Friday, November 15, 2013

Fitness Friday - Lunges

The semester is over in a month and I need to really start hitting the gym as I did during the summer months.  I have a month until the break starts and my goal is to add more time and reps to my current cardio and weight lifting moves and also start to work new moves into my daily regime.  I decided to start with adding more moves to my leg workouts, squats are usually my workout of choice and then I end with multiple reps on many of the leg machines at the gym.  While flipping through an old issue of Women's Health, I saw that lunges are among the best workouts for the lower body area and this is the first move that I want to add to my leg workouts.

There are traditional lunges, side lunges, and walking lunges.  Today we are starting with traditional lunges and then I may start trying the other moves once I have these down to a science.  Traditional lunges work the butt and thigh area, two of the largest muscle groups in the human body.  Tightening both of the those area certainly won't hurt me and we will see what the results start looking like in a few weeks.  If I can master the simple version of the lunge, then I will learn and report back on the other versions.

How to do a forward lunge...

- Start by standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the ground. Relax your shoulders and allow your shoulder blades to sink down towards your hips. Keep yourself in this position by flexing your abdominal muscles to keep your spine straight and stable.

- Place your right foot on the ground, heel first. Lean your body forward so that about 70% of your weight is on your front foot. Keep your back and upper body straight. Hold this position.

- While keeping your upper body and back straight, continue to move your body forward until your right upper leg (thigh) is parallel to the floor. You may need to bend your hips slightly to stay in this position, but keep your back straight.

- Once in the lunge position, your left (back) knee should also form a 90-degree angle, but your lower leg (shin) will be parallel to the ground while your upper leg (thigh) will be perpendicular to the ground.

-  Use your right foot to push yourself upwards. Return your body to the position you started in, standing straight with your feet hip-width apart.

- Once you’ve completed a lunge with your right leg, you can either switch sides and perform a lunge with your left leg, or you can continue to work your right side. It doesn’t matter what order you do lunges in, but try to do an equal number of lunges using both your left and right side before you finish.

I have seen people at my gym doing lunges and putting their knee on the ground instead of keeping it level with the ground.  I tried it the first way and found that I could barely hold myself upright doing the exercise.  The way that was outlined in this article from Wiki How is much easier for the beginner to maintain position while doing reps and I would recommend following the steps exactly while you are learning how to do this exercise.

I find that alternating legs is my favorite way to do more reps of lunges, I started by doing ten on each side and am want to see how I am able to work up to more.  I am looking forward to seeing what the results are in a month or two...

photo courtesy of

No comments: