Dumbbell side lunge is a convenient and easy to perform exercise suitable for physical fitness beginners.
The exercise is performed within a small space and only requires a dumbbell.
HOW TO DO DUMBBELL SIDE LUNGE
- Begin in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Grab a pair of dumbbells and position your hands in front of your chest.
- With your left leg, take a step to your side keeping both your toes pointing in the same direction with your feet flat on the floor.
- Step outward with your left knee bent and your hip kept back. You should feel as if you are trying to sit in a chair with one side of your lower body.
- Change position by pushing off your left foot in order to assume the starting position
- Exercise a set of side lunge on your left leg then change to your right leg.
- Repeat the sets as many times as you possibly can.
WHAT MUSCLES DO DUMBBELL SIDE LUNGE DO?
These are muscles found on the back of your thighs. They work together with your glutes to control the hip of your leading leg as you perform a dumbbell side lunge.
Hamstrings equally help in taking control of the body as you lower yourself into the lunge position and drive you back to the starting position.
Abductors are located on the inside of your thighs. Dumbbell side lunge places extra workload on the abductor muscles.
As the abductors on your lead leg work with your hamstrings and quadriceps to control the hip and knee movement, the abductors on the trailing leg will get a good stretch that keeps it straight.
Dumbbell side lunge equally works your glute muscles. Besides that, other smaller and very important gluteus minimus and medius also get in on the act.
Given that the glutes on your leading leg are involved in much work during the exercise, ensure to perform the same number of repetitions on each leg so as to achieve a balanced workout.
These are muscles that are located on the front of your thighs. Quadriceps perform an important role of facilitating the extension of the knees.
As you move your weight to the lead leg, the quadriceps work to control your descent into the lunge position and thereafter pushing you upright back to the starting position.
DUMBBELL SIDE LUNGE BENEFITS
IMPROVING BALANCE AND STABILITY
Regular performance of dumbbell side lunge can greatly contribute to an improved balance and stability of your body.
This is beneficial to your routine activities as a good balance facilitates movement from sitting to standing as well as preventing falls.
BUILDING STRONG LEGS
Dumbbell side lunge exercise works to build strong legs, especially among individuals who like to ski. When performing a ski, the inner thigh muscles gets fully engaged.
Since side lunge strengthens both the inner and outer thighs, it is a great exercise to consider if you prepare for a ski competition.
STRENGTHENING YOUR BONES
Bones give your body its structural framework and they assist in all movements that the body undertakes.
Strong bones enable the easier performance of day-to-day activities with minimal chances of injury and improves the general well-being of the body.
BURNING BODY FAT
Dumbbell side lunge is a strenuous exercise that works more muscles in the body.
It demands high energy uptake which may help you burn fat and as a result, you may experience loss of weight if the exercise is performed consistently in the right manner.
ALTERNATIVES TO DUMBBELL SIDE LUNGE
This is an exercise that is similar to the lunges through step ups are friendlier to the knees because stepping up puts less shearing force on the front knees and it is equally easier to maintain the vertical shin.
However, it is advisable to use the trailing leg minimally for better results from step-ups.
Wall squats are two-legged exercises that are knee friendly. Here, you descend and hold your squat putting pressure on your muscles instead of your joint.
This is good for you if you have knee pain caused by arthritis. Unlike dumbbell side lunge, the squats are done for time and not reps.
SINGLE- LEG LEG PRESS
This is a two – leg exercise but it can be done on one leg at a time and this makes it a viable alternative to dumbbell side lunge. The exercise can be used to correct left to right strength imbalance.
Since the weights are guided on rails, you would not worry about balance and keeping your knees aligned.
In this exercise, instead of stepping forward and pushing back to the starting position, you maintain split stance thus reducing shearing force on your knees. This eventually makes it easier to keep your front shin vertical.
DUMBBELL SIDE LUNGE MISTAKES TO AVOID
KNEES GOING PAST THE TOE
When performing dumbbell side lunge, the side of the knee that you are lunging on should not go past your toes. When knees happen to go past the toes, more weight will be placed on your quads and this is likely to cause a lot of tension on your knee joint. Leaning Forward
At some point during the performance of the exercise, your hips will be kept backwards with your leading knee forward. This may attract a natural feeling of leaning your upper body forward.
The act of forward leaning will throw off your balance and may lead to slouching coupled with poor posture. Even though dumbbell side lunge does not target the back, it is advisable that you keep your back as straight as possible because curving it may cause strain.
DEEP OR SHALLOW LUNGING
When you take a very small step while performing dumbbell side lunge, chances are high that you will not realise a good strength workout and balance.
On the same breath, too large of a side lunge may cause strain on the groin area and inner thigh. It is therefore important to maintain proper step. This will help you to make your alignment be on the right track.
Dumbbell side lunge exercise works a number of muscles and will give you physical benefits that gives you more strength, weight loss and stability.
The exercise is worth putting into your routine schedule. However, it should be performed in the correct form with steady advancement to more challenging variations over time for desirable results.