What is a Lunge?
Like the Body Squat, the Lunge is one of the most basic, useful and fundamental bodyweight exercises for your lower body. It requires balance in both of your legs and flexibility in your hip complex, but it is an effective strengthening exercise. With lunges you exercise one leg at a time, and there are several variations of this movement, including walking lunges.
The following muscle group is engaged by the Lunge:
How to Do a Lunge (Instructions):
Start in a standing position, with your feet together and arms by your side. Step forward with your right foot and bend your right knee until your left knee grazes the floor. Do not let your front knee go forward over your toe. Extend your right knee back to standing position. Step forward with your left foot and bend your left knee until your right knee grazes the floor. Extend your left knee back to standing position. Alternate both legs.
Trainer Tips for the Lunge:
Progression (make harder)
Perform the movement on top of an unstable surface, like a pool chair (yes I’ve done this), balance beam, couch (yes I’ve done this too), etc…
- Pause for 2 seconds at the bottom of the movement.
- Perform the movement slowly. Count to 4 on your way down and count to 2 on your way up.
- Perform Walking Lunges.
Regression (make easier)
- Perform the movement while holding onto a chair, table or other raised surface.
Do one Tabata with Lunges.
- A Tabata is a 4 minute workout, made up of 8 intervals. Each interval is 20 seconds of activity and 10 seconds of rest. There are a lot of free apps for your smartphone that provide an automatic timer for the Tabata workout. I utilize the Tabata Stopwatch Pro.
- For the Lunge Tabata, perform 20 seconds of lunges followed by 10 seconds of rest, and repeat until you reach the 4 minute mark.
Lunges are used in the Layman’s Fitness 12 Week Bodyweight Program, which you can learn more about here.
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