Women doing lunges in gym
Exercise Essentials

Everything you need to know about lunges

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

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

Getting the benefits of lunges is all about having the right technique. Follow these steps to make sure you're doing it right:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and engage your core.
  2. Fully step forward with one foot and bend your knee until it reaches a 90° angle to the floor.
  3. Keep your hips and shoulders even and facing forwards.
  4. Drive your foot back to the standing position by placing your weight primarily in your heel.

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

Beginner Lunges

As a beginner, it's crucial to master the basics first, so be sure to start with regular Lunges and focus on getting proper form (see instructions above).

While you're building strength, exercises like Step Ups or Single Legged Wall Sit can help you prepare for full lunges by engaging the muscles required and improving your range of motion.

Step Ups
Single Leg Wall Sit

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