the left.
Side Lunge Variations
B. Step sideways with one of your feet keeping them parallel and keeping your leg straight as it makes contact with the ground. Make sure your back remains straight. Do not bend forward or collapse in the spine. Hold you trunk firm by drawing your belly button towards your spine.
As fluidly as possible, transfer your weight towards the outside leg (the one that just stepped out) whilst simultaneously flexing slightly forward at the hips. Your inside leg should be kept straight.
Make sure your back remains straight throughout and your outside knee tracks over your big toe, no further!
Once you have reached the end of your range keep your weight on the heel of the outside leg and drive through the heal as you push back up to the starting position (A).
Repeat on both sides for one set.
Trainer Tips: While performing the side lunge you will feel a stretch in your inner thigh. If it feels like more then a stretch, then you’ve gone too far. This stretch will be where you’re sore the next day (so pay attention 😉)
Repetitions: Leaning Out: 12 – 24 (count each bicep curl) – With a challenging weight
Muscle Gain: 8 – 16 (count each bicep curl ) – With heavy weight.
Your stance must be wide enough to allow your front knee to stay lined up with your ankle. Proper posture is also essential since it will keep your joints aligned properly, and all the right muscles to fire. If you aren’t doing this exercise already, then add it to your routine to fire up your legs and butt in an instant!
Set Up: Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides (optional) and place one foot on a bench behind you, laces down.
Action: Bend your front knee and lower straight down, keeping your knee in line with your toes and over your ankle. Straighten your leg to come back to the start position. Complete the set and then switch sides.
Do three sets of 10-15 reps on each leg.
1. Stand with feet parallel to each other and shoulder-width apart.
2. Step your right foot over your left and lunge as far to the left as you can. Depending on your body, you can keep both feet pointed forward or land your right foot at a 45-degree angle. If you land at the 45-degree angle, you will feel less pressure on your knees.
3. Return to the starting position and repeat the action to the right. This completes one repetition.
4. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between each set.
5. Optional: Hold a pair of dumbbells to make this more challenging.
Primary Muscle Group: Hamstrings and glutes
Secondary Muscle Group: Calves, inner thighs, quadriceps (source)
Medicine Ball Lunge with Wood Chop
Hold a medicine ball with both hands on the outside of your thigh.
Twist your torso to the side of the body that has the leg forward.
Lift the medicine ball up and across your body (opposite of the leg that’s forward).
Keep your core muscles engaged at all times, using them to control the movement.
Return to starting position.
Repeat for 12- 15 reps, then switch legs. Try to do this 3 – 4 sets.
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Use these lunge variations to ramp up your leg workout and burn more calories. Feel free to share it with your fellow gym buddies!