This week it’s all about the Lunge. I suppose this is one of our favourite L-words, except this one isn’t spelled like lunch. A lunge is a movement that refers to any position of the human body where one leg is positioned forward with your foot flat on the floor while your other leg is behind. The lunge is an all-round exercise and is found in many different disciplines of sport like CrossFit, lifting, bootcamp and yoga.
As soon as you try the lunge you will feel it. You use pretty much all of the big muscle groups that are in your legs such as glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. And then we have the core, our best buddy when it comes to compound exercises like the lunge because you have to keep you upper body stabile while moving.
First of all, keep your upper body straight. Your shoulders and back are relaxed and your chin is up before starting the exercise. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent about 90 degrees (that is similar to an L-angle). Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle (not pushed out too far) and the other knee that is behind your back does not touch the floor. There it is, this is known as ‘the lunge’. Not that hard right?
Try to make sets for yourself. For example: 20x left leg, 20x right leg for three rounds with 1 minute rest in between the rounds, because your muscles need time to recover before you smash them again.
Do NOT bend backwards while lunging. We don’t want them to do more harm than good. You will definitely hurt your back so keep that core really tight and your back straight and firm. If you keep it really REALLY tight you might grow some abs as well! Worth the try, right?
This exercise can put some strain on your knees. If you feel pain try to make smaller steps to reduce your range of motion. You can slowly build up your range but make sure your knees are okay.
You can make your lunge more fun by moving forward while doing the exercise instead of staying in place. If you want to have a good laugh, try to lunge walk backwards! That’s a real brain f*ck.
If you want to make the lunge a bit more intense but you don’t want to start using weights you can try the jumping lunge. It requires the same movement as a regular lunge except you speed it up by jumping in the air while switching your legs forward. It’s looks like this: Left, jump, right, jump, left, jump etc.
If you manage to do a proper lunge and you want to make it heavier by adding some weight you can use a barbell. Place the bar on the inside of your elbows and keep it close to your body. While holding the bar tight, lunge forward and step back. Repeat with your other leg and i’m sure you will already feel the difference!
If you want a real challenge: try the overhead lunge. You can do this with a bar (15 or 20 kilo) or a plate (5 of 10 kg). Make sure you choose a weight that you can hold with your arms straight in the air, because it’s above your head and i’m sure you are going to need your brains more often. We’re not doing skull crushes today so keep it safe!
As you might notice there are a lot of different options for this exercise. You can make it your own little lunge party and combine different variations in a set. Are you ready kick some ass with those legs and try some of the above? We think you are!
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