Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, Lunges are by far one of the best lower body toning exercises on the planet; and those who’ve participated in my fitness classes or PT sessions over the years will know how much of a fan I am!
These beast mode exercises create lower body beauty as the pay off for your hard earned work, as you see stronger, shapely legs and a firmer bum develop.
They are a compound exercise which means they work several muscles or muscle groups within the movement and in the case of a lunge the list of muscles used is quite extensive and why they are such a challenging manoeuvre, taking lots of energy to complete – ‘butt’ so worth it!
The muscles used include the hamstrings and quadriceps on the back and front of the thighs, the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus in the buttocks and toward the side of the hips, also the calves, and the lower back and core stabilising muscles all play their part.
The correct technique must be mastered to gain full benefit and to stave off the risk of injury, particularly to the knees and anyone with existing knee injuries or contraindications should seek professional or medical consultation.
Personally I favour the walking lunge, not only do they produce incredible toning effects but also increases the heart rate and boosts metabolism, helping to burn fat. You certainly know you’ve done them – jelly legs is an immediate side effect, grumbling another and then the DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) may come along, not being able to sit on the loo without holding onto a rail or struggling to walk upstairs for a few days are often par for the course, initially anyway until your muscles get over the shock!
Don’t let all this scare you off though, Lunges are a bit like marmite but once you realise the good they can do, you might learn to love them that little bit more.
– This article has been published in the April edition of Life Magazines – http://www.lifemagazines.co.uk