The Lunge – an exercise to strengthen the legs

The Lunge – an exercise to strengthen the legs

The lunge is a popular leg strength exercise which when performed well can work the muscles of the leg and lower body in a harmonious way; if it is done incorrectly it can be stressful on the knees, back and hips, which is often why they are an unpopular exercise choice and avoided in a workout routine.

With all exercise remember to honour your body. Before starting any new exercise, seek professional advice if you have any pre-existing injuries or concerns, especially with knees, back and hips.

Here are a few tips to support you to connect with the wonder of this exercise.

Set up

  • Stand tall
  • Take a large step directly in front – legs should be in the alignment from the hip rather than in a straight line together (tightrope)
  • Back heel off the floor at all times
  • Hips square to your front
  • Feel a sense of support from within and a lengthening between hips and ribs
  • Hands wherever feels supportive – on hips, by your side etc.

The Lunge movement

  • Simply bend both legs – keep weight evenly distributed between both legs –
  • Then straighten legs fully back to start position
  • Start with small movements
  • Keep back heel off the ground


  • Start with small movements to get the feel without putting any strain on the body, then deepen the movement as and when it feels appropriate for you
  • Move in your rhythm
  • Keep hips square to your front at all times
  • Stay connected to your belly and height between waist and ribs
  • Keep weight on front heel
  • Do not allow the front knee to travel over your toes – this puts too much stress on the knees
  • Back stays in its natural alignment
  • Complete each movement fully by straightening legs
  • Work within your movement range
  • No holding or forcing breath

Benefits of Lunges

  • Efficient because it’s a body weight exercise which uses many muscles groups.
  • Lower body strength – bottom, legs and lower back
  • Balance
  • No equipment or gyms required!!!


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  • By Beverly Carter, Fitness and Health Coach

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