As I’m a big fan of leg exercises and believe that they need to be a main part of your workouts, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful day we have here today and I walked down to the park outside my home.
I carried with me my small camcorder and a pair of dumbbells. The result is this video which shows how to do various lunge exercises. I love lunges because they simply get the job done: they work your lower body tremendously and they are intense enough to get your heart pumping quickly.
We all know how to do a forward lunge but there are 5 other types of lunge exercises which I show in the video below. Enjoy:
Let’s go over the 5 variations I showed in the video and go into them with a bit more detail:
This is the basic lunge exercise which most of us already know. I love this variation but you need to know how to do it correctly to get the most benefits from it while reducing your risk of injury or strain.
What you basically do is take a medium step forward with one leg and bend that knee. What will happen is that your body will go down toward the ground and the heel of your rear leg will rise. You have to make sure that your back is straight and that the front knee doesn’t pass the tip of your toes.
The extent of your descent should be limited by your rear knee. It shouldn’t touch the ground.
As you rise you take a step backward to the starting position. Then you switch legs and repeat. You can also hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides if you want to add a bit of intensity to the exercise.
Reverse Lunge – Backward Lunge
The reverse lunge, also known as the backward lunge, is a slightly different variation. To do it you simply need to take a step backward instead of forward. The other part of the exercise is similar and the technique is virtually the same.
This variation is a bit more tricky than the two which preceded it. To do a curtsy lunge you take a big step backward with your right leg and place it to the rear and left of your left leg. Then, you simply bend your left knee as you would in a reverse lunge. The result resembles a curtsy ladies do in balls which is how this exercise got its name.
This is one of my favorite exercises because it combines a cardio element with a strength element. If you’re looking to burn fat quickly, this is the kind of exercise you need to include in your workout routine.
You begin this exercise the same way you do a forward lunge: you take a step forward with one leg and bend your knee to lower your body toward the ground. When you rise, though, you need to jump and switch your front and rear legs so you land with you your legs in the opposite position.
You actually land right into a lunge and you immediately jump again, once more switching legs. The result is a cardio and strength stimulation combined. Powerful.
Lunge with Bicep Curls
With this variation I’m combining lower body and upper body resistance. You need a pair of dumbbells for this exercise. Yo’ll hold one in each of your hand at your sides.
You will incorporate a bicep curl into the lunge movement. You can do this in two ways: when you’re bending your knee and descending or when you’re rising back to the starting position. You can also choose to do this with a forward or reverse lunge. I love to diversify my workouts as much as possible so I change things up every now and then.
Lunge with Diagonal Dumbbell Swing
This is an awesome lower-upper body exercise which I learned from Dr. Kareem Samhouri, the creator of the Ab Strength Guide. It works your arms and shoulders in a wide range of motion. I can feel my body straining from my feet all the way to my shoulders which is excellent. You’re working a lot of muscle in this complex movement.
You start this lunge by standing with one dumbbell held in both hands. The dumbbell should be held next to your hip. You do a forward lunge with the opposite leg to the hip next to which you’re holding the dumbbell, so if you’re holding the dumbbell next to your right hip, you take a step forward with your left leg.
When you bend your knee you swing the dumbbell in a diagonal line from your hip to a point above the opposite shoulder. As you rise back to the starting position you bring the dumbbell back next to your hip.
The 6 lunge exercise variations I brought before you here aren’t the only ones you can do to tone your legs, burn more fat, and build lower body strength. These are just what I like to workout with.
I recommend incorporating these into your workouts and to do them regularly. They will enhance your workouts and make them more intense. The two final versions are especially useful as they stimulate a lot of muscle in a short time which is an excellent way to burn more calories in your workouts.