Today we’re going to talk to you about a topic that you will either love or loathe – leg day.
Leg day is, without a doubt, the toughest training day for a bodybuilder, and if it isn’t, you’re simply not training hard enough.
When people think of leg training, they’ll often think of exercises such as barbell squats, hack squats, and leg presses.
Whereas these are all well and good, one exercise is vastly underrated, and that exercise is the humble lunge.
This is why today, we’re looking at several awesome benefits of lunges for women and men.
If you’re looking for ways of taking your leg training sessions to the next level, lunges are, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best exercises out there to perform.
They’re also one of the most underrated.
- 1 What Are Lunges And Where Did They Originate?
- 2 Which Muscles Do Lunges Work?
- 3 So, What Are The Health Benefits Of Lunges For Women And Men?
- 3.1 Benefit #1: Lunges Promote Better Balance
- 3.2 Benefit #2: They Promote Core Stability And Strength
- 3.3 Benefit #3: They Are Easy To Do
- 3.4 Benefit #4: They Burn Fat
- 3.5 Benefit #5: They Work On Your Mobility
- 3.6 Benefit #6: Shape And Tone The Legs
- 3.7 Benefit #7: Lunges Are Great For Your Butt
- 3.8 Benefit #8: They Strengthen Your Legs
- 3.9 Benefit #9: They Can Be Adapted
- 3.10 Benefit #10: They Are Great For Warming Up
- 3.11 Benefit #11: They Can Be Done Anywhere
- 3.12 Benefit #12: They Pack Muscle On
- 3.13 Benefit #13: Lunges Are Free To Do
- 3.14 Benefit #14: They Are Quick To Do
- 3.15 Benefit #15: They Will Improve Posture
- 3.16 Benefit #16: They Will Improve Your Mood
- 3.17 Benefit #17: Lunges Are Functional
- 3.18 Benefit #18: They Are Great For Scaling Up
- 3.19 Benefit #19: They Don’t Require A Spotter
- 4 Conclusion:
- 5 FAQ’s About Lunges:
What Are Lunges And Where Did They Originate?
If you ever perform calisthenics in the gym, or if you train your legs for that matter, there’s a very strong chance that you will have performed lunges at some point in the past.
Lunges are considered one of the most effective lower-body exercises in existence, yet people are still not entirely sure what they are, how they’re performed, and where they originated.
Hopefully, after reading this, things will become much clearer.
Lunges are basically an exercise whereby the participant positions one leg forwards with the foot flat and the knee bent, and the other leg positioned behind to help keep them steady.
Usually, the rear knee and toes actually touch the ground, whereby the front standing leg requires the knee to form a 90-degree angle or so.
There are many variations and alternatives to lunges, as you can perform single-leg stationary lunges, or you can perform walking lunges whereby you’ll walk and lunge with one leg, then the next, then the next, and so on.
Many bodybuilders also perform weighted lunges, whereby they either hold a set of dumbbells in their hands, or they have a barbell across their traps and will perform walking lunges whilst holding onto weights.
The added weight helps to increase leg strength and power and facilitates muscle hypertrophy.
Lunges are used in strength training, conditioning training, yoga, stretching, during circuit training, warming up, and much more besides.
As far as where lunges originated, many believe that they originated back in the 18th century when fencing was a very popular sport. Some believe, however, that the origins of lunges can be traced back even further still, to Asia as part of martial arts training.
Lunges are awesome in that they’re great for injury prevention, warming up before exercise, and also for building muscle and strengthening the lower body muscles in the process.
Perhaps greatest of all, however, is the fact that it promotes functional fitness.
As an example, say you’ve been on the floor putting something in a cupboard, or picking something up, standing back up would require you to perform a variation of a lunge, without even realizing it.
People who are elderly and who may have bad joints, however, may struggle just to stand up, which is why lunges can prove to be so beneficial.
Which Muscles Do Lunges Work?
Okay, so we’ve established that lunges are ideal for working the legs, but exactly which muscle groups are recruited when you perform a lunge?
Well, they include the following:
- Hip flexors
- Erector spinal muscle
As you can see, from just one exercise, that’s a heck of a lot of muscles being worked, which is why lunges are considered to be such fantastic compound exercises for lower body strength and development.
So, What Are The Health Benefits Of Lunges For Women And Men?
One of the key reasons why people consider lunges to be underrated is simply due to the fact that people aren’t familiar with just how beneficial they can really be.
That’s where we come into the fold.
Here’s a look at 19 awesome benefits.
Benefit #1: Lunges Promote Better Balance
One of the best things about lunges is the fact that they promote better balance.
The basic execution of a lunge requires you to lunge forward on one leg, and then repeat the same movement with the other leg, for a set amount of reps.
As you’re shifting your weight onto one leg, you’ll be forced to recruit core stabilizer muscles and muscles required for balance and coordination.
This unilateral exercise is perfect for anybody looking to work on their balance.
Benefit #2: They Promote Core Stability And Strength
Another of the awesome benefits that we’re going to be looking at today is the fact that lunges help to promote core stability.
