Women doing lunges in gym
May 16, 2019

How to Lunge: Learning the Technique

Lunges are a key functional exercise for your legs and one of the best ways to engage and shape your behind.

The Benefits of Lunges

Lunges are a powerful tool for improving core strength and stability. Plus with a wide variety of variations, they're an effective way to target a range of lower body muscles, building strength for your workouts and daily activities.

How To Lunge

In order to reap the benefits of lunges, make sure you have the right technique. If you're new to lunges, or want to improve your form, start here:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips.
  2. Step forward with one foot and bend your knee until it reaches a 90° angle to the floor. If you're a beginner, keep your lunges more shallow to begin with.
  3. Ensure your hips and shoulders face forwards.
  4. Drive your front foot back to the standing position by placing your weight primarily in your heel.

Top tip: The key to engaging your glutes is achieving a full range of motion. Be sure to take a big step forward.

The Most Common Lunge Mistakes

  • Stepping too far forward: This can strain your knees and prevent you from getting the full benefits of the movement. Aim to step forward so that your knees at at a 90 degree angle when you bend them.
  • Rushing the movement: To get the full benefits of lunges, move slowly and deliberately through the exercise, engaging the muscles of your core and lower body while you go.
  • Lunging on a tight rope: This means lunging with the front foot perfectly in line with the back foot, which can make it hard to balance and put stress on your joints. Instead, lunge forward with a natural/hip width gap between your feet.

Target Area

The muscles targeted can differ based on the type of lunge you perform, so including a variety of lunges will help create a well-rounded lower body routine.

To target the inner thighs and outer glutes, opt for Lateral Lunges. They effectively engage the muscles on the inside of your legs, while tightening the glutes and increase mobility.

Curtsy Lunges, on the other hand, help strengthen your calves, inner thighs, lower back and the often hard-to-target gluteus medius muscle.

Advanced Lunges

If you're ready to take lunges even further, adding certain movements can drastically increase the challenge. Try variations like Rear Lunges to High Knee Lunges or Knee Tap Reverse Lunges as they require even more complex movements, recruiting more muscles and upping the cardio component.

Related: Seven's complete guide to cardio (and why it's so important)

Feel the burn with Split Jumps or Lunges to Squat Jump - great examples of combining HIIT cardio with strength training for an efficient fat-burning routine.

Split Jumps
Lunges To Squat Jump

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Find demonstrations of all the mentioned exercises in Seven