For the Love of Lunges
There are plenty of variations to choose from when it comes to lunges, a movement that can be done in the comfort of your home requiring no equipment. Whether you’re pressed for time, new to working out, have a sleeping baby, or just want to start moving, the lunge is a staple that is effective and efficient.
When we think of a lunge, many people assume the standard front-facing variation of stepping forward and dropping the back knee. In actuality, there are plenty of styles to consider. Reverse, side, jumping or walking to name a few. A personal favourite is the baby weighted version, which can be spiced up by holding baby on one side while lunging with the opposite leg. The lunge can be used in just about any workout whether the goal is to increase strength, hypertrophy or endurance. It’s a great movement for improving muscular imbalances that develop from something as benign as constantly leaning to one side while standing to overuse in sports such as biking, snowboarding or skiing. In other words, most people in Fernie can greatly benefit from incorporating lunges into their day regardless of the activity level or style.
Through unilateral movements, we are able to create balance, allowing us to move better and feel more alignment in our day to day life. A person looking to build strength has the option to load the lunge via dumbbells, barbell, sandbag or a heavy home object. Alternatively, if the goal is to increase endurance, a person could stick with bodyweight as it allows for longer duration and a higher volume of reps. That being said, I personally feel that we don’t always need to do high reps at a low weight to see success when it comes to improving endurance. Slow negatives, pulses or pauses are a great way to add variety and keep it interesting from one training session to the next. Once we have clearly established the foundations of a basic front or reverse lunge, the option to incorporate a second movement such as a step up, squat or jump provides new possibilities to your training.
Review this checklist for a few key points when completing a lunge.
- Pelvis travels straight up and down.
- The core is braced. Not arching through the lower back.
- Feet are far enough apart to give balance and control when moving up and down.
- Stability through the feet. The front heel is fully grounded with the knee over top of the ankle.
Once you feel comfortable with your lunge form, try this workout either at home or in the gym.
20 front lunges
20 reverse lunges
20 side lunges
Rest 30s to 1min
Make it Spicy
Replace reverse lunges for jumping lunges
Add a 4th round