Lunges Are Harder and Better Than You Think

Emily Beers

Coach

Vancouver, Canada

Coaching

Though we seem to like to make fitness complicated, it doesn’t have to be.

 

If you squat, push, pull, hinge, and carry consistently you’ll probably get pretty fit. But don't forget to lunge!

 

 

We sometimes forget about the lunge—maybe because nobody will ever ask you what your 1RM lunge is—but from a training standpoint it’s a safe and incredibly effective way to work your glutes, hamstrings, and core. Lunges are useful for improving balance and eliminating muscle imbalances, as well as increasing glute activation and hip flexor flexibility.

 

And when it comes to lunges, variety is as limitless as a Las Vegas buffet.

 

To get you thinking in the direction of lunging, here are five leg-brutalizing lunge workouts that will make your bum work overtime.

 

Warning: Lunges might also make going downstairs the next day kind of painful, so be smart about load, volume, and intensity.

 

1. Jumping Lunges

For those of you who think regular walking lunges are too easy, try jumping lunges. You don’t need to jump very high, as even the hip action of jumping an inch off the ground will give you the explosive hit you’re after.

 

The challenge: 1-minute max reps jumping lunges. One minute rest. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

 

 

2. Walking Lunges

You won’t think walking lunges are easy after you go around an entire track while lunging.

 

The challenge: 400-meter walking lunge for time.

 

 

 

3. Back Rack Reverse Lunge

These allow you to really load up and build some strength via the lunge.

The challenge: 8-rep max back rack reverse lunge (4 on each leg).

 

Can you lunge your bodyweight for 8 reps?

 

 

4. Front Rack Walking Lunge

Front rack lunges will not only get your bum firing but also your abs.

 

The challenge: 3 to 5 sets of 20 meters as heavy as possible while keeping the continuous movement for 20 meters.

 

 

5. Dumbbell Overhead Lunge

If your mobility permits, try a single or double arm DB overhead lunge. You can do these as walking lunges, stationary lunges, or reverse lunges.

 

The challenge: 3 to 5 sets of 20 meters as heavy as possible while keeping continuous movements for 20 meters.

 

 

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