Everyone knows that if you want to build a sexy posterior then you’ve got to be doing squats. But what about lunges? Lunges are a phenomenal lower body exercise, so if you’re interested in sculpting sexy legs and perking up that booty, then you’ll want to make sure that lunges are a regular exercise in your workouts.
Even if you’re already doing squats, you’ll want to include lunges since they are especially taxing on your glutes; which means, you guessed it, a better booty, faster. Since you can generally lift more weight (if you’re doing a resistance training workout) you’ll want to do your lunges some time after you’ve finished your squats. If it’s a bodyweight workout, then the order doesn’t really matter, but you’ll probably find the lunges harder.
Why You Want To Do Lunges
Lunges are a great exercise for building and sculpting muscle in your quads, glutes, hammies and calves (i.e your thighs, butt, hamstrings and… calves). So, like squats, they’re great for working every muscle in your legs, but crucially they are a unilateral exercise – each leg is worked separately – which is particularly effective for getting more core activation and hitting the muscles used for stabilization.
Again, like squatting, lunging is one of the basic movements we as humans should be good at doing, so it behooves us to be good at it – you never know where you may end up needing it!
How To Do The Lunge
Even though most people know about lunges, have probably done a few (or few thousand), many get it wrong. Here’s how to do it correctly:
There are a few things to watch out for:
- Keep your knees straight. Don’t let your leading knee collapse inwards.
- Keep your ankles straight. Don’t let your leading ankle collapse inwards.
- Keep your body upright. Don’t lean forward.
- Keep your knee in line with your ankle.*
If you are doing any of the above things when you lunge, then you may need to look at activation exercises and stretching to help correct this.
* This article by the American Council on Exercise explains why the idea that you should never let your knees go past your toes while doing squats or lunges can be incorrect (for example, if you have long limbs). If you read their article you’ll see that one study found that trying to restrict the movement of the forward knee can increase the stress placed on the hips significantly (when doing squats).
Let’s talk a little about stride length: lunges with a long stride, place the emphasis on your gluteal muscles, while lunges with a short stride place it on your quadriceps. Good to know – if you want to spend more time on your booty go for a longer stride, for your thighs, try a shorter stride.
21 Amazing Lunge Variations
Resistance Band Lunges
Free Weight Lunges
You’ve got a ton of lunges there to keep you busy for a long time, so in your next workout mix it up: swap out your usual lunge type and even add in a few more – lunge workout anyone? That’s just the tip of the iceberg because any lunge you can do with bodyweight you can also do with resistance bands (which are great for lighting up your core), dumbbells or a barbell.
What’s your favorite lunge variation? Let us know in the comments below!