Lunges are great, you should do them
The humble lunge is a great movement that is often overlooked or skipped. Maybe you’re too tired after your main training for the day. Maybe you just can’t be bothered so you hit up the leg press instead. But lunges have a few tricks up their sleeves – a few little perks that other movements don’t always share.
We all know that in the modern day and age, we sit a lot. Driving, commuting, sitting at a desk, chilling out at home – all time spent sitting. Lunging and it’s many variations is a great ‘cure’ for many of the ailments brought on by sitting! It gets your pelvis moving, stretches out your anterior hip, activates the hamstrings, glutes and core – there’s so much to love about lunging 😀
I often like to think of lunges as either ‘quad dominant’ or ‘posterior chain dominant’. Taking a shorter step where the knee travels further over the toes will be a little more quaddy, taking a longer step where the knee doesn’t travel very far (you may end up with a vertical or slightly negative shin angle) will focus a bit more on the hamstring/glutes.
Now, keep in mind that with any type of lunge you will be using all of these muscle groups (the quads, hamstrings and glutes). We’re talking a slight edge one way or the other depending on how you do them.
Now keeping the above in mind, if you want to focus on your quads – you can tweak your lunge technique to do that (and vice versa). If you want to increase the challenge for your core, you can offset one side with a moderate to heavy dumbell and add a ‘suitcase carry’ to the lunge itself. Want to work on your overhead/shoulder stability? You can add an overhead carry on one or both sides.
Lunges are useful for a tonne of things because they are so versatile. You don’t have to do the same ol’ thing every time – mix it up!
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out our video on lunges here –
Image credit: https://traineracademy.org/