8 Lunge Variations
Lunges are a great exercise for building size and strength in the legs and gluteal muscles.
“Lunges require complete muscle activation to improve power, speed and stability.” Says Former Professional European Basketball Player, and trainer , Igor Mihajlovic.
Lunges are a compound exercise that should be included in any well rounded fitness routine. Not only for aesthetics, shaping the muscles and giving you glorious glutes, but also for performance in athletes.
A variety of lunges can be used to isolate specific muscle groups in the lower body.
These muscles are used in every day activities from walking to jumping. Lunges not only give you shape and strength, they also create power in the lower body which is useful for athletes who need explosive power for running and jumping.
Lunges require and increase
Lunges can be done with or without weight.
Body weight lunges can be very effective sculpting the lower body when you do them slowly. This will keep your thighs toned, your gluteals lifted and they work your stabilizers. Stabilizing muscles groups are smaller muscles that assist the larger muscle groups.
Body weight lunges can be done in a variety of ways.
•Stationary (Split Squat)
•Plyometric Jumping Lunges
Add Weights To Your Lunges To Build Muscle And Shape The Lower Body
•Smith Machine Lunges
With a dumbbell or barbell lunge, you can move forward, backwards or laterally and you can also do stationary lunges on the Smith machine.
You can hold dumbbells in your hands by your side and do walking lunges forward or lunge by taking a step forward and push with power back with the front leg back to the starting point.
While lunging, keep the perfect body alignment with your head and chest up and your knee tracking your toes without moving past your toes.
1. Kettlebell Lunges
My favorite lunges are done with a Kettlebell. These exercises work more muscles than just the muscles in the lower body. They work the entire body as a unit.
When using dumbbells or a barbell you will engage your core and stabilizers, but with the Kettlebell ,you incorporate many other muscles in the upper body as well.
The Biceps and Triceps become activated as do the Shoulders and Back.
These exercise make each repetition more valuable due to the expenditure of calories, 20 calories per minute, which has been scientifically proven by ACE The
American Council of Exercise.
Aside from walking and holding a Kettlebell by it’s handle, there are a variety of lunges that can be done with this unique tool.
• 2. Racked Lunge
Holding the Kettlebell in the rack position uses the upper body muscles as well as the legs and glutes.
This lunge can be done Stationary, Walking, Forward, Backward, Laterally and Curtsy.
It is the easiest way to lunge with a Kettlebell.
• 3. Clean Racked Lunge
Cleaning the Kettlebell uses the Arms, Shoulders, Back and Abdominal muscles.
Add any style of the racked lunge after your clean, except walking of course. urkis Lunge
• 4. Threaded Lunge
Moving the Kettlebell around the leg like a figure 8 motion ,always going through the inner thigh , and around the outside of the body.
This exercise is most effective for core work, balance and stabilization.
•5. Wood Chopper Lunge
Hold the Kettlebell in the bottoms up position, the round part of the Kettlebell at the top. As you step forward (or backwards) release the bell to the opposite side of the body. Bring it back up to the starting position as you bring your legs together. This can be done forward, reverse and walking.
In addition to training the lower body this also works the Abdominals Back Muscles, Forearms, Biceps, Triceps and Shoulders.
•6. Overhead Lunge
Holding the Kettlebell in the lockout position while lunging, increases stabilization in the Scapula, Back, Shoulders, Arms and Abdominals.
• 7. Suitcase Lunge
Hold the Kettlebell by the handle and lunge with it by your side. I limit these because the weight hangs below the joints and dumbbells are much better suited for this exercise to avoid strain or pain in the joints.
This will also increase upper body strength.
• 8. Turkish Get Up Lunge
The Turkish Get Up is a full body move that begins with you lying flat on your back and ends with a lunge.
When adding Kettlebells into your training program, be sure to learn how to use them correctly and you will have a whole new appreciation for them. They are more than just a cute weight with a handle to squat with.
Kettlebells have specific uses and functions that can make them the best training tool on the planet when you know how to use them.
Try these lunge variations and let us know how you do or if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help.