Your Legs Called, and They Want You to Do These 22 Lunge Variations ASAP
Sure, squats are where it's at when it comes to toning your butt and legs, but don't forget the mighty lunge! Effective and intense, these lunge variations will tone every millimeter of your lower body for the strongest most, toned legs of your life.
Alternating Forward Lunge
- Stand tall with your feet hips-width distance apart. Bend the elbows at your sides or rest your hands on the hips.
- Step forward with the right foot, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Keep the front knee directly above the ankle, and lower the left knee to just above the floor.
- Keep the weight in your heels as you push back to the starting position.
- Repeat stepping with the left foot this time, completing one rep.
Alternating Reverse Lunge
- Stand with feet together. Take a controlled lunge (or large step) backward with your left foot.
- Lower your hips so that your right thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor and your right knee is positioned directly over your ankle. Keep your left knee bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor. Your left heel should be lifted.
- Step the left foot in, and lunge back with the right foot.
Deep Reverse Lunge
- Begin with your feet together, holding a dumbbell in front of your chest.
- As you step your right foot back into a deep lunge, lower the dumbbell to your left foot. Make sure your left knee is directly over your ankle.
- Step your right foot forward to return to the starting position. Repeat, lunging the left foot back. This counts as one rep.
Reverse Lunge With Reach
- Stand with your hands at your waist, and step back with your left leg into a deep lunge. Increase the stretch by lifting your left arm overhead and reaching to the the right.
- Return to standing, and repeat this move on the other side to complete one rep.
Reverse Lunge With a Twist
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Hold a five- to 10-pound medicine ball with both hands with your arms outstretched in front of you. You can do the move without the weight if it's too difficult.
- Keep your core stable, and take a large step back with your right foot, planting your foot and then lowering your body until both legs are bent in right angles.
- As you sink into the lunge, twist your torso to the left.
- Bring your torso back to center, and exhale as you straighten your legs. Bring your feet back together, then step back on your left leg, twisting to the right.
- This completes one rep.
Scarecrow With Back Lunge
- Step your left leg back into a deep lunge, making 90-degree angles with both knees.
- Raise your arms out to the side until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees making a loose fist with your hands.
- Hold the lunge as you rotate your upper arms forward to bring your fists to the floor; then rotate the upper arm backward to bring the fists up. Do not lower or raise your upper arms; keep them parallel to the floor. This complete one rep.
Reverse Lunge and Kick
- Step back with your left foot coming into a deep lunge bending both knees to 90 degrees.
- Press the right heel into the ground as you push off with your left foot, kicking your left leg to touch your left toes to your right hand.
- With control, return to the lunge position. This completes one rep.
- Come into a lunge with your right leg back. Swing your right leg forward to hop up on your left foot, and land softly back in a lunge.
- Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides for an additional 30 seconds.
Lunge With Overhead Lift
- Begin with your feet together holding a weight in your right hand. As you step your left foot back into a deep lunge, bend your elbow to a 90-degree angle with your palm facing in toward your body.
- Transfer your weight to your right leg, and swing your left leg as you press your dumbbell toward the ceiling.
- Step back to lunge slowly with control, finding balance with your core strength. This completes one rep.
Forward Backward Lunge
- Stand with the feet together.
- Put weight in the left foot, lift your right knee up, and step into a forward lunge. The front knee should be at a 90-degree angle with the left knee just barely hovering above the ground.
- Push into your right heel, come to stand, and immediately step the right foot behind you into a reverse lunge with the left knee at a 90-degree angle.
- This counts as one rep.
Runner's Lunge With Push-Up
- Start in plank position, and bring your right foot to the outside of your right hand. Bend your elbows slowly to deepen the stretch.
- Return your right leg back to plank position, and repeat on the other side. This completes one rep.
Split Lunge With Twist
- Begin with your feet together holding a five- or eight-pound dumbbell in each hand.
- As you step back with your right foot for a deep reverse lunge, press up your weights for a bicep curl.
- Using your core strength, rotate your chest toward your left leg and extend your arms out to either side and hold. Step back to the starting position.
- This completes one rep.
Elevated Split Squat
- Begin by placing the top of your right foot on the bench, with your left leg straight. Bend your left knee, engage your right glute, and lower your pelvis toward the ground. You want your left foot out far enough so that when you lower your hips, your knee stays directly over your ankle.
- Straighten your left leg and rise back up to the starting position.
Lunges on a Ball
- Place the top of your left foot on the ball. Keep your right knee soft — do not lock your standing knee.
- Reach your arms forward at shoulder height. If balancing in this position is too challenging, open your arms out to the sides. Inhale to prepare.
- Exhale and actively pull your deep abs toward your spine. Bend your right knee, engage your right glute, and lunge. The ball will move back and your shin will move to top of the ball. Make sure your right knee doesn't move beyond your toes.
- Inhale to straighten the front leg, completing one rep.
Split Squat With Overhead Press
- Holding the weights at your shoulders with your palms facing out, step backward about three feet with your left foot. Press the weights up to the ceiling.
- Lower the weight to your shoulders as you bend your knees, making 90-degree angles with both legs.
- Straighten both legs as you press the weights back toward the ceiling.
- This completes one rep.
- Stand with your feet together and your knees soft.
- Jump and come into a lunge with your left leg forward.
- Push off with both feet, jumping them together and then hopping into a lunge with your right leg in front.
- Jump your feet back together to complete one rep.
Reverse Lunge and Press
- Stand with your feet together, holding the weights at your shoulders with your palms facing out.
- Step your left foot back coming into a lunge, making 90-degree angles with your front and back knee.
- Push off your left foot, bringing your left knee forward so it is even with your left hip while raising your arms above your head. Do this motion with control.
- Without touching the floor with your left foot, step back into the lunge to start your second rep.
Glider Side Lunge
- Stand with your feet a few inches apart, with your right foot on the plastic lid. Make a fist with one hand and cup your other hand over it. Keep your hands in front of your chest throughout the exercise to help you stay balanced.
- Put weight into your left leg, and as you slowly bend your left knee and squat down, slide your right foot out to the side. Then as you slowly straighten your leg, slide the right foot back in. Most of your weight remains in the leg that's not moving.
- Start in a small squat. Jump sideways to the left, landing on your left leg and crossing your right leg behind you. Bring your left hand to the floor squatting low in the cross-legged position. This completes one rep.
- Reverse directions by jumping to the right with your right leg.
Alternating Side Lunge
- Start with your feet directly under your hips. Step your right foot wide to the side coming into a lunge with your left fingers touching your right foot. Your right knee shouldn't go beyond your right toes. Keep your chest lifted and your weight in your heels.
- Push into your right foot to return to standing, then lunge sideways to the left to complete one rep.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand or a medicine ball. Extend your arms down at your sides if you are holding dumbbells, or hold the medicine ball in front of you with arms extended.
- Take a large step diagonally forward with your right foot, planting your foot at the 11 o'clock position. Sink down until your thighs form right angles. As you bend your knees, curl the dumbbells toward your upper arms or the medicine ball toward your chest.
- Extend your legs, lift your right knee and bring it in toward your chest, and lower your arms. Step back with your right leg, this time lunging behind your torso and stepping back to the 8 o'clock position. As you sink down into the reverse lunge, complete another bicep curl. This completes one rep.
Side Lunge to Curtsy Squat
- Holding a dumbbell at your chest, step your left leg wide to the left, coming into a lateral lunge, bending your right knee. Keep your chest lifted and your weight in your left heel.
- Push off with your left foot and cross the left leg behind your right foot, coming into a curtsy, bending both knees.
- Step out to the left, returning to your side lunge. This completes one rep.