Need some variety for your leg day workouts at the gym or at home? The lunge is not only a great strength training exercise; it’s also a focused leg exercise.
Lunges help athletes build single-leg strength, power and stability. Drew Walsh, a corrective exercise and performance enhancement specialist, says learning the lunge pattern is vital.
“During competitive play in a majority of sports, athletes spend a lot of time in a single-leg dominant position,” Walsh says.
The lunge mimics various elements of athletics. This includes sprint mechanics, as well as acceleration and change-of-direction patterns.
There are several different variations to the lunge pattern. However, let’s look at the reverse lunge.
HOW TO DO THE REVERSE LUNGE
Begin by facing straight forward with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with one leg, measured at one stride length. Then, stabilize your hips and lower your knee to just above the floor. Make sure your knee does not touch the ground.
Push through your heel as you drive back up and into your starting position.
To increase the difficulty, you can add weight to your lunges. You can use a medicine ball, kettlebell, barbell or dumbbells for added resistance.
- Medicine ball: Hug the ball to your chest.
- Kettlebell: Use a goblet squat hold.
- Barbell: Balance the bar on your upper back for external resistance.
- Dumbbells: When holding one in each hand, keep your arms toward the ground when lunging.
“You want to have a nice, forward shin angle and forward lean,” Walsh says. “This helps to mimic the position for sprinting mechanics and linear acceleration, which is crucial when we’re in the field of play.”
Now that you have the lunge pattern down, you can move on to a new exercise. Check out these Pro Tips on how to do a squat and the mechanics behind the move.