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
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.
Take one foot straight back from the starting point. Imagine you’re tracing the track with your foot.
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.
Drop the back knee to the ground. The front knee will track the ankle, and both legs will be bent at 90-degree angles.
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.