Lunges are a standard fitness exercise and you should learn about Flexibility for Lunges. The great thing about them is that they are versatile and can be adapted for people at any level of fitness. Your legs include some of the largest and strongest muscle groups in your body, and lunges can build some serious muscle. Lunges work your body asymmetrically and can help to work out muscle imbalances in the body. They can help improve your overall balance and coordination, Flexibility for Lunges, and even your spinal health. The most popular draw to doing lunges may be the benefits to your glutes, as they tone and tighten your butt!
How To Do a Lunge
There are three main types of lunges: front lunges, back lunges, and side lunges. In doing each type, keep your feet parallel and pointing forward. The distance between your feet should be shoulder-distance; you’re not walking a tightrope with one foot directly in front of the other!
For performing front lunges, take a step forward and make sure your entire foot is planted on the ground. Your front knee should be directly aligned over the toe, not too far forward causing you to lean and lose your balance. Your shins should be parallel and straight. On the back leg, think about your tailbone reaching down to the floor. Your shoulders should be in line with your hips. You are looking for the straight lines of your body, like in ballet. Imagine how Barboza would do a lunge, and apply the same principles to the lunge position.
The position for back lunges is similar, but you take a step back instead of forward. The spacing between your feet should be the same: shoulder distance. Knee-over-toe alignment is the same, as is the alignment of the shoulders over the hips and the connection of the tailbone to the floor. According to the Times of India, back lunges are more
Beginner-friendly, as it is easier to control your body movement while performing this exercise
When it comes to side lunges, take a big step out to the side, planting your entire foot on the ground. You still want to make sure you are keeping your feet parallel and toes pointing forward. The foot you stepped with is the leg that bends and bears all the bodyweight for the lunge.
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The opposite leg stays straight and holds much less body weight. Look for the alignment of the knee over the toe, and also keep the shins parallel and straight. It is important to keep your chest up and back straight as you lean forward over your knee. Make sure your heel does not lift off the floor in this lunge so that you don’t lose your balance and fall forward. Your hips dictate how low you will go into your lunge, so make sure to shoot your hips back to counterbalance your chest leaning forward. Think about connecting your tailbone to your heel.
Enhancements for Lunges
Lunges in every position can be made more challenging in a variety of ways. No matter what, the exercise can always be enhanced by dropping deeper into the lunge and making sure your form is correct. You will get the most out of the lunge when you focus on these things.
When you are doing bodyweight lunges, try speeding them up as you step. You may also want to try adding a jump from a left lunge to a right lunge. In addition to the extra burn to your legs, your heart rate will increase as well and help you burn more calories.
You can also add weights to your lunges. Depending on whether you use dumbbells or a bar, there are many ways to give your legs an extra challenge by holding the free weights. Dumbbells can be held in your hands and down to your side as your lunge. They can also be racked to your shoulders, and even pressed up as you take a lunge step. With a bar, you can hold it at your chest or even behind your head resting on your shoulders. When using either type of weight, you could even incorporate a bicep curl while lunging to work the upper body at the same time. Add a jump to the weighted lunges for even more of a challenge!
Any exercise can be modified, including lunges. It is important to realize that a modification does not mean “less than” or “less capable”. By choosing to modify lunges, you choose to put a greater focus on form, on protecting joints or muscles that may be injured, and on getting the most out of the move for the greatest amount of time possible.
Lunges target the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and even your core. There is a lot of engagement and balance and focus that is required to be able to do the exercise correctly. One of the best ways to modify lunges is to reduce your range of motion. To do this, you do not go as deep into the lunge when you take a step. You can also come out of the lunge by stepping directly up to standing, rather than pushing off the lunge leg. Some may even choose to strengthen their lower body by doing squats or another exercise instead of lunges, in the case they are protecting their knees or other joints.
Benefits of Lunges
Flexibility for Lunges brings the following benefits for you.
Keeping proper posture and alignment while doing lunges engages your core and helps you build stability. According to NDTV, “A stronger core allows you to deal with lower back pain and improves your balance and posture, as well.”
Lunges train your body asymmetrically, or one side at a time. Training this way can help improve your balance and coordination.
Strengthens Legs and Booty
As previously mentioned, your legs include some of your body’s largest muscle groups and lunges target them effectively. These muscles include the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
Doing lunges regularly can increase the flexibility in your hip flexors. The step into and push-back from the lunge engages and strengthens the iliopsoas muscles, making them more resilient and flexible over time.
Better Spinal Health
Lunging with good posture effectively works your back muscles, as well as allows spinal deloading. According to Fit and Me, “A stronger core and stronger legs mean that those particular muscles help support you more, thus taking the strain off of your back and supporting it greatly.” Protect your spine by considering Barboza posture as you exercise with your best Flexibility for Lunges.
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