How To Do a Basic Forward Lunge
There’s oh so many reasons to love lunges — like the fact that there’s no equipment required, and plenty of creative variations available. Did we mention that this classic lower body move also sculpts toned legs and glutes?
Before we discuss how to do a proper lunge, let’s take a look at the benefits this exercise offers…
Benefits of lunges
Promotes functional fitness
Lunges are an extremely functional movement. Why? Because they’re essentially an exaggerated walking pattern. Incorporating lunges into your routine helps increase your day-to-day functioning, especially as you age (think of bending down to pick something up, or help a child tie their shoes). They’ll also benefit you in other exercises and activities, from yoga to tennis.
Strengthens your muscles
This rockstar movement works multiple muscles at the same time. Lunges work your quads, glutes, hips, hamstrings and calves, and also increase the strength of your core.
Improves balance and coordination
Lunges may look simple, but there’s a lot going on at the same time, which works wonders for your balance and mobility. Since you work one leg at a time, you’re also activating your stabilizer muscles for better stability.
Enhances spinal health and hip flexibility
As your legs and core become stronger, your back gets some relief! Lunges increase your lower body strength without compressing your spine. If you have back pain, you’ll be happy to know that lunges are easier on the back than squats.
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Correct form for a basic forward lunge
Just like with any exercise, proper form is key to staying safe and getting the maximum results for your efforts. Here’s how to do a basic forward lunge.
- Stand up tall, with your back straight and feet hip-width apart.
- Take a big step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the earth. Keep your weight in your right heel. Your hands can rest on your hips. NOTE: Make sure your your right knee is above your ankle and not past your toes.
- Pressing into your right heel, return to the starting position.
- Repeat 10 lunges on the right leg before repeating on the left leg.
As for some common mistakes to look out for…
- Feet too close together. Keep your feet hip-width apart, as if you’re on two skis rather than one tightrope.
- Front knee traveling too far. When the front knee float past your toes, it places stress on the knee. Make sure it’s stacked above your ankle.
- Leaning forward or backwards. Keep an upright torso while lunging. Think good posture: Shoulders back, belly button pulling in to the spine, no arch in the lower back.
- Chin jutting out. To keep your chin in proper alignment and parallel to the floor, imagine there’s a grapefruit tucked under your chin.
Once you master the basic lunge, there’s plenty of fun variations you can add to keep your workouts fresh. There’s walking lunges, side lunges, curtsy lunges, reverse lunges…the list goes on and on!
Boost your confidence with a personal trainer
Want personalized attention to ensure your form is in good shape? CA’s skilled personal trainers are here for you. Our trainers offer both in-person and virtual personal training options to help you achieve your fitness goals in a way that’s safe and effective. All you have to do is show up!