If you want to know the benefits of doing deep lunges, this article will show you everything you need to know about this exercise.
You probably know that doing lunges without weights can strengthen your legs, but you may not be getting the most out of this exercise.
Most people do half reps when doing lunges. They slightly bend the knees then rise and repeat. Even though doing half reps doesn’t hurt your knees, it won’t give you the best results.
Deep lunges focus on the range of motion (covering more distance). As you may know, a wider range of motion allows you to burn more calories and builds muscle faster.
Be keen to maintain proper form because most people distort their form when they increase the range of motion.
How to do deep lunges
Stand upright and keep your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the hips and face forward.
Make a long stride forward with the left leg.
Bend both knees simultaneously. Bend the front knee until it’s on a 90-degree angle and lower the rear knee until it almost touches the floor.
Slowly rise as you kick back the left leg to the starting position.
Bring the right leg forward and repeat the movement.
Mistakes to avoid
Don’t lean forward when lunging. Keep the torso upright throughout.
Make sure the front knee doesn’t extend past the toes when in the lunge position. The front knee should be directly above the ankle.
Perform the exercise slowly to avoid hitting the floor with the rear knee.
Record yourself or have someone to check your form. Most times people don’t lunge as deep as they think they are.
Muscles worked by deep lunges
Deep lunges activate all the lower body muscles.
- Gluteus maximus
- Lower back
Deep side lunges
If you want to improve hamstring and hip flexibility, deep side lunges are the exercise you should be doing.
Note that people who sit all day have tight and weak hamstrings.
How to perform
Stand upright and keep your legs wider than shoulder-width. Keep the toes facing slightly outward.
Bend the left knee and then shift your weight to the left side. Lower your butt until the left hamstring rests on the calf muscles.
Slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position and then lunge to the right side.
Benefits of deep lunges
1. Deep lunges improve hip flexibility
If you sit at a desk for 8 hours, chances are you have tight hip flexors. Tightness in these muscles increases the risk of lower back pain and ruins your posture.
Doing deep lunges regularly is a great way to loosen the hip flexors. When you lunge, the hip flexors are forced to stretch.
If your hip flexors are too tight, get in the lunge position and then place the rear knee on the floor. Place your hands on the hips and then push them forward for 20- 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Alternatively, you can use this 15-second hip flexors stretch.
2. Deep lunges fix leg muscle imbalance
Is your right leg bigger or stronger than the left leg? Deep lunges can help fix your leg muscle imbalance.
Deep lunges are a unilateral exercise, which means they train one side at a time. Therefore, if you have one leg that’s weaker, all you need to do is train it more. Do 5-10 extra lunges with the weaker leg in every set.
It’ll be easier to fix leg muscle imbalance if you combine deep lunges with these exercises.
3. Deep lunges improve balance
It’s important to build balance as we grow older. Seniors who lack balance have a higher risk of falls and fractures.
Deep lunges force each leg to gain strength and stability, and as a result improve your balance.
Doing deep lunges while holding a pair of dumbbells will even give you better results. Other unilateral exercises such as step ups and single leg bridges can also improve your balance.
4. Deep lunges increase muscle mass
If you’re a regular reader you know that training legs and glutes is the fastest way to increase muscle mass. Training big muscle groups increases muscle much faster.
Research also shows that training leg muscles boosts growth hormone, which consequently enhances muscle growth.
Remember that diet is key when building muscle so take advantage of these muscle-building recipes.
5. Deep lunges build core strength
As I mentioned earlier, you have to keep your torso upright when doing this exercise. Well, you can’t keep the torso upright if you don’t engage the core muscles.
As you continue to do this exercise, your abdominal and back muscles will become stronger.
You may even experience soreness in the abs and lower back muscles the first time you do deep lunges.
I can’t forget to mention that deep lunges target the biggest core muscle (glutes).
6. You can do deep lunges anywhere
You don’t have to go to the gym to do lunges. You can do them in the living room, at the beach, at the office, at the park or any other place.
This is the perfect exercise for you if you’re a busy person. You can do it right after waking up or in the evening after work
If you want to make this exercise challenging, wear a weighted vest or hold a dumbbell in each hand.
7. Deep lunges improve coordination
Not just athletes need coordination. Everybody can benefit from coordination since we use it when driving, running, arranging things, jumping rope, and so on.
Deep lunges build coordination since you have to combine different movements at the same time. You have to step forward, bend both knees, and keep the torso upright every time you lunge.
If you do lunges repeatedly, your coordination will improve and as result, you’ll become a better driver, runner, and athlete.
8. Deep lunges improve spinal health
Most people have unhealthy spines, even those who are in great shape. Exercises like weighted squats compress the spine and increase the risk of lower back pain.
Deep lunges, on the other hand, decompress the spine and improve spine flexibility. If you struggle with lower back pain, you’re better off doing deep lunges instead of squats.
9. Deep lunges boost your mood
Just like any other exercise, deep lunges make your body release endorphins (feel-good hormones). When the body releases these hormones, your mood improves and stress levels go down.
It’s also worth noting that leg exercises boost testosterone levels, which makes us feel energized.
10. Deep lunges improve hamstring flexibility
Hamstrings are (one of) the most neglected muscle. Most leg exercises target the quadriceps more than the hamstrings.
Inactivity and long hours of sitting also make them tight and weak. Which is a bad thing since tightness in the hamstring causes knee and back pain.
Doing deep lunges regularly will reduce tightness in the hamstrings and make them strong. However, if you want to gain more flexibility, do deep side lunges.
If you want a strong and flexible lower body, add deep lunges to your leg workouts. Make sure you do this exercise properly because poor form can increase the risk of pain.
You can even take on the 28-lunges challenge.
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