Double Duty: This Trainer's Favorite Lunge Variation Will Also Work Your Abs
Getting the most bang for your buck out of a quick workout is NASM-certified personal trainer Alexia Clark's specialty. She posts gym and home routines on her Instagram page for her near two million followers — and more on her website, where you can also purchase her programs — full of creative exercises that will keep your sweat sessions effective and, most importantly, not boring! Alexia told POPSUGAR that, in terms of moves that work your legs and your abs, she knows just the thing.
She calls this lunge with benefits a lunge core twist, where you're holding a split squat — or lunge — position with your back knee hovering above the ground and you're twisting back and forth, similar to the torso movement in a Russian twist, keeping your core tight. It combines an isometric movement that "works your glutes because you have to hold a stabilized position" with the added bonus of targeting your abs.
Alexia also pointed out that this move forces you to work your balance, too. I tried this last night, and trust me when I say that my balance was challenged (and I'm a former gymnast). For the lunge core twist, you can use a weight, but Alexia said she wouldn't suggest anything heavy — the focus is your legs and abs here, so you don't want to tire out your arms and risk breaking your form.
Five to 10 pounds would be ideal, whether that's a dumbbell, medicine ball, or kettlebell, though she said the move is very effective using no weight. This is an exercise you can do at many different levels — even at a beginner level with modification. Check out further instructions for these lunge core twists ahead as well as a variation you can try if you don't want to hold your lunge.