It's your FAVOURITE lower body exercise: THE LUNGE! Scroll down to learn the PROPER LUNGE FORM and to learn ALL THE MUSCLES in this exercise!
1. Start by standing with legs HIP-WIDTH apart and arms relaxed by your sides.
2. Take a step forward with one leg (of your choice!) and flex the hip and knee.
3. Your OPPOSITE leg's knee should flex as well, around 90-ish degrees.
4. Your OPPOSITE leg's knee shouldn't touch the ground. Your BACK ankle should be slightly flexed, while your FRONT ankle should be flat on the ground.
5. Legs should be HIP-WIDTH apart the whole time.
6. Your back should be as neutral as possible. (Keep that spine aligned!)
7. To go back to starting position: Push your front leg (the one you stepped forward with) against the ground and extend both legs and knees, bringing them back together.
8. And then make sure to Lunge starting with the OPPOSITE leg next!
Make sure to keep both legs HIP-APART throughout the whole Lunge (including switching to the opposite leg!). Do not move further than hip-width apart.
Try to keep your back as neutral as possible throughout the whole Lunge (including switching to the opposite leg!). Do not lean forwards, or backwards, but try to focus on working just the legs.
ALSO, make sure to keep those arms by your side the whole time! The position of your arms should help you stay balanced throughout the whole exercise.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE PRIME MUSCLES IN A LUNGE. The lunge is an incredible lower body exercise because it works ALL the major muscle groups of the lower body! We got the HIPS working, the KNEES working and the CALVES working! (And even the feet!). So sit tight, there's plenty of MUSCLE ACTION going on here!
Let's start with the HIPS first. As you go into Lunge position, the FRONT LEG goes into HIP FLEXION and activates your HIP FLEXOR MUSCLES - your primary hip flexor is a muscle called the ILIOPSOAS. While the FRONT LEG goes into HIP FLEXION, your BACK LEG remains in HIP EXTENSION. Your primary HIP EXTENSOR is none other than the GLUTEUS MAXIMUS! (The Hamstrings also play a role in extending your hips, but they also FLEX THE KNEES...speaking of...)
Going down the body, we have the KNEES next. We’ve all heard of Hamstrings and Quadriceps, correct? Well now you’re gonna REALLY know them! As you go into Lunge position, BOTH KNEES go into KNEE FLEXION and activate your KNEE FLEXOR MUSCLES - your primary knee flexors are a muscle group called the HAMSTRINGS, which run along the BACK of your hips (butt) and knees. As you stand back up from a Lunge, BOTH KNEES go into KNEE EXTENSION and activate your KNEE EXTENSOR MUSCLES - your primary knee extensors are a muscle group called the QUADRICEPS, which mostly just run along the FRONT of your knees. We also can’t forget about our MAJOR CALF MUSCLE called the GASTROCNEMIUS muscle, which also helps the Hamstrings FLEX THE KNEE. Full knee workout…AND calves!
Lastly we have the FEET. The BACK LEG’s foot goes into ANKLE FLEXION and activates our ANKLE FLEXOR MUSCLES. And…in case you were interested in knowing…that primary ankle flexor would be your TIBIALIS ANTERIOR muscle!
The Lunge is an exceptional exercise that targets EVERY. SINGLE. MUSCLE. in the lower body! Talk about a workout! If you really wanna strengthen those legs muscles…from the glutes, to the calves and even feet, do some more LUNGES today!
Stay tuned for variations of the classic Lunge exercise! If you still need any help in doing this exercise or would like to learn more about it, contact DANCE CUBE on the COACHING page!