Lunges ROCK! You can do them anywhere and the benefits can be seen in no time - shapely, toned legs and booty. And I’m not just saying this because warmer weather is approaching; I believe we should work out bods all year long! Skinny jeans, leggings, bathing suits fall in the same level of importance in my book, (wink wink!). There are so many lunge variations which makes it nearly impossible to get bored with them, but for now let’s focus on the stationary front lunge. Basic (in the best way), the lunge is used as a warm-up to runners, as a working exercise in our Toning/Blended classes, helps with various injuries since they balance the glutes and hamstrings and quads properly, improves lower limb functions and strengthens most of your lower body including your core!
It’s important to perform lunges properly to avoid unwanted strain on your joints, specifically your knees. Below I show a correct and incorrect lunge and explain, step by step how to perform the correct stationary front lunge.
Start with your feet hip width distance apart, spine long and straight, and core engaged to help keep you balanced.
Step forward with one leg into a wide stance (approximately one leg’s distance between feet) while maintaining spine alignment. Make sure you lead with your heel so your glute, hamstring and quad activate avoiding pressure on the front knee.
Keep your knees, hips and shoulders all facing in same direction - forward.
Lower your hips until both knees are bent at approximately 90 degrees. Front leg should have weight in heel and back leg should have weight in toe/ball of foot.
Your front knee should not extend over your ankle and your back knee should hover above the ground. Think about how you are distributing your body weight. Don’t force your weight into your kneecaps but rather use them as a hinge.
Keeping your weight in your front heel, push back to starting position.
Repeat on both sides.
Injury Prevention: IF you feel any knee pain while you perform a lunge, try taking a smaller step or performing a reverse lunge. Same rules apply, you just take step behind you and weight is distributed the same as a front lunge (front leg: keep weight in your heel - back leg: keep weight in your toe/ball of foot).
Now that you have the basics down, you can modify your lunge workouts in many different ways to work different muscles. Our instructors often combine movements in our Toning and Blended classes where you see a bicep curl, shoulder press, tricep extension or a core twist with a lunge series.
The beauty of this exercise is that you only need your body to perform a simple lunge movement! You can lunge down your building or house hallway, and even lunge in place. Do them daily in our classes and properly with the help of our instructors, and you will feel benefits in no time! The lunge, when performed perfectly, could be considered the bread and butter of a fitness routine! Now go ahead and practice your lunges today!
Leave questions/comments below.
xx, Heather Little Miss KIA