Lunges are a very popular strength training workout, which tones and strengthens your body and also improves your overall fitness. This exercise targets almost every muscle in your lower body, including your back, legs, and hips, and also improves your entire mobility. Although lunges are popular among regular exercisers, this exercise is best for cyclists and runners.
When you perform a lunge, your quads, hips, glutes, abs, adductors, and hamstrings are all engaged, which helps build your leg strength and overall endurance. And because this exercise is a single-leg movement, it also helps balance muscles by targeting one leg at a time.
But if you want to get the most out of this strength training exercise, doing it in the right form and with the right technique is of utmost importance.
When performing any exercise, it is crucial to do it in the right form so that it targets the right muscles and also prevents any type of injury. The same goes for lunges, and since they engage almost every muscle in your lower body, it’s even more important to perform them correctly.
So here’s how you can do a good lunge:
- Stand straight with your hands on your hips and your feet hip-width apart.
- Squeeze your glutes and make sure your hips are straight and not sideways.
- Now take a step forward with your left leg while keeping both feet hip-width apart.
- Slowly lower your body back to the floor while keeping your back completely straight.
- Bring both of your legs up to a 90 degree angle with your back knee under your hip and your front knee over your front ankle. Make sure your shoulder, ear, hip, and back knee are all in a straight line.
- Now press back with your front foot and return to the starting position.
- Switch sides and repeat the same with your other leg.
The front knee should not go past your front ankle during the lunge
In addition to keeping your form when performing lunges, here are some common mistakes you should avoid.
- Do not bend or arch your back. Maintain an upright posture throughout the exercise.
- Your knees should be properly bent and you should maintain good balance.
- Do not step too far back or forward when doing this exercise. This can cause you to lose your balance and overuse your muscles.
- Do not put your front knee in front of your front ankle. Your front knee should be properly aligned with your ankle.
- When you bend your upper body forward, make sure you don’t bend it too much. Also, don’t bend your back on the way up.
- Don’t move too fast. Go as fast as you can to do the lunges correctly and safely. Performing lunges too quickly can compromise exercise form and your balance.
Beginners should start with two to three sets of at least 10 lunges per leg. For people who train regularly, it is best to do four to five sets of 20 lunges.
Lunges help tone lower body muscles
Lunges are one of the most effective multi-joint workouts that help strengthen and tone lower body muscles. Lunges target:
- Your back muscles
- Buttocks, etc.
In addition to targeting these muscles, lunges also provide many benefits, including:
1) Weight loss
Doing regular lunges helps with weight loss because this exercise increases your metabolism and allows you to reduce excess weight. So if you’re ready to lose weight, push your limits and include lunges in your other strength training routine.
2) Improves posture
Lunges strengthen your back and core muscles without compromising your spine. This reduces the risk of pain and injury and improves your overall posture, making you more flexible and stronger.
3) Improves your balance
Since lunges are a single-leg movement, they load the stabilizing muscles in each leg and help improve your stability and balance.
Compared to squats, which are another lower body workout, lunges are more effective because the split position in the latter allows you to work each leg independently.
At the end of the line
The benefits of doing lunges are many, however, the most important thing is to keep your form correct. Any wrong movement or bad posture during a lunge can lead to pain and injury. So get into the right technique and form, and include lunges in your daily workout routine.