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Step Ups are a Good Alternative to Lunges

You Asked: Alternatives For Lunges?

"Lunges are for losers. And I mean that in the most positive way. Really. You lunge you lose weight, cellulite, something. But here is my question: I can't lunge to save my life. Does anyone know any alternatives to lunges?"
- ArtChiQe

Lunges are great, but they are not for everyone, especially those of us with bad knees. You can try to replace lunges with squats, leg presses, or even reverse lunges. An alternative that I especially love are "Step Ups," because they work a lot of the same muscles that lunges would work. Here's how you do a Step Up:

  • Use a bench at the gym or find something about the height of a bench at home. You can also stack up a step bench — the adjustable steps used in step class.
  • With one leg, step up onto the bench. Then step back down.
  • Do three sets of 15 reps (on each leg).

Fit's Tip: If starting with the height of a bench is too difficult for you, find something lower and work your way up.


Join The Conversation
Mouzzer Mouzzer 7 years
There are a lot of floor toning exercises that you can do with resistance bands to completely rid yourself of lunges.
Korsgal Korsgal 9 years
omg step ups are amazing. I had a trainer who would make me do these all the time and I hated them at first but I could really feel my legs building strength and toning up so fast.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
Step ups and reverse lunges make me dizzy. But I love squats!
chynablue chynablue 9 years
I really don't like lunges. Especially the ones where you have to lunge across the length of the whole room. I look ridiculous doing that! My favorite alternative is the leg press machine ;)
latent latent 9 years
If you fall over when doing lunges, you need to work on your stabilizers...the falling is generally due to a core weakness. Lunges are the devil but oh baby they hurt so good!
ArtChiQe ArtChiQe 9 years
Wooohooo! There are other lunge haters! These are GREAT alternatives. Thanks for answering my question!
JennaV JennaV 9 years
Lunges are the devil
anned anned 9 years
I heart single leg squats! :pepino:
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I can't do lunges either, they RUIN my ankles. I had surgery a couple years back but they're still messed up and always wobble when I try to lunge. These are good alternatives for people that don't want to horrible injure themselves (or just not embarass myself haha)
brookrene brookrene 9 years
THANK YOU! Doing lunges kills my knees, and I about fall over every time. This'll be great, i can get started tonight!
Kristabelle Kristabelle 9 years
Reverse lunges are a great alternative to forward lunges, especially if you have a knee problem... Reverse lunges don't allow your front knee to overshoot your toe, which is where the problem lies. Plus, if you have trouble with keeping your balance doing them - keep doing them! - it will strengthen your core while you work your legs!!! Can't beat that! :) Try different arm positions to help you get your balance - hands on hips - hands out to the sides for balance. Sometimes even just holding a 2-3lb weight in each hand helps you stabilize yourself.
chrissy00 chrissy00 9 years
To make lunges less stressful on the knees/joints, try doing them on the smith machine, with or without weights attached. YOu will still be able to get the full effect of the lunges, but with the guided top bar as support.
Bookish Bookish 9 years
I'm lunge-challenged too. Thanks for the alternatives!
blue-skies blue-skies 9 years
For some reason, I completely lose my balance when I do lunges, and I look like an idiot, so these are much better alternatives! Thanks!
Stacey-Cakes Stacey-Cakes 9 years
Thanks so much for these alternatives... lunges really bother my knees and ankles
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Great ideas...
kia kia 9 years
If you are into power lifting you can try a dead lift. Even without much weight if I do enough reps at a slow pace for resistance I get a serious hamstring workout going on.
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