Lunges are a great exercise to control weight in a multiple directions working balance, power and coordination.
Body Weight Lunge
1. Stand tall with the feet shoulder width apart.
2. Take a big step forward with one leg, leaving the other leg on the floor behind. Bend at the hips and knees and lower the body to the floor until the knees are bent at 90 degrees, keeping the knee of the front leg over the toes.
3. Use the leg muscles to push off the front foot to return back to the starting position, keeping the torso upright and facing forward.
Tip: Try this exercise with a dumbbell in each hand, or a barbell across the shoulders (like a squat) to add more weight. You can even try walking forward in a line to keep alternating legs instead of pushing back to the start position each time. This exercise can also be carried out by stepping backwards rather than forwards to favour different parts of the leg muscles.
1. Repeat the first 2 steps of the body weight lunge.
2. Instead of stepping back to the start position, push off both legs to jump up in the air as high as you can, keeping them apart before landing in the lunge position. Soften at the knees and ankles as you do. Repeat on both legs to stay strong and aesthetic on both sides.
Tip: Adding light dumbbells into this exercise makes it harder and works on muscle endurance. Try switching legs in the movement to land with the opposite leg forward to how you started, to add in some extra cardio and balance work to your workout.
A frequently forgotten part of the leg muscles is the adductor group (commonly known as the groin) on the inside of the thigh and knee.
1. Begin by standing tall with the feet shoulder width apart facing forward.
2. Brace the core muscles and take a step out to the side leaving the standing leg and foot on the floor.
3. Lower the body towards the leg you stepped out on, and keep the knee over the toes and the foot facing forwards.
4. Push off this leg and return back to the start position. Repeat the movement on the opposite leg.
Tip: Try and do steps 2 & 3 simultaneously to create a smooth movement pattern.
Please seek the advice of a GP, physiotherapist or a medically qualified personal trainer before commencing any exercise to avoid the risk of any injury. We do not advise performing any exercise if it exhibits any pain or discomfort in any way.
If you have any questions or queries about any of the exercises, please contact the Didsbury clinic (Manchester) to discuss with your physiotherapist or personal trainer.