How to Do Lunges Correctly

Sponsor Logo: 
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Dek: 

Lunges are the bread and butter of leg workouts—just make sure
you’re doing them right.

Ooyala Video ID: 
g3YnMzNTE6NtBwak5eo5NLDbz0O4-qOd

Lunges are a staple exercise. If you’ve never loved them much,
now’s the time to switch camps. Lunges train your glutes,
hamstrings, quads, and core—and best of all, they hit them all at
once to burn major calories, says Holly Perkins, C.S.C.S., author
of Lift to Get
Lean
 and founder of Women’s Strength Nation.
Bonus: You can do them anywhere. If you’re planning on
incorporating lunges into your routine, however, make sure you’re
not doing more harm than good.

Doing lunges with poor form or bad alignment can irritate your
joints—especially your knees, according to Sabrina
Strickland, M.D.
, an orthopedic surgeon in the Women’s Sports
Medicine Center at Hospital for Special Surgery
 in New York
City, in
7 Workouts Secretly Causing Knee Pain
. A good rule of thumb: If
you feel pain in your knees, check the form pointers below to make
sure you’re doing them right. You can also try taking smaller
steps or not lowering as far down. Once you’ve mastered how to do
a forward lunge correctly, you can move on to reverse, side, and
walking lunges to hit all the different muscles in your legs.

Ready to learn how to do lunges correctly? Check out this
easy-to-follow guide and watch the video above—with moves demo-ed
by Nike Master Trainer Traci Copeland—to
get your best legs ever.

1. Forward Lunges

Benefits: While forward lunges hit your
glutes and hamstrings, this variation—often just called the plain
ol’ lunge—also zeros in on your quads for awesome thigh strength
and definition, says Perkins. (Here’s a total guide to
how to do forward lunges
.)

Instructions: Stand tall with your feet
hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips, overhead, or grab
some weights, and take a slow, controlled step forward with your
right leg. Keeping your spine tall and the weight in your heels,
lower your body until both your front and back legs form 90-degree
angles, and your knees are directly over your ankles. Pause, then
bring your right leg backward to return to starting position. Make
sure not to wobble! Step forward with your left leg and repeat.

2. Reverse Lunges

Benefits: A great cross-training move,
throwing your lunges in reverse takes the focus off of your quads
and trains your hamstrings and glutes in ways other exercises
don’t, says Perkins. Some women also find that they’re easier on
the knees. (Here are
mistakes you’re probably making in reverse lunges
.)

Instructions: Stand tall with your feet
hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips, overhead, or grab
some weights, and take a slow, controlled step backward with your
right leg. Keeping your spine tall and the weight in your heels,
lower your body until both your front and back legs form 90-degree
angles, and your knees are directly over your ankles. Pause, then
bring your right leg forward to return to starting position. Again,
no wobbling. Step forward with your left leg and repeat.

3. Side Lunges

Benefits: If you’re like most women, your
workouts rarely take you from side to side, says Perkins. This move
does just that to strengthen the glute medius, which is critical to
hip stability and fending off running injuries. (See:
Why You Should Add Lateral Exercises to Your Workouts
)

Instructions: Stand tall with your feet
together. Place your hands on your hips, overhead, or grab some
weights, and take a big slow and controlled step to the right with
your right leg, making sure to land flat on your foot. Keeping your
chest up and the weight in your heels, push your hips back, bend
your right knee, and lower your body until your right leg is just
above parallel to the floor, and your right knee is directly over
your ankle. Your left leg should stay straight throughout the
entire movement. Pause, then bring your right leg back to starting
position. Step sideways with your left leg and repeat. (Here are
more tips on
how to do a side lunge correctly
.)

4. Walking Lunges

Benefits: The most functional of lunge
variations, this one works your muscles similarly to how you walk
and run, says Perkins. It is difficult, though, so you may want to
work up to it starting with forward lunges.

Instructions: Stand tall with your feet
hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips, overhead, or grab
some weights, and take a slow, controlled step forward with your
right leg. Keeping your spine tall and the weight in your heels,
lower your body until both your front and back legs form 90-degree
angles, and your knees are directly over your ankles. Pause, then
take a big step forward with your left leg. Continue alternating to
move forward across the floor.

5. Isometric Lunges

Benefits: Holding a lunge is no easy task, but
it’s one best left to rehab situations, says Perkins. For instance,
if you’re recovering from a knee injury. Also, if you notice any
weak spots during your forward, backward, or walking lunges,
getting into an isometric lunge and holding your most troublesome
position can help you strengthen your legs when they’re bent at
that exact angle, she says. (Here’s more on
why isometric exercises deserve a place in your routine
.)

Instructions: Stand tall with your feet
hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips, overhead, or grab
some weights, and take a slow, controlled step forward with your
right leg. Keeping your spine tall and the weight in your heels,
lower your body until you reach your desired depth and hold as long
as you can without wobbling or breaking form. Bring your right leg
back to starting position. Step forward with your left leg and
repeat.

A general word on weights: Perform these lunges for four weeks
using only your bodyweight before adding dumbbells or kettlebells
into the mix, Perkins recommends. Start by adding 10 pounds, and
then increase the weight as you feel comfortable. (And get
excited: You’ll be scoring all these
health and fitness benefits of lifting weights
.)

Video Story Image: 

https://ift.tt/2OktYRe

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s