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Muscles Targeted by Lunges
Quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings are the main body parts that get targeted by lunges. Other than these three, calves also get pumped up.
Though lunges are lower body dominant exercise, it does target abdominal or core muscles. Balance is the crucial component to have a technically correct lunge. Our body automatically engages core muscles to balance the body while performing lunges. Thus, involuntarily, the core also gets good work. Obliques also get engaged during this exercise.
How to Do Lunges?
- Stand upright with feet hip-width apart. Do not arch the back forward or backwards.
- Now step forward. This stride should be longer than your normal walking stride. One leg should be ahead of your torso and the other should be behind the torso.
- The front foot should be completely flat, and the rear foot should rise from the ground keeping the fingers in touch with the ground.
- Bend the front foot from the knee. Try to maintain an angle of 90 degrees between the lower leg and upper leg of the front foot.
- Keep the torso straight and engage the core to balance the body.
- Now bring yourself back to the initial position and perform similar actions with the second leg.
- Perform a similar set of actions with alternate legs for as many repetitions as you can.
Precautions to take while doing Lunges
- The knee of the front foot should not go beyond the toe of the front foot. This will stretch you unnecessarily.
- The rear knee should not touch the ground.
- You can keep your hands at the hip or crossed onto the chest. The ultimate aim is to keep the equilibrium of the body.
Lunges Exercises for Beginners
The principle of lunges and the targeted muscles remain the same in every other type of lunge. However, emphasis is given to a particular area of leg muscles. Thus, if you want to target certain leg muscles, you can include various types of lunges in your workout routine.
Static lunges also known as split squats. It is midway between a proper lunge and a proper squat. In this, you don’t need to step out completely nor do you need to step back. This hits the quadriceps with higher intensity as compared to normal lunges.
These are the same as that of forward lunges. The only difference is that instead of stepping forward, you step back and perform similar actions. An extra focus is on hamstrings and glutes.
In lateral lunges, you step out to the side instead of forward or backwards. Quite obviously the groin and inner part of the quads gets worked out. This is a great exercise to have a full-fledged focus on inner quads.
If you have a very long area dedicated to working, this could be a great option for you. In a regular lunge, you remain in the same position. While in walking lunges, as the name suggests, you simply walk while doing the lunging action.
This is a bit advanced lunge exercise and obviously a tad difficult. In this, while moving from left to right leg and right to left leg, you jump slightly to allow that to happen. The jumps literally burn the quadriceps. People also include this in their cardio routine as it also gives extra work to your heart.
Inclined split squats (inclined lunges)
This is similar to split lunges; the only difference is that you keep your back foot at an elevated position by using a chair or bench or anything which has a height just below your hip level.
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How many Sets or Repetitions to Perform?
Everybody has different levels of fitness, so there isn’t any correct answer to this question. However, to make a general judgment, try to perform three sets of 12-15 repetitions of normal lunge. You can obviously perform other types of lunges as per your requirements.
Once you become a pro in all these types of lunges, you can ramp up the intensity by holding a dumbbell in both hands. This could help in progressive overload.
As said earlier, lunges are an awesome way to work out the leg muscles. Lunges, squats, or any kind of lower body exercise do take a lot of tolls on your body, especially compared with upper body workouts. So, make sure you are doing leg exercises with proper nutrition level, in ventilated space. Take a breather between the sets and drink some water.
Most importantly do proper warm up before the leg exercises. Don’t avoid post-workout stretching if you don’t want sore leg muscles the next day.
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Lunges are a strength training exercise that involves stepping forward or backward with one leg and lowering the hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Lunges primarily target the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
There are several variations of lunges, including:
Bulgarian Split Squats
Indeed, lunges are highly effective in enhancing lower body strength and stability. By activating various muscle groups at once, they encourage enhanced muscle endurance, improved balance, and better coordination.
Certainly, lunges are versatile and can be adjusted to accommodate a range of fitness levels, even for those just starting out. Commencing with bodyweight lunges and progressively moving towards incorporating weights can aid beginners in developing both strength and self-assurance.