Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Basic Move of the Week - The Lunge

This is week 3 of our Basic Moves Series. During Week 1 we covered the Push-up, and Week 2 we covered  Squats. This week we are going to cover the Lunge. If you aren’t doing lunges now, they will be a great addition to your leg routine.

There are several types of lunges which allow you to target different parts of your lower body. According to the American Council on Exercise, this single exercise works the abs, butt, hips and thighs all at once. They can be performed using your own body weight, or you can make them more challenging by adding weight with dumbbells or barbells. Lunges improve balance, hip mobility and coordination. Because lunges closely mimic movements found in many sports that involve running and jumping, they are great training exercises. However, you don’t need to be an athlete to benefit from doing lunges. Spending long periods of time sitting can make your hip flexors tight. Lunges and reverse lunges can help keep these muscles more flexible.

Some of my favorite types of lunges include:

Forward Lunges:  The basic lunge. Learn proper form/technique here.

Reverse Lunge: The reverse lunge causes less stress on the knees because they cannot extend beyond the toes.  The reverse lunge develops the quadriceps and hamstring muscles in the thighs and helps to shape the glutes.

Side Lunge - The side lunge emphasizes the inner thighs along with the hips and glutes.

Sliding Side Lunges - Adding a paper plate or towel to the traditional side lunge creates more challenge for the inner thighs.

Curtsy Lunge - Works the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, abs, calves – great for outer thighs

Walking Lunge – This lunge is great for getting your heart rate up, so if you want to get a little cardio action in your workout, this one is a good choice.

If you feel any pain while doing lunges, make sure you are using proper form.
If you have had a knee injury or surgery, check with your doctor to find the right exercises for you.
If you're a beginner, start with one exercise (such as basic stationary lunges) and do 1 to 2 sets of 10 to 16 reps, adding weight when you feel comfortable


Tara Burner said...

love lunges...though squats and pushups are my fav :)

Julie said...

So cool to have all this information and I found the follow by e-mail thing. It's at the bottom. Sorry about that. So that means you'll be in my in-box. Thanks.
Take care and God Bless!!