How do you add muscle to your legs and bum to give them that toned look? Lunges are a good start! Here are some benefits of the excellent multi-joint exercise that should be on your weekly regimen.
Balance and Symmetry
Lunges are unilateral exercises, meaning that they train one side of your body independently from the other. This means if you have a weak side, like most people do, you can train one side separate from the other to strengthen, and improve imbalances.
Build Glute Strength, Tone and Metabolism
Believe it or not lunges are ranked right up there with squats for sculpting your glutes! They effectively work your glutes and quadriceps, while also engaging your hamstrings. Strengthening these large muscle groups can speed up your metabolism, which is beneficial if you’re trying to lose fat. When excess fat is reduced from your lower body, lunges can help you shape, tone and firm up your booty and legs.
Aid in Core Stabilization and Strength
When doing lunges, you engage your core muscles, including your back and abs, to keep your body upright and balanced as you move your hips up and down. If you neglect to do this it will result in poor form and can cause injury. Having a strong core is essential because it eases daily activities (even things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator), relieves lower back pain and improves your balance, posture, stability and athletic performance.
Improved Hip Flexibility
Lunges can improve the flexibility of your hip flexors, which are the muscles you use to bend or flex your legs at your hips. Often these muscles are neglected, especially if you lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle, which leads them to be tight and trigger low back pain. When you do a lunge, you basically force your hip flexors to stretch. If you place your back knee on the floor and slightly lean forward from your hips, you can really get a nice hip stretch.
What is Proper Form Completing a Lunge?
- Keep your shoulders back, with your head up facing forward.
- Keep your tummy drawn in, engaging your core.
- Aim for a 90 degree angle with both knees.
- Don’t allow your front knee slope over your big toe.
Which Muscles are Activated?
The lunge is a lower-body exercise that works several muscle groups at once. The targeted muscles include the glutes in your hips and butt along with the hamstrings and quadriceps in your thighs. The calf muscles in your lower legs, your abdominal muscles and your back muscles act as stabilizers during this exercise.