Butt Fact: If more energy is driven down through the heels while doing exercises that target the posterior chain, the more the glutes will be activated.
The lunge is another staple in the fitness enthusiast’s tool box. There are so many ways to lunge that this series can’t possibly cover them all, so here I’ll show you the basic exercise to get you started.
Lunges work all the leg and hip muscles and can easily be done using just body weight. They also add instability and force you to work on your balance.
- Start in a standing position with your feet at a comfortable width.
- Step forward with your right leg, landing heel to toe, while keeping the torso upright and maintaining balance.
- Try not to allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put undue stress on the knee joint.
- Using mainly the heel of your right foot, push up and return to the starting position.
- Repeat for 15 reps and then repeat by lunging with your left leg forward for 15 reps.
To make the lunge a little easier, start with your right leg forward and just bend your knees while staying in place. Don’t let the rear knee touch the floor, as you don’t need to lunge that low. Straighten out your legs and repeat for the desired reps with each leg. This is still working on your leg and hip strength as well as balance.
To increase the challenge of lunges, you can add weight by holding dumbbells at your sides, lunge backwards or sideways, maintain an isometric (stationary) lunge while doing an upper body exercise, or do them while walking.