Lunge twists exercise is a bodyweight exercise that strengthens your core and builds your lower body muscles.
It is very easy to do and can be done by people of all age groups. A Lunge Twist is an exercise that involves twisting your midsection either to your left or to your right while maintaining the lunge position.
It can also be called A Lunge with a Twist.
To perform this exercise;
- Requirements: Medicine ball, Kettlebells or dumbbells (Please note that you can use them to give yourself more challenge and that they are not a necessary requirement)
- Begin by standing straight with your feet apart and your arms lifted at the front.
- Step forward with your left leg, and bend both your knees while rotating your torso to the left.
- Return to the starting position and repeat the same movements on the right leg.
- Keep alternating sides until you complete at least ten repetitions on each side.
- Quick tip: Be sure that you are twisting at the hip and not at the knee.
To get a clearer picture of how you are expected to perform the Lunge Twists exercise, you can check out this short clip which clearly illustrates how to do it correctly.
WHAT MUSCLES DO LUNGE TWISTS WORK?
Lunge Twists engage multiple muscle groups. As a lower body workout, it helps to strengthen your hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors.
These are skeletal muscles at the back of your thigh. You use them to walk, climb stairs, squat, and do 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.
Glutes are the strongest and longest muscle group in your body, commonly referred to as hips or the butt.
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.
Having strong hip flexors helps you to maintain a good posture, reverse the negative effects of sitting, decrease the possibility of pain and injury and most importantly increase athletic performance.
LUNGE TWISTS BENEFITS
Including the Lunge Twist exercise into your daily workout routine can have several advantages.
IT IS A GREAT EXERCISE ESPECIALLY FOR THE LOWER BODY
It works on the glutes and legs and improves the flexibility of the hips. At the same time it forces you to engage your core, hence working on your abs and obliques at the same time.
IT ENGAGES MULTIPLE MUSCLE GROUPS
This exercise being a lower body workout, will help in strengthening your hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors, and this has a positive effect on the posture and reducing injury.
IT DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY SPECIAL EQUIPMENT
Unlike many other exercise which require special equipment in order to perform them, the Lunge Twist does not require any of them. However, you can add a medicine ball or weights to the exercise to increase its intensity.
LUNGE TWISTS ARE A GOOD WARM UP FOR YOGA POSES
If you are into yoga, there are some low lunge yoga poses which are very similar to the Lunge Twist. Practicing Lunge Twists will help strengthen your core and prepare you for more advanced yoga poses.
ALTERNATIVES TO LUNGE TWISTS
The Lunge Twist exercise is a great leg exercise but there are others that are equally as effective and can be used in place of Lunge Twists. They include;
In this exercise, you lie on one side with your legs extended and stacked from hip to feet.
- Make sure that your elbow is directly under your shoulder and that your head is directly in line with the spine.
- Engage your abdominal muscles and draw your navel towards the spine.
- Finally, lift your hip and knees from the floor mat while exhaling.
- Hold the position for at least 30 seconds.
- Return to the starting position and repeat the same for the other side.
This is also another great alternative for working you core that you can use in place of the Lunge Twist.
- Sit on a flat surface like the floor and lift your feet up keeping your knees bent.
- Elongate and straighten your spine at a 45 degree angle from the floor creating a V shape with your torso and thighs.
- Stretch your arms forward and clasp them together.
- Lastly, you should engage your core by using your abdominals to twist to the right then back to center and then to the left.
- Do 2 to 3 sets of around 8 to 16 repetitions.
LUNGE TWISTS MISTAKES TO AVOID
To ensure that the lunge twist exercise is effective and safe, there are mistakes that need to be avoided while doing the workout.
TWISTING YOUR KNEES
You should ensure that you are twisting from your torso. Make sure that the movement is coming from the ribs and the lower body more, and not from your knees. Adhering to this will help you to avoid injury and to get the benefit of a solid core workout.
As you perform your Lunge Twist you should look out for your form and ensure that;
- You are facing forward.
- Your back has assumed a straight posture and your shoulders are falling back slightly.
- You are fully engaging your core.
Also ensure that your knees are aligned, as a misalignment can cause massive strain on your patellar tendon and your quads, causing injury.
It is difficult to go wrong with the Lunge Twists as your exercise of choice for building your core and strengthening your lower body muscles given the general ease and effectiveness of this workout.
If you have any knee pain or if you are recovering from surgery, you may want to avoid this exercise until you are healed completely since you do not want to cause more pain or interfere with your healing process.
Aim to complete two sets of 10 reps on each side. If this is too much for you, start with a set of 5 reps and work your way up from there.