If you really want to work your legs and glutes, then look no further because the lunge kicks exercise is just for you.
This is a very easy exercise to do. It is a home workout that targets the glutes and hip flexors and quadriceps.
Moreso, it involves abs, calves, and hamstrings while giving you a great cardio boost and a serious core workout. It also challenges your stability and flexibility and can help to increase both.
This exercise can also be referred to as Front Kicks.
Here is how to do it correctly;
- Requirements: No equipment needed
- Begin by standing straight up keeping your core tight and your back as flat as possible.
- Keep your gaze focused straight ahead as you step back with your right leg.
- As you step forward into the starting position, launch your right leg into a front kick and use your left side hand to touch your toe then return your right leg to the starting position.
- Repeat the same procedure for the left leg and keep alternating until you complete the required set.
- You can do it 15-20 times for each leg.
- Quick tip: Do not overstretch yourself by doing more than the required number as this may cause muscle cramps and unwanted injuries.
Now that you are familiar with the steps on how to do the exercise, you can watch this video to help you to clearly see exactly how you are supposed to do it.
WHAT MUSCLES DO LUNGE KICKS WORK?
Lunge kicks target your primary muscles, your glutes, hip flexors, and quadriceps. The abs, calves, and hamstrings are also worked as secondary muscles.
Glutes are the strongest and longest muscle group in your body. There are three muscles which make up the glutes region; gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.
These three muscles always work in tandem to help you perform movements such as lifting, rotating and extending your legs. Training your glute muscles will surely bring you that enviable posture that you desire.
Your hip flexors are a group of muscles near the top of your thighs that are key players in moving your lower body. They enable you to walk, kick, bend and swivel your hips. They consist of five muscles; iliacus, psoas, pectineus, rectus, femoris and sartorius.
Your calf muscle consists of two main muscles, the gastrocnemius, and soleus. It has been proven that those with bigger calves had fewer fatty deposits known as plaques built up in their arteries.
hence they have a lower risk for stenosis, carotid artery disease, and strokes.
These are skeletal muscles at the back of your thigh. You use them to walk, climb stairs, do squats and many other leg movements.
Hamstring movements are also the most common sports injury. Weak hamstrings may cause them to tear and leave you with pain and may need surgical treatment.
LUNGE KICKS BENEFITS
Lunge Kicks exercise allows you to work on your legs and glutes while giving you a great cardio boost and a serious core workout.
Lunge Kicks enables you to increase your flexibility and stability.
ALTERNATIVES TO LUNGE KICKS
The Lunge Kicks exercise is a great leg exercise but there are others that are equally as effective and can be used in their place. They include;
- Lie faceup on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground with your arms by your side and palms down.
- Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.
- Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise.
- Hold your position for a couple of seconds before easing back down.
- You should aim for sets of ten bridges, twice or thrice a week.
This is an exercise that targets to strengthen the same muscles that help to transition your body weight through up and down movements which is what happens during Lunge Kicks.
This one, however, requires a smaller range of motion which strengthens the thighs and muscles around the knee reducing the potential for injury.
- Standing in front of an elevated platform such as a step, step up one foot at a time
- Stand on top and then step back down.
- Start with a low platform to keep hips as stable as possible while stepping up and down.
- You can hold a pair of weights to make this exercise more challenging.
- Repeat the process 10 to 30 times.
Doing squats from a supported position like a chair, in this case, decreases the range of motion and emphasizes the upward motion of standing, which works the backside.
- Sit on a chair, keeping your feet on the floor with the hip-distance apart and parallel to one another.
- Squeeze your glutes while pressing into heels and stand straight up, then slowly return to a seated position.
- The higher the chair the easier the workout and also moving your hips closer to the front edge of the chair makes it easier.
SINGLE LEG BALANCE
This exercise also improves your balance and stability.
- Stand at an arm’s distance from a wall or chair with the feet hip distance apart and parallel to one another.
- You can hold on to a chair or a wall for support.
- Engage thigh muscles and abdominals and lift one knee to a 90-degree position in line with hip crease and stay for 10 seconds in that position before switching sides
This workout targets the abductors, which are the stabilizing muscles of the hips. It involves lying on one side while resting your head on the upper arm or pillow. Bend your knees to 90 degrees keeping your feet together.
- Rotate top knee toward the ceiling, separating thighs and feeling muscles of outer hip contract.
- Squeeze your inner thighs to lower your leg back down.
- You can repeat this 10 times before switching sides.
- You should try to make sure that your hips are completely still and that only your thigh bone is moving from within the hip socket as you do each repetition.
LUNGE KICKS MISTAKES TO AVOID
Lunge Kicks are a pretty simple exercise to do. However, there are still some common mistakes that can be made when doing the exercise and they include;
NOT KEEPING YOUR KNEE IN LINE WITH YOUR ANKLE.
This is one of the biggest and most common mistake that people make while doing the exercise. You need to make sure that your knee and ankle are in a straight line. Failure to do so can put excessive pressure on your knee or ankle, leading to injury.
DOING THE EXERCISE TOO FAST
Another common mistake is when people try to do Lunge Kicks very fast. If you try to speed up this exercise, there is a higher chance of getting it wrong and it won’t be as effective in working out the targeted muscles lastly, it can cause injury.
NOT ENGAGING YOUR CORE.
This is also another mistake that you should try to avoid while doing the exercise. If you do not actively engage your core, you will lose balance and also the impact of the exercise on the body’s targeted muscles will reduced.
NOT RAISING YOUR LEG HIGH ENOUGH.
The Lunge Kick requires you to raise your leg high enough while doing the kick. A common mistake made by most people is to try to raise your leg up but not above the waist level during the kick.
This affects the overall effectiveness of the workout and should be avoided.
All in all, the Lunge Kicks are a great workout exercise that will surely work on those legs and glutes and also help to improve your overall flexibility.
As long as you purpose to do this exercise correctly and avoid the common mistakes listed above, you can rest assured that you will avoid any injuries and that your leg muscles will end up much stronger.
You can purpose to do the lunge kicks as part of your daily routine for the next one month or so and you will surely see the results.