Pro Athlete Lunges

Without strong legs, you don’t have much to stand on. Strengthen your legs with simple forward lunges. These movements are some of the easiest and most beneficial exercises you can do to strengthen your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. There’s no equipment or gym needed, you don’t even need weights to get a good range of motion and strengthen your legs.

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to do lunges incorrectly and accidentally cause yourself injury. If you’re doing an exercise incorrectly, you’re causing more harm than good. Once you have the basics in hand and your form is correct, you can add on to your lunges and work your muscles even more, such as by using weights, a balance bar, or by doing walking lunges. Until then, focus on getting the basic technique down pat.

Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and you hands either at your sides or on your hips for stability. Keeping your weight on your left leg (your non-moving leg), lower your hips and step forward with your right leg and dip your left knee down as far as you can. Don’t let your right knee go past your toe on your moving leg. Stand back up and return to your starting position. Repeat with opposite leg. Continue the movements so you complete six to ten lunges with each leg. Do six sets of six or three to four sets of ten lunges. Rest in between sets.

Once you perfect the basic form, feel free to add weights or a balance bar. To add weights, simply hold a set of dumbbells that are a comfortable weight at your sides or at your shoulders with your elbow pointing forwards. You don’t need to do any extra movement – the added weight of the dumbbells will give you a tougher workout. If you want to use a balance bar, pick it up in both your hands, bring it up to your chest, and raise it over your head so you’re holding it against the back of your shoulders with your palms facing forward. By holding the balance bar in this position, you are adding weight to the back of your body, changing your center of gravity, which takes increased core strength to do the movements.

You can make your lunges even more challenging by doing walking lunges. These should only be attempted once you have perfected the proper form and can maintain that form while moving. To do moving lunges, stand in the starting position with your feet about should width apart and your hands on your hips. Lower your hips and step forward into the lunge position with your right leg, weight held in your left non-moving leg. Instead of pulling backwards to return to the starting position, release your left leg and step forward until your left foot is in line with your right in starting position. Keep your weight in your right leg, lower your hips and lunge forward with your left leg, dipping your left knee down. Come back up to starting position by bringing your right leg up to meet your left. Continue these two movements being very careful to maintain proper form. Do three to four sets of ten lunges. Rest in between sets.

Forward lunges are only one direction you can take the movement. Once you are satisfied with your performance of forward lunges, try backward lunges and side lunges. To perform a backwards lunge, keep your weight in your left leg, lower your hips and step back with your right leg, dipping your right knee down and pressing your toe to the floor. Bring your right leg back up to starting position. Repeat with opposite leg. Perform side lunges by doing the same thing but to each side.