When it comes to exercising, there's arguably nothing more important than having good form—it's the best way to avoid injury and make the most of your workout. That's why we love Ian K. Smith, M.D.'s new book Clean & Lean. In addition to providing simple and effective workouts for the reader, he dedicates a large portion of the book to explaining exactly how to do the movements he's recommending. Here, he outlines how to do one of the most popular movements out there, the lunge.
Lunges are a great lower extremity-strengthening exercise. When it comes to strengthening your legs, there aren't many exercises that can match the benefits of a lunge.
There are many ways to perform this exercise, and this flexibility allows you to increase or decrease the difficulty of execution. You can do them with weights, and you can do them with jumps in between to increase the challenge.
Most important, learn the correct form, as doing this exercise improperly can cause injury.
How to do a lunge correctly:
- Start with your upper body straight and your shoulders back and relaxed. Keep your chin up and head level.
- Engage your core and step forward with one leg by lowering your hips until both knees are at a 90-degree angle—the knee that is almost touching the ground and the knee that is up in the air.
- Keep your front knee directly above your ankle without pushing it out too far. The knee closer to the ground should come close to (but should not touch) the ground.
- Once the lunge is complete, keep the weight in your heels while pushing back up to the starting position (standing up straight).
- Repeat the sequence, except alternate which leg goes forward and which one goes toward the ground.
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