If you’ve engaged in any kind of fitness regimen, ever, you’ve probably done a lunge or two. Lunges tend to be a staple in almost every method of training, and there’s a good reason for that. They’re a great way to strengthen the lower body, specifically the quads and glutes. The other thing that makes lunges so valuable is that they build stability in the lower body, which keeps our ankles, knees, and hips healthy. Finally, lunges act as a great cross-training exercise for many other sports and activities.
Lunges are incredibly adaptable, mainly because there are so many variations and can be done with a variety of equipment (bodyweight/no equipment, dumbbells, barbells, etc.). One of the most common versions is a reverse lunge. In the reverse lunge, you’d start standing with your feet together and step one leg behind you into a lunge. You’d then return to the standing position by bringing to your back leg to meet the front one. Other lunge variations include:
Forward lunge: this is the same as a reverse lunge, except you’d step forward from the standing position instead of backwards.
Walking lunge: take several consecutive lunges forward (or backward), moving across the room rather than staying in one place.
Static lunge: instead of stepping in and out of the lunge, keep your front and back foot in place as you lower down into the lunge and stand back up.
Jumping lunges: jump out of the lunge position, switching legs midair and landing in a lunge with your opposite leg in front, OR jump up and down while keeping the same foot forward the whole time (not switching legs midair).
Bulgarian split squats: a static lunge with the rear leg elevated.
Sliding lunges: place the rear foot onto a slider and slide in and out of a lunge, keeping the same foot forward the whole time.
Lunges are incredibly practical and have something to offer everyone, from those who are new to fitness to seasoned weightlifters to endurance athletes like bikers and runners.
LOWER BODY CONDITIONING
The term “conditioning” in the context of exercise usually refers to a workout or fitness regimen that combines endurance, strength, power, agility, and balance.
Here at Club Calisthenics, our lower body conditioning classes include exercises and circuits that target all of those things for the muscles of the lower body (glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves). Conditioning the lower body is not only a great way to build overall strength and endurance in the legs but is excellent cross-training for other activities such as running, biking, and hiking. Lower body conditioning also has a tendency to elevate your heart rate, so the cardiovascular benefits to conditioning your legs are an added bonus.
As with most of our classes, our lower body conditioning classes require minimal equipment and are guaranteed to challenge and strengthen your lower half!