Take the plunge and embrace the lunge!
I can’t say the word "lunge" without having a giggle about "moist", "plinth", "thrust" and all the other words that raise a titter with Miranda Hart fans!
In fact she said: “I am not a fan of the gym culture. I do a few squats and a lunge. But the whole gym culture...”
And I quite agree with her! Squats and lunges are a great workout – and who needs the gym anyway! A lunge is a single-leg bodyweight exercise that works your hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, core and inner thigh. Simple but very effective, the lunge mimics our walking stride, it doesn’t need any equipment and you can do it anywhere. The beauty of lunges is that you can see and feel the effects in no time with more shapely, toned legs and bum.
It's important to do lunges properly so you don't strain your joints.
1. Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back, head up and core engaged 2. Step forward on one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about 90 degrees. Your front knee should be directly above your ankle, not pushed out to the side
3. Keep your other knee off the floor with your weight in your heels as you push back up to the start position.
Preventing lunge injuries
Lunges can put a strain on your knees so if you feel pain in this area, try taking smaller steps as you lunge. This helps with your range of movement and develops your strength and alignment. You can increase your lunge distance as you get stronger.
Take it up a gear
Once you have mastered the correct way to lunge, you can add weights like dumbbells, cans of beans or bottles of water. Or why not try these variations:
Reverse Lunge – take a big step backwards. Bend your front knee to lower your body so your back knee lightly taps the floor while keeping your upper body upright.
Walking Lunge – walk out a forward lunge. Instead of returning to the start position, shift your weight forward and rise up as you bring your back foot forward to meet your front foot.
Lateral Lunge – take a big step to the right with the right foot, keeping toes forward and feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms out in front of you for balance.
Curtsy Lunge – one of my faves! Step the left leg behind the right leg with the right knee bent until the right thigh is parallel to the ground and the left knee lightly taps the floor.
Clock Lunge - lunge in all four directions on each side (right foot forward, right foot lateral, right foot reverse and right foot curtsy). Don’t forget to repeat on the other side!
The lunge is a big part of the classes at Gemma Pearce Fitness. Come a try them for yourself at one of our fun, friendly workouts. Find a class to suit you at www.gemmapearcefitness.co.uk