You know that one girl (and everybody knows at least one) who is beautiful, smart and can do pretty much anything? The lunge is kind of like that… Exercise You Love to hate it. I don’t know if I would say a lunge is beautiful or smart necessarily, but it can do pretty much anything you want it to do—it can reshape your lower body, increase your muscle tissue, develop your core strength and make your hips more flexible. It works your body on multiple planes of motion, burns loads of calories, improves your balance, strength and flexibility, and requires no equipment and minimal space. In other words, it’s perfect.

So instead of hating the lunge, let’s go ahead and make it our best friend:

The Basic Lunge

Step 1

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes lined up. It helps if you visualize for a moment that you’re standing on railroad tracks.

Step 2

Take one foot straight back from the starting point. Imagine you’re tracing the track with your foot.

Step 3

You will be on the toe of your back foot. This is the balance factor. You’re in a split stance. Most of us, when asked to do that, move one foot back but end up like standing on a tightrope.

Step 4

Drop the back knee to the ground. The front knee will track the ankle, and both legs will be bent at 90-degree angles.

Step 5

Drive up through the front heel to fire up the posterior change ( glutes, hamstrings), ending just where you started…feet about hip-width apart like you’re standing on a railroad track.

When performing the lunge properly, you will have a wide stance, be standing tall and feel stable. And the stretch will be in the back leg as you sink down.

This is just the basic lunge. There are many other types, and once you have the basic understanding how to execute a standing alternating lunge you can experience all of them…you’ll have lots of awesome new friends.

Oh, I can’t forget to mention that it’s a great exercise you love can do almost anywhere…walking lunges at the office, down the street, or pretty much anywhere. No equipment needed. Just a desire to move and feel good.

-Fitness Retreat Center

High-intensity Interval Training

High intense training can be performed by all fitness levels. Adjusting movements and changing rest times is all you need to do. High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, programmed correctly can burn that fat, melt those calories and improve your cardio tremendously in a shorter period of time than if you did so on your own. High-Intensity interval training takes a series of movements and puts them together in a way that the rest times between exercises are slim to none and muscle endurance and strength can be obtained while also keeping your heart rate revved without sacrificing form.

Your muscles and lungs start to accumulate an oxygen “debt” known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC generates a calorie and fat incinerating metabolism for hours after your work out. Continuously training in this fashion will benefit you in so many ways. You will see faster results along with seeing your exercise routine be turned up to levels you never thought you could do. You will physically and mentally be a better and a more fit individual. You will find yourself challenging your body and in return getting faster results.

You can test this yourself if you have a heart rate/ calorie monitor. After a really good HIIT work out check out how many calories you have and remember the amount. Check your calories 30 minutes later and write down the number of extra calories you have just burned not doing anything but breathing. Do this again with a standard weight lifting session on your own. The difference in numbers is going to be very different. Now assuming you are still trying to lose weight and become stronger and more toned the benefits are far greater than if you did a strict weight lifting session on your own or a cardio class. The HIIT workout gets the best of both worlds and then some. You build strong toned muscle, your heart rate stays up, lungs and breathing become more efficient and at the end of it, all more calories are burned during and post-workout.


Below is a short example of a HIIT workout:

3 rounds of 40 seconds each exercise. Move on to the next exercise as fast as possible.

Start 1st round with 100 jump rope singles

DB swings Overhead/Walking lunges/Squat Jumps

Start 2nd round with 75 jump rope singles

DB swings Overhead/Walking lunges/Squat Jumps/ Wall sit with DB press

Start 3rd round with 25 jump rope singles

DB swings Overhead/Walking lunges/Squat Jumps/ wall sit with DB press/ Burpess


30 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest x4: mountain climbers (3min total)

Rest 1 minute

20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest x4: Box Jumps (2min total)

Rest 45 seconds

10 seconds of rest followed by 5 seconds of rest x4: Jack Squats (1min total)

HIIT training is going to challenge you, it will be different and most of all fun. Don’t forget to allow your body to take 1-2 rest days a week since these workouts will be more demanding and on your body physically and mentally.