Do you want to develop incredibly powerful legs without placing added strain on your joints and experiencing those crazy post-workout pain? If that’s the case then you need to utilize and try bodyweight lunges. Leg day doesn’t always have to hurt and here’s a guide to help you execute and master this single-leg bodyweight in its most natural state:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder's width apart. Keep your shoulders relaxed and chin up. Gently take a big step forward with your right foot, while keeping your left foot planted. Remember to carefully shift your weight forward so your heel hits the floor first.
2. Smoothly lower your body by bending your right leg until you’re confident that your right thigh is inline with your knee and parallel to the floor. Keep going even if your knee slightly shifts but make sure that it doesn’t go past your right toe. You could also lightly tap your left knee to the floor but keep in mind to keep your weight in the right heel (Do this if your mobility is not limited)
3. Press into the right heel to be able to get you back up to your starting position.
4. Repeat the same thing for the opposite leg.
Always remember that it’s extremely beneficial to get a solid foundation when doing bodyweight lunges. Proper form is something that you shouldn’t take for granted because it’s not about how many times you do it or how fast you do it, it’s more important that you’re doing it the right way to accomplish and help you develop lower-body strength. Also, don’t forget to start out slow and allow your body to get the hang of it before adding more reps and sets.
Aside from developing strength, endurance and effectively targeting different areas of your body such as your quads, groin, glutes, hips, hamstrings, and those hard-to-reach muscles of your inner thighs, you’ll also gain a variety of benefits if done in a consistent and proper manner. Here are some of these benefits to further motivate you to get it right and do this bodyweight exercise more often:
If deadlifts and squats are part of your fitness routine then you better make room for lunges since its stabilization benefits is much better. Lunges are classified as “unilateral training” and help you independently train one part of your body after another. This is the reason why you get to develop your coordination and body’s ability to balance compared to squats where you have to use your legs at the same time.
Increase body symmetry
If you have a lot of muscular imbalances in your body then doing lunges will help fix that problem. Let’s say that you have a leg with more muscle or you feel like your other leg is weaker than the other then you can simply do lunges and focus more on a particular leg until you get the results that you want. Apart from that, bodyweight lunges won’t load and compress your spine unlike other exercises. The “spinal deloading” benefits you’ll reap from doing this will relax your spine and give it the occasional break that it deserves.
One of the most awesome benefits that you get from doing bodyweight lunges is you get to stabilize your core. Having a stronger core is definitely an advantage since it improves not just your posture but also helps decrease your chances of experiencing lower back pain among others. Having a stronger core on top of stronger legs will help you support your muscles more so you experience less back strain.
If you want to look good in a pair of tight pants then lunging is the way to go. Who says that you have to rely on squats alone to make that happen? Lunges are actually just as effective to help you achieve that nice and toned butt that you’re aiming for.
These are just some of the benefits that you’ll get by using your body’s resistance as you lunge with one leg and then move to the other. If ever you want to alter its difficulty for progressive overload and reap more rewards then you can implement pulses into the bottom of the movement. It works the same way with normal lunges but only this time, you need to stay down at the bottom and pulse your entire body up and down and end it with ten pulses per side.
Another way to increase its difficulty is by including a jump in between the lunges. By repeatedly lunging and jumping, it creates an HIIT effect that will make your heart pump faster. However, please bear in mind that it’s better to just set a time limit instead of having a number of reps per set in mind that you need to do.
Good luck and now go out there and lunge your way to your lower body workout goals!