5 Lunge Progressions to Add to Your Leg Day
What’s not to love about a good lunge? They use your entire lower body, challenge balance and coordination and can help increase mobility in your hips, knees, ankles and feet. Unlike squats, the lunge works one leg at a time, meaning each leg works harder. We also love that lunges are a functional exercise – they mimic movements we use in our everyday lives. Once you’ve mastered the basic lunge, try adding these 5 lunge progressions to your workout so you can keep getting stronger. What are you waiting for? Stop lounging, start lunging!
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift a towel over your head and pull it tight with both hands to engage your lats during the exercise. Step forward into a lunge with your left foot until your knees form 90-degree angles. Pulse up and down, keeping most of your weight in your front heel. Perform the pulse movement ten times, then switch sides.
Place a BOSU Balance Trainer in front of you with the dome side up. Lunge forward, placing your foot at the center of the dome with your foot facing forward. The unstable surface means we’re adding extra work for your core! Don't have a BOSU balance trainer at home? Here's what Coach Andy suggests:
If you're on a hard surface, place a towel under your back foot to use as a slider. (A paper plate would work on carpet, too!) Use the ball of your foot to press down into the towel and slide to the bottom of your lunge position. You will want to keep most of your weight on your front foot. Keep your entire foot planted and drive through your heel as you come back to standing. To get the most out of this exercise, really focus on squeezing your core and creating full-body tension the entire time.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward into a lunge with your left foot. Push back up to standing, then move your left foot laterally to complete a side lunge. Return to standing, then move your left foot back and complete a backward lunge. Push back up to standing and repeat the series on the other side.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step out to the side with your left foot and lower into a side lunge. Keep your right leg straight. Pause at the bottom of the movement, then push off of your left foot and find your balance on your right leg as you raise your left knee to hip level. Repeat for 10 reps, then switch sides.
Begin with your legs in a split stance, left leg in front. Brace your core and keep your upper body straight. Lunge down so your knees form 90-degree angles, then jump in the air and swap leg positions, bringing your back-right leg to the front. Move right into your next jump, keeping your knees soft to absorb the impact.
Give these moves a try on your next leg day. Don’t forget—good things come to those who lunge!
If you’re at home and don’t have a BOSU Balance Trainer, try a pillow instead.