There are so many exercises out there for every body part. It really boils down to a “pick something out and see if it works” approach. Learning your body is very important so you know which movements work for you and which ones do not. There is nothing more frustrating than working out and not seeing results. So, do not fall into the trap of doing what everyone else is doing and assume it will work for you.
When it comes to legs, they are not an easy body part for a lot of people to develop. Maybe it is mostly to negligence or “laying off the gas” when it comes to intensity, either way, there are a lot of people who make excuses for not having developed legs.
It is easy to preach and teach about squats and leg presses, the big movements, however too often the movements that may not seem as intense or “pretty” get undermined in the leg training arsenal. Sure, it is cool to put that bar on your back and grunt and yell as you squeeze out those reps in the squat rack, but any bodybuilder with good looking wheels will tell you not to sleep on lunges.
Lunges are an amazing lower body movement. Not only do they contribute to building muscle, but they also help out with muscular imbalance as well. Lunges target everything below the waist when it comes to the legs. Lunges help develop the quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, and even the harder to hit muscles that are in the inner thigh (adductor muscles).
Lunges are versatile as well. You can do them weighted or just with your bodyweight. You can walk them out across a certain amount of distance or do them standing in place. You do not even need to do lunges stepping forward, but also backwards and side to side to target muscles differently.
Always take caution though when doing lunges because if done incorrectly can lead to injury to the knees and even back. Making sure when you lunge (front, backwards, or side-ways) that the back and shoulders stay behind your feet. This will help keep strain off of the back and keep the knees behind the feet, so the knees are not over exerted.
Lunges are great to incorporate into a full body, high intensity interval training (HIIT) program or great to polish off a great leg workout.
A fun challenge is the 3000 Lunges in 30 Days. You partition it up by doing 100 lunges a day for 30 days. A good breakdown and daily workout for this could be:
- 30 Forward Lunges (15 each leg)
- 20 Right Side Lunges
- 20 Left Side Lunges
- 30 Reverse Lunges (15 each leg)