The lunge is a terrific exercise for firming the lower body, but it must be done with slow, controlled movements to avoid injury.
Beginners should not use weights until they have gained strength and have mastered their balance. Start with 5 pound weights when you have mastered the balance.
To perform the lunge, stand with your feet together.
Take a long step forward with one foot, bending the rear leg, lowering the front thigh parallel to the floor.
Do not let your knee move forward of your toe line. Push back with the forward heel to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
Variation: Bench Lunge
Perform the same movement as with the basic lunge, but lunge forward onto a low (4-8") bench or step.
- Increase the weight gradually, making sure you are in balance and are using correct form at all times
- Make sure the bench you are lunging onto is stable, if you are performing a bench lunge.
- Use slow, controlled movements
- Let your knees go forward of your toe line
- Lock out the knees at the top of the movement
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