Did you know that there are only seven basic movements that can be performed by the human body, and all other exercises are variations or combinations of the fundamental movements? Those seven movements are: Pull, Push, Squat, Lunge, Hinge, Rotation and Gait.
Today we are going to focus on Lunge! Unlike some of the other fundamental movements we discussed, lunging puts your body in a less stable position due to one foot being farther forward than the other. Because of this, lunges require more flexibility, balance, and stability. Like a squat, lunges work the lower body, and hit some of the same muscle groups, namely the glutes, quadriceps, core and hamstrings. Unlike squats though, this movement works these muscles (particularly the three gluteal muscles due to a split stance) to a higher degree and also works on balance, flexibility and stability within this muscle group, making it a more complex exercise.
Like squats though, there are many variations to lunges, all with varying degrees of difficulty. The basic lunges are the forward lunge, reverse lunge, and side lunge are examples of these. All of these can be modified further for increased or decreased difficulty. All of these work the muscle groups mentioned above to varying degrees and have different benefits that make it worth adding all three to your workouts. Doing all three in succession is called a “matrix lunge”, and is one of our favorite things to add to a good HIIT workout.
If you want to take it up several notches, levitating lunges are probably the hardest- they not only require strength but high levels of balance throughout the entire body. Ryleigh does a great job here of demonstrating on our Facebook page, so go check that out!