Man and woman performing lunges whilst holding dumbbells in the gym

The Benefits of Lunges

The benefits of performing lunges are numerous since the exercise works multiple muscle groups in a simple, easy to perform move, at the same time. They are great for muscle strengthening, balance, coordination and injury prevention. Lunges can be performed just with body weight or you can add in weights, such as dumbbells or a barbell as you get stronger. The main muscle groups worked when performing lunges are the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, adductors, abductors, ankles, core and back.

Are reverse or forward lunges better?

Forward lunges tend to put extra pressure on the kneecap due to the motion of the lunge and its execution. Allowing the knee on the front leg to go beyond the toes whilst hitting the 90 degree angle puts extra strain on the knee. Similarly, allowing your front knee to fall inwards when executing the lunge can cause knee pain and discomfort, and is not good for knee health. To help prevent injury, ensure that your front shin is perpendicular to the ground and that your front knee is pushed outwards, in line with your little toe.

Reverse lunges allow for better control of knee placement making it easier to achieve the 90 degree angle on the front leg. This therefore reduces the pressure put onto the knees, helping to prevent injury. For this reason, reverse lunges are the preferred option for many.

There are many methods of performing reverse lunges. As previously mentioned, they can be executed with just body weight - this is a good starting point for beginners. As you progress, another variation of reverse lunges is to hold 2 dumbbells by your sides, one in each hand. This will add some extra resistance to your workout allowing you to increase the intensity. Alternatively, holding a dumbbell up to your chest in a goblet position will target your back muscles and quads more, as the weight is in front of you, pulling you forwards. Some choose to perform their reverse lunges with a barbell on their back, similar to a typical back squat. As the weight is behind your body, this will target the hamstrings and glutes more. All of these methods are effective and are great options to add into your lower body exercise routine.

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.