Move It Monday: Lunges

by tinareale on September 24, 2012

So last week we took a break from a typical Move It Monday post for the announcement of Best Body Bootcamp Round 3 Registration opening (be sure to register!). This week I don’t plan to share a fully laid out workout with you, either. Hold on, hold on.

move it monday

Awhile ago, I did a post featuring 22 variations of the Plank Exercise. You all seemed to like that one a lot, so I thought we should bring out another feature on a particular exercise for you to include in your workouts. This time, we’re talking LUNGES!

lunges

I love lunges. They work your legs SO well and in so many different ways. Plus, you can never get sick of them because of the HUGE array of options to add to your workout. When done with proper form, they will effectively work your entire lower body, as well as your core as you stabilize yourself, and they will feel pretty good too.

5 Benefits of Lunges

  • Work the entire leg. – Lunges use everything from your glutes and hamstrings in the front leg to your hip flexors and quads in the back leg and all the way down to your calves!
  • Challenge your core. – To stabilize your body during the lunge your transverse abdominus (those deep, pull-em-in-tight muscles) remains activated.
  • Help strengthen instability in your lower body. – Your hips, lower calf, and ankles have to work hard to stabilize you, which helps strengthen key areas that often are weak without our even knowing it.
  • Recognize strength imbalances. – You can more readily spot weaknesses or a lowered range of motion in a particular leg during lunges than in a movement like squats and help to correct those imbalances.
  • Never-ending options. – From full body compound movements to power options to traditional and basic strength moves, you will have an endless variety to keep your body guessing and you motivated.

I give 12 different lunges I enjoy doing in my workouts in the video. Before we get to those, let’s go over some form tips. Always important to train with proper form! 

Form Tips

  • Keep your shoulders back and down with your head and neck aligned with your spine.
  • Tighten your core and pull your hips in so you aren’t arching your back. You should be standing with good posture, loose up top and controlled through the core and hips.
  • When lowering into the lunge, keep the movement as vertical as possible. You shouldn’t be bending forward, rocking through the knees, or collapsing at the hips.
  • Aim for a 90 degree bend in each bent leg, but do not push past the point of comfort in your range of motion.
  • Do not over-extend your knees beyond your toes.
  • Push through the heel of your front feet when rising out of the lunge.
  • Start with bodyweight only and gradually increase the weight to an amount you can still control with proper form.
  • Stop if you experience any pain or discomfort.

Time for the video – 12 of my favorite lunges! (please excuse the messed up sound…I don’t know why it starts so delayed and I didn’t have a chance to fix it)

For those reading at work (shhh! I won’t tell!) who can’t watch the video, I have a little summary of the exercises for you below. See how much I think of you? Or I just want you to have no excuse to skip the lunges. Winking smile

The Different Lunge Variations

  1. Stationary Lunge
  2. Crossover Lunge
  3. Backward Walking Lunge
  4. Side Lunge
  5. Walking Lunge
  6. Pendulum Lunge
  7. Reverse Lunge to Kick
  8. Pop Jump Lunges
  9. Jumping Switch Lunges
  10. Side to Side Punching Lunges
  11. Touchdown Lunges
  12. Walking Lunge with Leg Lift

Even More Ways To Mix It Up

  • Mix up the weight you use – bodyweight, dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, etc.
  • Make a movement a compound movement by incorporating an upper body exercise – like a stationary lunge with a bicep curl or a crossover lunge with a lateral raise.

What are you waiting for? Break out some lunges!

Your Turn – Do you like lunges? What’s your favorite type of lunge?

{ 31 comments }

1 Miz September 24, 2012 at 6:08 am

I am not a fan of lunges period….and my ass, errrrr, glutes reveal this.
off to lunge today.

PINKY SWEAR :)

2 misszippy September 24, 2012 at 6:27 am

Holy lunges batman! I had no idea there were so many variations! Excited to mix it up tomorrow when I strength train!

3 tinareale September 25, 2012 at 7:47 am

I actually cut out half of the ones I had listed because of time. I love my lunges!

4 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama September 24, 2012 at 6:33 am

I love to hate lunges! At least there’s multiple variations to keep it interesting! Thanks for sharing!

5 Michelle@Peachy Palate September 24, 2012 at 6:37 am

Love lunges, really great post, totally pinning the vid!!

6 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 24, 2012 at 7:03 am

LOVE lunges! I actually used to hate them, but now they might be one of my favorites!

