You’ll surely have heard of the benefits of including squats in your workout routine, but what about lunges? In this article, we’ll run through the benefits of lunges, the different variations and how to perform better in your daily workouts.
Benefits of incorporating lunges into your workout routine
Lunge-based workouts will strengthen your glutes, develop strength in muscles such as the hamstrings and improve coordination and balance. Let’s look into this in more detail.
When performing a lunge, one of your legs will be doing most of the work. Performing lunges over and over again, week in, week out will increase balance control and coordination. So, you can expect to see improvements in your running, jogging or jumping.
Strengthens glutes and quads
Depending on the position of the body and the range of motion, lunges can strengthen the glutes or the quads. However, lunges are perfect for working the entire lower body and abdominal area in general. That’s why we recommend fitting them into your workout routine.
Builds muscle resistance and strength
Different types of lunges, which we will explain in the following section, call for different levels of balance and stability. The larger these are, the more the back and core are engaged and, as a result, the stronger the abdominal, lumbar, pelvic, gluteal and deep spinal muscles will be.
On the other hand, even if you aren’t doing weighted lunges, simply using body weight will significantly improve muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Although lunges don’t prevent injuries, they do strengthen muscles and improve your ability to stabilize under a heavy load.
Improves your hip mobility
As well as strengthening, it will improve flexibility. Of course, if you have limited mobility, don’t get worked up if you can’t do these. In fact, we recommend giving lunges a miss if you have difficulty keeping your ankles relaxed and your front foot steady on the ground while performing the lunge, as this can lead to instability and even injury.
First of all you’ll need to work on your mobility and incorporate lunges into your training routine only when you are ready to do them properly. If you have no mobility-related issues then jump right in and try out different variations of lunges, but stop when you feel tired because, otherwise, you could be doing them with poor form.
Speeds up metabolism and calorie burning
The more muscle you build through lunges, the more your metabolism will be boosted and, therefore, the more calories you will burn. That’s why they are the perfect exercise to include in weight loss diets.
Types of lunges
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits, let’s delve into the characteristics of each type of lunge where we can work the muscles involved in different ways and using different techniques and materials.
Side lunges are one of the most popular among athletes because they are perfect for working the inner and outer sides of the quads alike. They are done in the same way as the classic lunges, but with a wide step to the side instead of to the front.
When resting your foot, you should bring your hip back and lean your trunk slightly forward, but try not to lean it to the side, so that your weight falls on the leg that you have moved. When you reach this position, you will have to push with the weight-bearing leg to get back to the starting position and repeat the procedure with the other leg.
Dumbbells are commonly used to perform lunges because of how easy and comfortable they are to use when doing them. This type of lunge, recommended in strength training, will help tone your legs, abs and glutes with much more effective results, since adding weight to the exercise activates more muscles.
A dumbbell should be held in each hand with arms down and close to the body. Be careful! Make sure you pick the right weight for your workout. Next, you will have to perform a classic stride to the front and bend both knees at the same time to lower your body until the back knee touches the ground.
To lift yourself up, use the front leg and push yourself up with the toe of the back leg. We recommend doing one or two sets of ten reps with each leg and rest for ten seconds in between.
If you are up for a challenge, jumping lunges are the perfect way to test your level of fitness because they are so tough to do. You will work leg, glutes and ab muscles, but also your heart rate will increase more than in other exercises.
The lunge method is the same as the classic method, in other words, with wide steps to the front, but this time you’ll be changing between legs by jumping. Keep your core tight and engaged at all times and make sure you don’t lose balance.
Resistant band lunges
Due to the popularity of resistance bands, there are many athletes who use them in their lunge workouts. In fact, this is a highly recommended exercise for strengthening the glutes, as adding the band to your static lunge will boost your results.
It’s simple. You should pass one end of the band under the leg in front of you and the other over your shoulders. Starting with your leg flexed, you will have to struggle to life your body little by little, while you feel the band resisting. Extend your knee so that you are upright and then bend again to do your reps.
In this case, instead of stepping forward, you will have to step backward. If you don’t have great balance, this could be the perfect variation for you because it will allow you to maintain the correct body posture much more easily. When doing this type of lunge, you will not have to move your body forward when performing the squat, so you will not have to perform the typical excessive forward bend at the knee.
How to perform better in your workouts?
Athletic performance refers to the relationship between the methods we use to achieve our objectives and the end result. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind:
- It is important to follow a healthy diet so that the body has the necessary nutrients to perform well.
- Always hydrate before working out and, if exercising for more than one hour, you’ll need to hydrate throughout the workout too. Salts, mainly sodium, are lost through sweating and must be replenished.
- Adapt meal times to training. To do this, you should wait a minimum of three hours from your last meal until you start intensive exercise, especially if you’ve eaten a lot.
- Respect rest days, especially if you feel exhausted or are stiff.
- Set achievable goals so you don’t get bogged down. There is no point in aiming to do three sets of lunges in a row if you can’t even do two reps. Set short-term goals to avoid getting discouraged. Always think positively and seek balance to achieve the challenges you set for yourself.
- Give electrical stimulation training a go to strengthen muscles. Perhaps you don’t know what EMS is, but, don’t worry, we’ll give you the rundown. Electrical impulses make it an effective way to exercise the muscular system to achieve better results. So, muscle contractions are produced by applying an electrical current to activate peripheral motor nerves that innervate a targeted muscle. The result is a quick and effective increase in muscle mass, which triples your workout effectiveness. For example, the Wiemspro electrical stimulation suit will guarantee you maximum freedom of movement, thanks to its wireless system and the quality of its fabrics.
Electrical stimulation workout
By integrating electrical stimulation vests into your workouts with lunges, squats and other exercises, you will further strengthen your glutes and quads. In fact, the effects will be similar to high-intensity or HIIT workouts, giving you more bang for your training buck.
But let’s get one thing straight. It isn’t a matter of putting on the suit and voila! You’ll still have to do exercises in order to boost muscle growth, it’ll just be less grueling and take less time.
To sum up, now that you’ve learned about some types of lunges, we hope you put them into practice when working out and take advantage of all the benefits of electrical stimulation. Come on, subscribe to our blog to stay up to date with the latest news on this topic!