A super-strong leg workout.(Jocelyn Bong)
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Before you start this lunge sequence, keep a clear picture of why you’re doing the exercise in the first place. Lunges are one of the very best thigh, hip, and buttock-toning movements you will ever do. This means you can look forward to having not only a strong and stable lower body, but also an equally toned and lean lower body.
It really does help to keep your fitness goals in mind when you work out. Otherwise your efforts can sometimes feel futile, and you’ll be more inclined to give up. Keeping your goals current, reachable yet challenging, and achieving them will make exercise more purposeful and rewarding. For example, write your top-three fitness goals and evaluate your progress after six weeks.
1. Stand tall with your feet parallel.
2. Step your right leg behind you into a rear-lunge position.
3. Step your right leg back to the start position—point-1 lunge.
4. Step your right leg out into a side lunge.
5. Step back to the start position—point-2 lunge.
6. Step your right leg forward into a forward-lunge position.
7. Step back to the start position.
8. Repeat this sequence to the left side.
9. Repeat the entire sequence, right and left sides, until you have completed five sets on each side.
Getting It Right
Your technique is crucial in this super-strong lower-body sequence. If your form is incorrect, you may start to feel your knees, which is to be avoided at all cost.
For the rear and front lunges, make sure that both legs are always at 90-degree angles when you are in the lunge positions. Focus on the muscles of your thighs and buttocks squeezing tightly. You need to engage your muscles so your joints don’t overwork. In the side-lunge position, your knee shouldn’t go any further than your big toe.
To increase the workout and add some variety into the movement, try doing four rear lunges, four side lunges, and four front lunges. You can do as many as you like. Keep the repetitions even for each lunge position.
Then try starting with the front lunge first instead of the rear lunge. Once you have the movements right and can do each one with great technique, get as creative as you like.
After finishing this leg workout, give your quads, glutes, and calves a good stretch. If you are a little tender the next day, the best way to work through muscle soreness is to keep moving. Go for a 20- to 30-minute walk.
Emma-Kate Stampton certifies Pilates instructors and is a certified personal trainer. She is based in Brisbane, Australia.