Looking to firm up your backside? Or perhaps you just want to get more toned legs. Or, maybe you want to get even leaner than you currently are.
Whatever the case, lunges can help.
Lunges are a great lower body exercise to be performing because not only are they going to target almost every muscle group in the lower body, but they’ll also hit your core as well. Lunges do require a bit more balance and control than some other exercises do and any time you are going to be putting your balance to the test, you can rest assured that your ab muscles are going to be fully activated.
Lunges are also nice because they can be performed with just your body weight, holding a set of dumbbells at your side, holding a medicine ball in front of you, or holding a barbell across your back.
Basically, the options seem endless. This makes them great to do both in a home gym as well as a public gym so wherever your workout happens to be, you can most definitely get these in.
As you go about adding lunges to your workout program, it’s vital that you do take into account all the many variations that you can do and try and change things around often.
It’s the constant changes in lunge variations that is going to give you the best long term results, so keep your muscles guessing by subbing them out every 2-3 weeks.
Let’s go over the top lunge variations that you should be alternating between that will each target the muscles in a slightly different manner and bring you one step closer to the lower body you’ve been dreaming of.
The first is the most common of all lunges performed and is the basic walking lunge. This one is great for beginners because it is relatively straightforward and the one that does tend to be easiest to maintain your balance in.
When doing this you simply step one foot in front of the other as you walk all the way across the room.
If you want to add extra challenge to this variation, do a half rep after each full rep of lunge you do. This will place more intensity on the muscle tissues and really get them crying out for mercy.
The second of the lunge variations to consider adding to your program plan is stationary lunges. These are good for those who do want to work the core to a larger degree as they will require a bit more core activation than walking lunges will.
They’re also ideal for those who are exercising in a smaller space and can’t walk all the way across a larger room to get walking lunges in.
When doing these, you have the option of either switching legs as you go, doing one leg and then the other, or doing all reps to one leg until completion and then switching to the other foot.
Both options can produce great results.
Moving on to the next lunge variation, consider reverse lunges. These are a more advanced form and one that will definitely put your balance and coordination skills to the test. When doing these, you want to be sure you are in an open room with nothing around you so you never run the risk of bumping into an object.
Reverse lunges will place a little more stress on the quads and glutes than regular walking lunges do, which place more emphasis on the hamstrings.
You can again do these either in walking fashion or in a stationary fashion depending on your own personal preferences.
Split Squat Lunges
Split squat lunges are a must-have if you want to work on firming your ‘booty’. No other lunge has the potential to work the glutes as much as this one does, so it’s a great selection to have in your regular lower body workout.
When doing the split squat lunge, you’ll place one foot up behind you on a bench, holding the dumbbells down by your side.
From there, you’ll bend the supportive leg until the knee is almost touching the ground, pause, and then press back up again.
As you do this, really think of pressing through the heel of the foot and squeezing the bum to produce the movement as this will ensure that you are in fact targeting the right muscles.
Lunges With A Twist
The next option for lunge variations is the lunge with a twist. This one will be done holding a medicine ball in front of you and as you lunge downwards, you’ll twist to one side of the body.
You’ll pause in that twisted position at the bottom of the movement and then press back up again, returning to center.
During the next lunge forward, twist to the other side.
This is a good exercise for anyone who does want to firm up their obliques fast and will boost your overall workout calorie burn as well.
Finally, the last of the lunge variations to consider adding is the jump lunge. This plyometric based exercise is a terrific option for those who are participating in any type of sport where explosive power is required.
Since they do have that jumping component to them, this will help to boost your metabolic rate very effectively, allowing you to see faster fat burning results.
The only thing to know about these is that they are very rarely done with any sort of weight, so are a body weight based exercise only.
If you like you can wear a weighted vest, but that should be the extent of the resistance you’re using.
So there you have the primary lunge variations that you should be thinking about using. Only do one or two at a time as you progress through your program and then after a few weeks have passed, switch out and do another lunge variation instead.
This is a great way to keep your workout interesting and ensure that you see optimal progress.