The lunge is a classic fitness exercise for the lower body, which helps the flexibility of the hips and hamstrings, and the strength of the buttocks, hamstrings and hip flexors. There are many variations of the lunge exercise - here is a general description of the lunge, with a few other variations described below.
Equipment Required: depending on the variation, you may need dumbbells, a long hallway or similar area, and a hill.
- Stand upright. Step forward with one foot.
- The toes of both feet should be facing straight ahead.
- Be sure your legs are aligned - your front knee should be aligned with the foot.
- Lower your back knee towards the floor.
- Push back up to the starting position.
- Concentrate on squeezing your buttocks to push yourself up, and keep the abdominals tight and the lower back in a neutral position.
- Throughout the exercise, maintain the body in an upright position and avoid leaning forward.
To modify the intensity, you can perform the exercise with no weights, with dumbbells in each hand, or with a barbell across your shoulders. See the Dumbbell Forward Lunge or Dumbbell Reverse Lunge, or Forward Lunge with Overhead Dumbbell Press. Also performing the lunge on a soft surface like at the beach can further activate the hip stabilizers and give a better workout.
If you have adequate space, perform walking lunges. Rather than pushing back up to the starting position, bring the back leg up, and walk forward crossing the length of your room.
In the Spider-Man Lunge, the hands are placed on the floor throughout the exercise as the legs and brought back and forward.
Lunge Exercise Descriptions
- Lunge (standard)
- Spiderman Lunge
- Dumbbell Forward Lunge
- Dumbbell Reverse Lunge
- Lunge with Overhead Dumbbell Press
- Lunge (home)
- Side Lunge (pregnancy)
- Forward Lunge (pregnancy)
- Lunge (beach)
- Discussion about fitness exercise technique
- An exercise that gives a similar workout is the squat.
- Complete list of fitness exercises