Lunges are without a doubt an excellent lower body muscle builder. Not just a muscle builder, lunges are also great for functionality, flexibility and mobility. They’re pretty versatile too, you can do them anywhere.
Of course, in order to progress you will need to load the exercise by adding weight.
How to perform lunges
Weighted lunges (because that’s just how we roll) can be performed either by holding a set of dumbbells down by your sides, a barbell up over your head, rested across your shoulders, or any other weight option you feel comfortable with.
As always with lunges, start with your feet shoulder width apart, look straight ahead of you, keep your chest high and your back natural throughout the movement.
Lunge forward keeping your core tight and maintaining good posture and stability throughout. You should aim to get your knee as close to the floor as possible before you push back up and swap legs.
If you are struggling with stability, start by holding onto something for stability, just until you build your strength up!
Lunges: Common mistakes to avoid
Don’t let your knee go over your toes, if this is happening, you should step further out before you ‘lunge’. Another mistake to avoid is leaning backwards, forwards or to either side, your upper body should remain upright at all times. A few well performed ‘deep’ lunges are far more beneficial than multiple poorly performed ones.
If you are performing this exercise with incorrect form, you may hinder your gains or incur an injury, therefore it is especially important to perfect your form before loading.
Reps and sets
As with all exercises, your lunges need to be worked into your overall bigger picture. How many reps and sets you perform with each exercise depends entirely on where you are physically and your desired outcomes.
Beginners should keep it simple; 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps is an ideal starting point. Don’t over complicate things early on, worry about laying a solid foundation and the rest will come with experience.
More advanced lifters should consider their current strength and goals.