Fitness Move of the Week: The Lunge

by | Aug 4, 2015 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022

Whether they’re bodyweight or weighted, lunges are a great legs and glutes exercise. The movement is simple, but there are many common mistakes that you can correct to gain the maximum benefit from lunges.
Lunges are a great way to build balance, increase your hip flexor flexibility, and increase lean muscle. . They’re a great exercise to use in a dynamic warm up, or as part of a routine. Read on for guidelines for the basic lunge and its best variations!
Basic Lunge
1. From a neutral standing position, lift your chest, engage your core, and keep your chin up
2. Take a big step forward until both of your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. The knee of your front leg should be directly over your ankle, not in front of it. Your front leg should be directly perpendicular to your body. The toes of your back foot will keep you balanced, but most of your weight should be placed in your front foot.
3. Push back from your front leg to return to your starting position. Repeat on opposite leg, performing as many reps as desired.
Back Lunge
This is performed the same way as the front lunge, but you’ll step back first and the weight will go into your back foot. Keep your front leg in a strong 90-degree position for balance.
Side Lunge
Take a big step to the side and let your weight fall onto that leg. Your leg won’t bend as much as it does in the other lunges. Your torso should hinge forward to help keep you balanced. You can keep the other foot flat or flexed. Sit back so some of the power goes into your glutes. Push back up to do the other side.
Weighted Lunge
You can add weight to any of your lunges with various weights. Dumbbells are easy to hold in each hand on your sides for front and back lunges; with side lunges, they can go between your legs. You can also hold a weight plate or a kettlebell in the center of your chest (like this) to add weight.