7 Annie September 24, 2012 at 7:12 am

I hate lunges, I’m so unbalanced lol! I will master them …. someday!

8 Tonette of Smile N' Glow September 24, 2012 at 7:28 am

I can’t believe the timing of this! Haha! I just did a few lunges myself. :D

9 Tessa at Amazing Asset September 24, 2012 at 7:45 am

I love lunges! They are a guaranteed way to make my whole lower half quite sore the next day! Thanks for the variations Tina :)

10 Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family September 24, 2012 at 8:04 am

I love to hate lunges. Awesome variations!

11 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List September 24, 2012 at 8:05 am

awesome resource piece, Tina!! pinnnig it!

12 Amanda @ Run Principessa September 24, 2012 at 8:26 am

Definitely pinning this for when my knee feels better and doesn’t scream at me when I’m trying to lunge. Awesome post!

13 Heather (Where's the Beach) September 24, 2012 at 8:29 am

Lunges really are great and there are soooo many variations too. I think lunges are ideal for runners, especially swing lunges because you have to really focus on stabilization.

14 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries September 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

Ohhh boy, I easily get sick of lunges, no matter how variations! ;) But maybe it’s just because I’m not much of a fan of them in the first place? Haha. I DO love the benefits of lunges, how many muscles they work at once, and think they’re one of the best lower body exercises you can do though, so I try to incorporate them regularly even if they’re not my favorite!

15 Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots September 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

lunges and I have a love hate relationship!

16 Christine @ Love, Life, Surf September 24, 2012 at 9:07 am

I thought that I knew a lot of different lunge variations. Apparently, I do not. These are awesome. I used to hate lunges but I have learned to love them because they really do work so many different parts of your legs + balance. Can’t wait to try some of these out!

17 Marilyn September 24, 2012 at 9:10 am

I just went back and tried the plank variations, and they were great! I could really feel different muscles working. I’m looking forward to coming back and trying these lunge variations.

18 Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run September 24, 2012 at 9:16 am

I was JUST saying that lunges are the perfect subject for the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. I call lunges my frenemies…I hate them, yet I love squats. lol I’ve got this pinned, because I definitely need to incorporate more lunges.

19 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile September 24, 2012 at 9:58 am

Lunges are my favorite! :D

20 Elle September 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

I hate lunges. I know this means I need to keep doing them! Thanks for the tips and all the variations, too.

21 Allie September 24, 2012 at 10:21 am

I love/hate lunges. As in, I hate them, but I know that means they’re good for me/something I need to work on, haha. And thanks for that non-vid option for us working folk ;) Will check out the video when I’m not in the office!

22 Lisa September 24, 2012 at 11:34 am

Awesome! I’m trying to start to love lunges. I could squat for days, but lunges kill me everytime. The benefits of lunges are so great though, so I always make myself do them:)

23 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats September 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

lunges always leave me so sore, which means I know they work! I really need to focus on incorporating them more into my workouts!

24 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I love lunges in the “I-love-to-hate-them” sense. They work so well, but hurt so good at the same time. :-)

25 Heather (Heather's Dish) September 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm

lunges are seriously one of my absolute favorite exercises ever – they work EVERYTHING!

26 Melanie Cox September 24, 2012 at 2:04 pm

I can’t wait to get home and work these into my routine. I am not in love with lunges but have been practicing them and am starting to feel a flush of goodness for them. Thanks Tina for mixing it up…

27 Brittany of @suburbchicblog September 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I love these variations on the classic move…I get bored doing the same leg routines over and over, so these should keep my regimine spiced up! Thanks.

-Brittany

BLOG: http://suburbchicblog.blogspot.com
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/suburbchicblog

28 Michele @ Nycrunningmama September 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Not gonna lie…I didn’t know there were so many variations of lunges. I typically do 3-4 types of lunges…I’m excited to add some of these to my workout plan =) Great post, Tina!! Thank you for sharing!!

29 Annette@FitnessPerks September 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm

I LOVE lunges. So much. Backward stepping lunges & jump switch lunges are my fave! Oh and in BodyPUMP we do propulsion lunges <–awesome plyo & rocks your legs off :)

30 purelymichelle September 24, 2012 at 8:51 pm

love lunges!! my favorite way to work the legs

31 Danielle @ A Sense of Balance September 25, 2012 at 7:48 am

I want to like lunges, I do, but I hate them. I have bad knees and they always bug them at least a little. But squats? I LOVE squats. :-)

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