Lunges primarily target the lower body muscles, but they also work the core muscles because it is a one-sided exercise. Lunges can be a great strength training exercise to add to your fitness routine. There are dozens of ways to vary them, either by modifying the movement or by adding resistance and the benefits are significant, namely a stronger lower body. Here’s what you need to know to start practicing them.

What muscles do lunges work on?

Lunges work the largest muscles in the lower body, primarily the quadriceps, gluteus maximus, and adductor magnus (muscle on the inside of the thigh). Other muscles that come into play are the hamstrings, gluteus medius, calves, and core stabilizers.

However, the muscles that work the most change depending on the lunge variations you perform. The angle of work required to perform the different lunges can affect the activation of one muscle versus another. Even the size of the step you take can affect the use of a specific muscle. For example, if you do forward and backward lunges, you will mainly work the gluteus maximus, adductors and quadriceps. Side lunges will work the gluteus medius more. And if you take big steps forward and backward, you’ll work your glutes more, while small steps will target your quads more.

What are the benefits of slits?

Why is all this important? Lunges develop functional strength. You will be better equipped to perform the movements of daily life. For example, your muscles will perform better for running, walking and climbing stairs.

Another reason lunges are so effective?

It is a form of unilateral training, which means that you only work one limb or side of the body at a time. Unilateral training is a more effective way to build functional strength (than using both legs) because these types of movements mimic other daily life movements, such as walking and stair climbing and more. for the working leg. Research suggests that the strength gains for the non-working side are about half the strength gains for the working side.

Additionally, unilateral training, because it involves balance, also works the core muscles. Plus, the strength and stability you build in your hips with the lunges translates to protection for your knees. The more you strengthen your hips with lunges (and other lower body exercises), the less likely your knees are to suffer from pain and injury.

Are lunges right for everyone?

Depending on your physical condition and injury history, lunges are safe for most people. Lunges are a great exercise for anyone, as long as there is no pain. If you have suffered a hip or knee injury (or knee pain), lunges may not be recommended until the inflammation has subsided and you are cleared to move. Consult your doctor first before adding lunges to your routine if you have suffered this type of injury or have any other medical conditions that may affect your ability to exercise safely.

Lunges are generally suitable for pregnant women, provided they have exercised before and during their pregnancy. They can continue to do lunges as they already did. If you’re new to exercise or want to regain strength, consider starting with modified lunges. Your muscles will continue to work, but you should be able to maintain proper form (more on proper form below). Over time, you will be able to lengthen your stride and deepen the movement.

How many lunges should you do and how often?

Adults are advised to train all major muscle groups at least twice a week. However, it is best to work specific muscle groups on non-consecutive days to give muscles time to recover and get stronger. Give your muscles 48 hours to rest after an intense lunging session.

The number of sets and reps you perform should be based on your personal fitness goals.

If you’re new to lunges and want to work on form and technique and start building some muscular endurance, you can do a higher number of reps, between 12 and 20 per set. Start with one set if you’re a beginner, then increase the number of reps as you get stronger. If you’re doing lunges with hard weights to increase your muscular endurance, do fewer reps per set. You can do two to four sets of 8 to 12 reps.

On the other hand, if your goal is muscle building, you can opt for even harder weights that only allow you to do 6 to 12 reps for three to six sets.

How to do a lunge correctly: 3 variations

There are several variations of lunges, but the three most common are front, side, and back lunges. Here’s how to do each one.

Front lunge

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms along your body.
Step your right foot forward 50-60cm, keeping your torso straight, so your knees are over your toes.
Bend your right knee at a 90 degree angle, with the right thigh parallel to the floor.
Pushing off the heel of your right foot and shifting your weight to your left foot, bring your right foot back to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise on the other side.

Back or reverse lunge

Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart, arms along the body.
Place your right foot about 50-60cm behind you, landing on the tip of your right foot. Keep your torso straight.
Lower towards the floor by bending the right knee at a 90 degree angle.
Push off on the tip of the right foot and return to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise on the other side.

side slit

Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart, arms along the body.
Keeping the left foot planted, step with the right foot to the side.
Lower towards the floor until your right knee forms a 90 degree angle with the right thigh parallel to the floor. Keep the left leg straight.
Push through the right heel to transfer the weight to the left leg and return to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise on the other side.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.