The lunge is one of the best lower-body exercises around. It works the quadriceps and gluteal muscles and may also target the abdominal. You will burn a load of calories, while building some serious leg muscle. In this article we will identify three of the best lunge variations and describe how to perform them correctly.
Three of the Best Lunge Variations
Each lunge on this list will get a description as well as a reason why it is one of the best variations.
Variation #1 Walking Lunges
Stand upright with feet together, you can either place a barbell on your back, hold a dumbbell in each hand, or you can just perform them body-weight. Take a large step forward, as you do so, drop the knee of your back leg. Stay upright throughout. Then move your back leg forward into another giant step, this time drop the other knee. You will be walking forward as you do this.
Walking lunges are one of the most challenging exercises around. They are great as a cardio exercise as well as a muscle builder and fat burner. Just make sure that you have enough space to do them properly. A long, empty corridor is ideal.
Variation #2 Goblet Lunges
For this variation you will need one dumbbell. Stand upright with feet together and hold a dumbbell in front of your chest like you would hold a goblet. Take a large step forward with your left leg and drop your right knee towards the ground (stop just before it touches). Pause, and then return to the starting position. Swap legs and repeat.
Goblet lunges work really well if you struggle to keep your back upright while lunging. The dumbbell works as a resistance, but it also corrects your form. If you lean forward too much, then the weight will become difficult to hold. The exercise is self-correcting, just like goblet squats!
Variation #3 Step Ups
Yes, that is right, a step up is a lunge variation. It works the exact same muscles and uses the same movement pattern. The only difference is that you are lunging upwards. Stand in front of a stable and flat box or bench. Place one foot onto the bench, make sure that this is comfortable to do so, if the box/bench is too high then it will be really difficult to do this. Keeping your foot on the box, step up so that you are upright and standing on the box. Keeping your original foot still on the box, lower yourself back to the starting position. Perform 10 reps and then swap feet.
Step ups are an incredible lunge variation, they will really work the quads and glutes hard! The trick is to remove all momentum from the exercise. Perform it slowly and try to keep your hands by your sides. That way you are only using your quads and glutes (and abs to some extent).
You can increase the difficulty by holding a dumbbell (goblet style) in front of your chest, or you can place a barbell on your back.