Lunges have been around for a long time, but are often performed incorrectly. Even worse than just having poor form is when this poor form degenerates into becoming a dangerous exercise. By not using the proper form when doing lunges, you can actually injure your knees. This post will be a guide for you so that you know exactly how to do lunges.
We will take a look at three different types of lunges for different levels of fitness—reverse lunges, static lunges, and walking lunges.
Important Note: If you are very over weight, it is suggested that you not start out with lunges. Instead, try the split squat (read a how to article here).
Beginners Level Lunges: The Reverse Lunge
If you have never done a lunge before in your life, then you would be served very well by starting out with reverse lunges. In a reverse lunge, your front foot stays static, and you step backwards into the lunge.
This is a great start for beginners because there is less of a chance of injury, and it will give you the opportunity to feel the exercise. You will feel which muscle groups are working hardest, and you will get to feel how well your joints are responding to it.
To perform the reverse lunge, simply stand straight up with your feet together, step back into a lung, and lower your body in a controlled manner. Return to the starting position, switch legs, and repeat. It is very important to step back far enough so that the knee of the front leg does NOT extend over your toes.
Intermediate Level Lunges: The Static Lunge
For the intermediate trainee, the standard, or static lunge will do just fine. With this version of the lunge, we are not stepping back, but forward into the exercise.
Begin just as you would the reverse lunge. Step forward with your right leg, far enough again to ensure your knee is not in front of the toe. Get into your lunge, and lower your torso in a controlled manner.
To return to the starting position, push off of your front heal, driving it into the ground. Switch legs, and repeat.
Advanced Level Lunges: The Walking Lunge
The walking lunge is often misused and done very poorly in gyms all over the world. Because you are moving across a space, you must be very focused on maintaining good form throughout the movement. Most people let their form get worse as they get tired and the exercise progresses. This is exactly when injury becomes very likely.
To perform the walking lunge, start as you would the others. Step out and into a lunge, but instead of returning to the starting position, you are going to bring your rear leg up to your front leg. You will then switch legs, and repeat
It is very important to maintain good posture, and be very conscious of your front knee position every time you take another step.
A Short Video About Lunges
Here is a very good video of a trainer demonstrating static lunges to help you further get an idea of the form.
Fast Tube by Casper
A Great Exercise To Do At Home
Overall, when good form is used, the lunge is a great exercise to perform at home. It’s excellent for developing strength in the whole leg—the quadriceps, hamstrings, and the glutes.
Ladies, if you are looking to get that great butt you’ve always wanted, this is one of the best exercises to put into your arsenal!
Just remember, always use very good form and listen to your body. Muscle soreness is fine, joint soreness probably means you over did it, or your form is off.