Ah, the forward lunge — the exercise so many people love to hate.
You might avoid it because of the deep burn it produces in your quads, yet there are few better exercises for sculpting lean, powerful legs. But turning heads isn’t the only reason to weave this classic move into your workout routine.
When performed with perfect form (as you’re about to learn), the strength and mobility you’ll build will not only make everyday efforts (like carrying groceries and climbing stairs) easier, but also boost your performance in sports ranging from running to basketball.
Forward Lunge: Step-by-Step Instructions
- Stand tall holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length by your sides (palms in) with your feet hip-width apart.
- Keeping your chest up, shoulders back, core braced (imagine someone is about to hit you in the gut), and back flat, take a large step forward with your right foot. Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and your rear knee is bent 90 degrees (it should hover a couple of inches above the floor).
- Pause, and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Repeat, this time stepping forward with your left foot. Continue alternating legs with each rep.
How to Make the Forward Lunge Easier
Perform the move using only your bodyweight, don’t descend quite as far toward the floor, or perform a rear lunge, stepping back into the move instead of forward.
How to Make the Forward Lunge Harder
Use heavier weights and/or hold the bottom position for longer.
Muscles Worked by the Forward Lunge
Your quads are made up four muscles, all of which help straighten your knee: the rectus femoris, the vastus intermedius, the vastus lateralis, and the vastus medialis.
Your glutes are comprised primarily of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus. They’re responsible for straightening your hips, drawing your femurs away from your body’s midline (abduction), and rotating your legs inward and outward.
The hamstrings, calves, and core also play supporting roles in the forward lunge.
Bonus Tip for Doing the Forward Lunge
One of the most common mistakes people make when performing the lunge is keeping their stance too narrow. As you step forward, imagine that there’s a line running between your feet, and try to keep each foot four to six inches to either side.
You can find this move in the Rev Abs workout Power Intervals, now streaming at Beachbody On Demand. Its just one of hundreds of workouts available to members, which include programs like 21 Day Fix, CORE DE FORCE and Focus T25. Access BOD via your TV’s set-top box or mobile device now!