Lunges: "The Queen of Exercises" for women
Lunges are a great
strength builder for everyone from the beginning
to the 5K racer, to a seasoned marathoner, to the biathlete, to the serious
racer. They are one of the most important
exercises for the thigh and buttocks.
While performing a lunge always strive to keep your torso as upright as
possible to minimize the
stress on the
Lunge as deep as you want; the deeper you go, the more
challenging it is to get back to home base.
What's nice about the Lunge is that there are many varieties you can perform-
an advantage that increases the variety of your training and makes
Step forward as far as you can with your right foot, bend your right knee then
push yourself back to your starting point.
MUSCLES WORKED: This one is great for the front and back of the
especially the buttock
Note: Make it harder by stepping out farther or bending the knee more to lunge
deeper, or by trying to accomplish more repetitions per minute without
Step to the right with your right foot, bend your right knee then push yourself
back to the starting point. Try to keep your feet parallel to each other.
MUSCLES WORKED: Like the forward lunge, this one works the front and back of the
thigh and buttock, but it puts an extra emphasis on the inner thigh.
Step to the right with your left foot and turn the foot and
hips to the left to
face the direction you're lunging. Keep the right foot facing straight and the
left foot facing the direction you're lunging. This will look a bit like a
MUSCLES WORKED: Like the other lunges, this one works the front and back of the
thigh and the buttock but it puts a little extra emphasis on the deeper hip
Note: Try rotating around past 90 degrees. In other words, if you're facing
"North" go past "west" all the way around to "Southwest" or diagonally back to
The most effective and safest variation of lunging is the Reverse Lunge.
Unlike a forward Lunge, taking a step backwards rather then forward completes a
reverse Lunge. The effects on the muscle are the same, but the reverse Lunge
places less stress on the knees because the knees cannot extend beyond the toes.
Begin with your feet shoulder width apart, torso erect. Take a slow, controlled
step backwards. When the ball of your foot touches the floor, continue the
movement by lowering your hips so that your forward thigh becomes parallel to
the floor. At this point your forward knee should be positioned directly over
your ankle or foot slightly behind. Your front foot should be pointing straight
ahead, and your trailing knee should be extended to stretch your hip flexor
muscles. After reaching the most comfortable bottom position, shift your balance
forward and then push off with your rear foot while straitening your forward
leg. When you have returned to the starting position, repeat the movement with
the other leg. During the reverse Lunge your weight is primarily centered upon
your forward leg, which remains stationary, making it easier to maintain your
These exercises burn maximum calories, shape and define a greater percentage
of your total mass and provide phenomenal
cardiovascular benefits. If you
participate in cross training sports, the
flexibility gained from performing the
Lunge will improve your performance. The increased
flexibility enables you to
develop a more efficient running motion because you can increase the time your
feet spend on the ground, allowing you to achieve more power from the push off.
In addition to running, the lunge will help you with any activity that requires
lunging movements, such as tennis and dance
Dated 13 October 2011