As I See Fit — Taking the lunge
- on June 25, 2012
I've said it a hundred times, and I'll say it again: I am a huge fan of workouts and workout moves that require little or no equipment.
As a trainer and fitness instructor, I've seen workout fads come and go over the years. We all have.
But if there is one thing that I have learned, it is that the basics are still around for one shining reason. Simply put, they work. And while shaking things up and trying out new workouts is always a good thing, there are some moves that should never leave your little black book.
The lunge is one such classic. You know it and you either love it or hate it. It has many variations but all hold one common truth: The lunge is still around because it delivers results. It can play a key role in helping you to reshape your lower body. Don't hate me for saying it, but it's time to learn to love the lunge. It's here to stay.
Functional fitness is another hot topic of mine. I firmly believe in balance and living your life in harmony with exercise.
The lunge is a functional fitness move that we replicate in our daily lives. It can aid in stabilization and balance, and it forces us to work our bodies in different planes of motion.
There are additional advantages to performing lunges properly. When using the correct form, you can really work your entire lower body very effectively, instead of working and isolating just your quadriceps, which is where many people go awry.
If you feel that a lunge puts too much strain on your knee, it is very likely that you are not performing the exercise properly. Always make certain that your knee does not extend past the tip of your toes. Additionally, your body weight should always be on your front heel and not on your toes or the front part of your foot.
Another big bonus of properly executing a lunge is that your hip flexors are more stretched and pliable, which allows your glutes to receive more effective attention. And that's a good thing, right?
So get ready to focus on some proper form and execution. You can literally lunge your way to a better body, and bottom. So let's get moving!
Stand in a split-stance (one leg forward, one leg back).
Bend knees and lower body into a lunge position, keeping the front knee and back knee at 90 degree angles.
Keeping the weight in your heels, push back up (slowly!) to starting position. Never lock your knees at the top, and don't let your knee extend past your toes.
Variations are front lunges, back lunges and side lunges.
LUNGE WITH MEDICINE BALL TWIST
You can perform this with a weight such as a medicine ball or just with your outstretched hands. Stand up tall with your core drawn in and your shoulders in neutral alignment.
Lunge one foot forward and land with your heel or the back two-thirds of your foot first. Your lunge should be far enough that your knee is directly above your ankle.
From the bottom lunge position, extend your arms with the medicine ball. Keep your core tight and rotate your upper body and the medicine ball over the front leg as far as you can while you maintain your drawn-in core.
You can perform multiple stationary lunges for each lunge or multiple twists each time you lunge for a more intense workout. This is a good exercise to use at the beginning, middle and end of your medicine ball workouts.