When you perform a lunge, you’re recruiting core stabilizer muscles for balance, as we mentioned previously, which in turn will help to strengthen your core and your abdominal muscles.
As a result of doing lunges, you’ll find that your core strength increases noticeably.
Benefit #3: They Are Easy To Do
When talking about the benefits, another fantastic benefit of lunges is simply the fact that lunges are so easy to do.
Performing a lunge is much easier than, say, doing one-legged pistol squats or loading up a leg press machine with a lot of plates.
When doing lunges, mastering the technique is easy to do, meaning that lunges can be done by novices, intermediates, and beginners alike.
Benefit #4: They Burn Fat
If you’re struggling to lose weight and have a few stubborn pounds of fat that you just can’t seem to shift, don’t just focus solely on cardio, why not consider implementing lunges as part of your training?
Lunges are great for fat loss because, as they’re so physically demanding, they will burn off a lot of calories by recruiting several muscle groups at once.
Lunges, and indeed, any other form of physical activity that burns calories are ideal for weight loss, so go ahead and start doing them now if you are looking to drop a few pounds.
Benefit #5: They Work On Your Mobility
Lunges not only work on your balance and core stability, but they also help to improve your mobility in the process.
Lunges are fantastic for people who are looking to increase their mobility as they warm up the hip flexors and loosen up the joints, making people more mobile and more flexible in the process.
Benefit #6: Shape And Tone The Legs
If you’re looking for a way of building a set of shapely and toned legs, lunges are the perfect exercise to enable you to do precisely that.
Lunges are great for toning the legs and giving them shape and definition.
The more lunges you do, the leaner the legs will look and the more toned and symmetrical they will appear in the process.
Benefit #7: Lunges Are Great For Your Butt
Another of the fantastic benefits that we need to look at today is the fact that lunges are so great for working on your butt.
Lunges target your lower body muscles including your glutes, which in turn will give you a strong and peachy booty that any Instagram “influencer” would be incredibly envious of.
Benefit #8: They Strengthen Your Legs
Not only will lunges work on toning and shaping your lower body muscles, but they’ll also work wonders for people that are looking to strengthen their legs as well.
Lunges recruit fast and slow-twitch muscle fibers, which in turn means that your overall lower body strength levels will increase noticeably when you do them regularly.
Fast-twitch muscle fibers, for example, are perfect for people that are looking to increase their explosive speed and power, and as lunges target them, it’s easy to see why so many strongmen, powerlifters, bodybuilders, and athletes incorporate them into their training routines.
Benefit #9: They Can Be Adapted
In their very basic form, lunges can be done with nothing but your own body weight for resistance, but if you want to switch things up, they can also be adapted as well.
One of the best benefits is the fact that you can adapt them and do them with free weights such as a barbell, kettlebells, or dumbbells.
Former 8x Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman was a big advocate of walking lunges with barbells, and there are heaps of training videos of Big Ron in various parking lots performing lunges with a heavy barbell across his huge traps.
You can also do lunges with dumbbells, you can do stationary lunges, or you can do walking lunges.
Benefit #10: They Are Great For Warming Up
If you’re looking to warm up before taking part in strenuous exercise, lunges are perfect.
Lunges are a great exercise for getting the blood pumping through the vascular system, increasing core body temperature, warming uptight and stiff muscles, and generally getting the legs warm and mobile before you begin working out.
Another of the awesome benefits we’re looking at today is the fact that lunges are also great for cooling down and warming down after a workout.
Benefit #11: They Can Be Done Anywhere
If you’re looking to follow a powerlifting program to train the legs, you’ll likely need access to a gym and complex gym kit.
If however, you just want a versatile, safe, easy, and effective exercise that will give your legs a great workout, lunges are ideal as they can be done anywhere.
If you don’t have access to a gym, whether it be through travel, personal preference, timing, or a global pandemic, the great thing about lunges is the fact that you can still do them anywhere, regardless of where you are.
Lunges can be done in open spaces in the form of walking lunges, or if you are lacking space you can do stationary lunges and simply perform one lunge with one leg, and then switch and do one lunge with the other leg.
Benefit #12: They Pack Muscle On
If you want a symmetrical and aesthetic body, you need to ensure that you are performing exercises that target the lower body.
Neglecting your legs and your physique is going to suck.
One of the best things about lunges is the fact that they pack some serious muscle.
Lunges target your quadriceps, they work the hamstrings, they’ll work your glutes, and even your calves will get a nice deep stretch, which in turn will result in leaner, more ripped, and more muscular legs.
If you want to avoid chicken leg syndrome, as it is sometimes known, be sure to perform plenty of lunges and you’ll be reaping the rewards in no time at all.
Benefit #13: Lunges Are Free To Do
Okay, if you want to do barbell lunges, dumbbell lunges, or kettlebell lunges like we mentioned earlier, they won’t be free.
If, however, you decide to simply perform regular lunges with no equipment, as you don’t need access to a gym or any specialist kit or equipment, they can indeed be done completely free of charge.
