I'm all about exercises that work more than one muscle group at once (aka compound exercises), especially when I'm short on time because I hit snooze seven times before deciding to wake up.
One exercise I really like doing is the lateral lunge with a knee drive. It works your gluteus medius — the muscle on the side of your butt, which helps with stability — your abdominal muscles, which also help with stability, and your quads. In my opinion, the lateral lunge with a knee drive is one of the best bodyweight moves you can do for lower-body strength.
Another reason I like this exercise: we often neglect lateral movements, and to function at our best, we should train in all planes of motion. If you're ready to upgrade from the classic lunge and feel your muscles light up, keep reading.
How to Do a Lateral Lunge With a Knee Drive
- Start standing tall with your feet about hips width apart.
- With control, step your right leg out to the right coming into a lunge. Your left leg should be straight and there should be a bend in your right knee.
- With most of your weight on your right leg/foot, push through your right heel as you simultaneously drive your right knee up and off the ground, returning to a standing position. Keep your foot flexed (don't point your toes down).
- If this is too hard, you can return to the starting position and then lift your right knee up. Be sure to keep a 90-degree angle at the right knee and right hip — this is the part of the exercise that fires up your abs.
- This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of 10 reps on each side.