If you’re not familiar with lunges, then you’ve skipped way too many leg days! The lunge is the classic leg and butt exercise almost no athlete’s training plan is complete without. And it’s not the only one of its kind. That’s right, the lunge has 3 powerful big brothers who add variety and explosiveness to your lower body workout – and yes that includes your gluteus maximus. Discover the trio that’s about to transform your leg training.
Alternating split lunge
Split lunges are the explosive version of the standard lunge. The main difference is, this one includes a jump where your feet change position midair and you land again in the lunge position, before accelerating with your legs into the next jump. It’s the ultimate bodyweight leg exercise, sure to make every muscle from your glutes to your calves burn! Important is that you land softly, lift explosively, balance and keep your upper body straight and upright – we said it was effective, not easy!
If you’ve ever done Kentauros, you’ll know the lunge walk. And if the following days muscle pain is anything to go by, you’ll also know how effective it is. This version involves a slightly different movement in order to travel forwards. In the first stage of the lunge walk, you target the muscles of the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps in the leg you step forwards with. At this point, the muscles in the trailing leg are not fully engaged but instead it’s used for stability and balance. Both feet are brought together before the previous trailing leg steps forward into the lunge position, engaging the quads, hamstrings and glutes in this leg now too. For the lunge walk, there is an increase in tension when the muscle is elongated which is considered to be more intense than the corresponding concentric contraction. It’s true what they say: Your glutes are made for walking.
Weighted lunge – or barbell lunge if you prefer – is the heavier, more intense, strength version of the lunge. It simply involves performing a standard lunge with extra weight on your back. All you need is a barbell and extra weights – depending on how heavy you want to go. Why add a weight to your lunge? It produces impressive accelerated results, with not just the glutes and hamstrings being worked to their maximum but also the shoulders and core are sent into muscle building, fat burning overdrive. Meaning you’ll end up with a toned butt, strong core and powerful posture. You can discover the technique in your Freeletics Gym app.
Remember, with all 3 lunge versions it’s important you keep your balance and upper body upright. Once you’ve mastered the technique, all that’s left to do is put your best foot forwards and lunge towards that goal.