In this day and age, getting anything for free is very rare, so take it from us and make the most of lunges as virtually nothing is free in this world.
Benefit #14: They Are Quick To Do
If you want to train your legs with squats or foot placement on leg press, one of the most annoying things about these particular exercises is the fact that loading and unloading the plates onto the bar and/or the machine takes so much time.
The more weight you use, the more plates you will have to load and unload, which can be very time-consuming, especially if you train alone and have to do it by yourself.
The good thing about lunges is the fact that you can bust out a set of walking lunges in no time at all, as there is no need to load any kit up or mess around with any weights.
If you decide to use dumbbells, all you have to do is pick up a set, and if you do use a barbell, you won’t use as much weight as you would squatting so that too will be performed much quicker.
Benefit #15: They Will Improve Posture
If you find that your posture is suffering, one of the greatest benefits is the fact that lunges have been found to improve your posture.
If you’ve got a bad back, a bad neck, hip pain, or just simply suffer from posture issues, lunges are one of the best exercises you could wish for.
Lunges help to de-load and decompress the spine, allowing it to straighten out and providing it with a chance to relax.
Benefit #16: They Will Improve Your Mood
This isn’t one of the main benefits alone, but rather exercise in general, but as it’s so important it’s being included in today’s article.
Lunges, and exercise in general, are ideal for anybody that is looking to improve their mood and mental health.
Performing exercises such as lunges will increase the production of endorphins which will lift your mood and make you feel happier.
To top things off, you’ll also look better and will feel better about yourself, which is another awesome benefit of this exercise.
Right now, good mental health is more important than ever, which is why lunges rock.
Benefit #17: Lunges Are Functional
Another of the awesome benefits that we’re going to be covering in today’s article is the fact that lunges are such a functional exercise.
A functional exercise is one that either mimics movements and actions you’re likely to perform in everyday life, or it’s one that simply makes everyday life easier.
Lunges promote flexibility and mobility and can help with things such as bending down to pick something up or simply lacing up your sneakers.
Benefit #18: They Are Great For Scaling Up
Another great reason to do lunges is the fact that lunges are so great for people looking to scale up their workouts.
By this, we mean that you can make lunges progressively harder by doing more, or perhaps looking to complete a working set in a quicker time than you were able to manage previously.
Benefit #19: They Don’t Require A Spotter
Some leg exercises such as barbell squats require a spotter to help keep you safe and to assist with the lift itself.
Lunges, though, don’t require a spotter at all, making them much safer than other exercises, and also more convenient for people that happen to train alone.
And that just about brings this look at the many health benefits of lunges for women and men to a close today.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and if so, be sure to incorporate more lunges into your leg training sessions to really start seeing and feeling the benefits.
FAQ’s About Lunges:
How Many Lunges Should I Do?
Lunges are a great way to build muscle mass and get your heart rate up. You can do them anywhere, but if you’re at home, you might want to start out doing them while sitting down. If you’re outside, you could try doing them while walking around. There’s no set number of lunges that you need to do each day but aim to do about 20-30 per session.
Can I Do Lunges Every Day?
Yes! Lunges are great for building muscle and strengthening your core! They can be done at home, at work, at school, or even while watching TV. Lunges are a simple exercise that targets the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and abs. Start with 10-15 reps per leg, then increase to 20-30 reps per leg. If you’re just starting out, start with 2 sets of 5 repetitions each. You can also try this move while doing squats, lunges, or any other exercises.
Are Lunges Bad For Your Knees?
Lunges are a great exercise if done correctly, but can cause knee problems if not performed properly. Lunging is a movement that involves bending at the waist while lifting both legs off the ground. This type of exercise is commonly used in martial arts and is often incorporated into fitness routines. Lunges have been shown to strengthen the quadriceps muscle group, which helps prevent injuries and strengthens the muscles around the knee joint. However, they can also lead to knee pain if not executed correctly.
Which Exercise Is Better – Lunges Or Squats?
Lunges are great for building muscle mass and improving your cardiovascular health. Squats are great for building bone density and strengthening muscles. Both exercises can help improve your overall fitness level. Lunges are great for beginners who want to build their leg muscles without putting too much stress on their knees. They are also good for people who have knee problems. Squats are great if you want to strengthen your legs and back. They are also great for people who want to lose weight.
Forward Lunges or Reverse lunges?
Forward lunges are performed by stepping forward with your right foot while bringing your left knee into your chest. This exercise works your quadriceps muscles, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and core.
Reverse lunges are performed by taking a step back with your right leg while bringing your left knee towards your chest. This exercise helps strengthen your quads, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, calves, and core muscles.
Can I Get Abs By Doing Lunges?
Abs are not created by doing lunges. Lunges are great for your back but they do nothing for your abs. You can build muscle mass through weight training but that’s about it. If you want to get rid of fat then you need cardio. Cardio burns calories and fat.
Can I Do Lunges Whilst Pregnant?
Yes! Lunges are great exercises for pregnancy. They work your whole body and help strengthen your back, legs, hips, and core. You can even do them while pregnant if you have no problems with balance.