There’s no doubt that lunges can help you build an awesome set of wheels. There are a few exercises that I consider staples of my personal routine and lunges are indeed one of them.
Lunges are great because they are a unilateral movement. This means that one side (leg) exerts the effort at a time. Unilateral movements are important to incorporate into your routine to maintain balance and minimize asymmetries.
There are so many ways to do lunges. In order to maximize your gains, there are a few questions you need to answer:
What is your goal?
Understanding the purpose of your workout routine or overall program is one of the most important parts of your training. Are you trying to gain strength? Build size? Lean out? Different set and rep schemes will suit your goals better than others.
With lunges, I tend to focus on lighter weight with higher volume during conditioning. Sometimes, I will perform heavier lunges for less reps as a strength auxiliary movement. Your goal should shape your training and your coach should be the guiding light to help you reach your destination.
How will you perform your lunges?
Besides the set and rep scheme, there are many variations of lunges that can help you meet your goals. Do you plan to walk your lunges? Would lateral lunges help you move in another plane of motion?
There are 54 variations of lunges in the Milo exercise database with more on the way. This means you need to think about what your resistance is, what other exercises are in your workout, and what equipment is available to you.
Are you performing lateral lunges with dumbbells or reverse lunges with a barbell? Overhead lunges with a plate? Bodyweight star lunges? There are many, many different possibilities.
How often should you lunge?
This answer is dependent upon the previous answers. In a bodyweight routine, you might do a different variation of lunges every time you exercise. In a weightlifting routine, you may perform heavy lunges once each week. You may manipulate your rest to change the effects of lunges in your workout. The important part is to mix it up, stay balanced and focus on your goal.
Strong, athletic legs aren’t built overnight. However, lunges are a fantastic way to mix up your leg training. You can do them in conjunction with other exercises like squats to really maximize your lower body gains.
What are your favorite variations of lunges? Are you lunging at least once each week?
Let us know how you incorporate lunges in your routine in a comment below. Until next time.. Stay moving!