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6.19.2015

Workout of the Week: Forward Lunges

Lunges are a great workout for strengthening your thighs, glutes, and hamstrings as well as improving your balance. Lunges can be done many different ways–for example lunging in place, lunging in a straight line or around a room, or holding weights. But the most important thing to remember while doing lunges is making sure your form is correct to prevent injury and get the most benefit from this exercise. Here’s how to do them:

Forward Lunges

  • Begin by standing straight up with your feet together shoulders back, with your chin up, this will be your starting position.
  • Next, with one foot, take a long step forward, maintaining your balance as best you can. Tighten your stomach as you do this to engage your core.
  • After that, holding your balance and keeping your back straight and eyes looking straight ahead, slowly lower your body down toward the ground until your front thigh is parallel with the floor. Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds. Make sure your knee does not extend further than your toes; avoid leaning over your foot.
  • Finally, firmly push off your front leg, activating your thighs and glute muscles to return to the starting position.
  • For your next set, use your other leg.

Try doing 20-30 lunges a day this week. You can do lunge walks around your living room or kitchen to make them go faster.  Just remember to keep proper form: back straight, chest up, eyes forward.

Tips:

  • To add difficulty to this exercise, do it slowly, or hold weights like dumbbells in your hands.
  • If you feel an abnormal amount of pain in your lower back or thighs stop this exercise immediately and consult your doctor.

Want more fitness ideas?  If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more healthy ideas to get—and stay—fit. And remember, talk to your doctor before beginning any new fitness regimen.