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How to Lunge - Variations, Modifications and Mistakes

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Updated April 09, 2014

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Lunge Variations for Challenge and Intensity
How to Lunge - Variations, Modifications and Mistakes

Variation: Deadlift Lunge

Photo © Paige Waehner
Static lunges are great, but adding variety to your workouts will help you engage the glutes, hips and thighs in different ways and add a whole new dimension to your training. Below are just a few examples of lunge variations:
  • Barbell Lunge - A barbell allows you to use heavier weights since the weight is more evenly distributed over the body. You should have experience and good balance before trying this version.
  • Sliding Lunges - Using a paper plate under the back foot helps you engage more quads and work on balance and stability.
  • Side Lunge - The side lunge emphasizes the inner thighs along with the hips and glutes.
  • Sliding Side Lunges - Adding a paper plate to the traditional side lunge creates more challenge for the inner thighs.
  • Split Squats - Elevating the back leg makes the traditional lunge more advanced and puts more emphasis on the quad of the back leg.
  • Low Lunges - This move offers a tight, small move that really challenges the glutes and thighs of the front leg while engaging the core.
  • Lunge Deadlifts - This advanced exercise engages the hamstrings and glutes of the front leg in a very focused way.
  • One-Leg Lunge with Reach - This move is great for the overall body and will really challenge your balance and core strength.

Adding Lunges to Your Workouts

You don't want to do all of these lunges in one lower body workout but, if you're an intermediate or advanced exerciser, you can choose 1 to 3 different lunges (such as a static lunge, one-leg lunge with reach and a sliding side lunge) for each workout, performing each for 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 16 reps. If you're a beginner, start with one exercise (such as basic static lunges) and do 1 to 2 sets of 10 to 16 reps, adding weight when you feel comfortable.

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