Beginning Basics: Forward Lunge

Lunges are an effective way to get your butt in gear. They are a compound exercise — meaning they work several muscle groups and joints — so they burn big calories. Lunges get high marks in my book for versatility too. You can do them anywhere, and there are many forms to choose from so you can keep challenging yourself.

But first things first — let's learn how to do the basic lunge movement and get those glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves working.

Forward Lunge

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with your weight on your heels. Pull your abdominals in and keep your shoulders squared over your hips.
  2. Step your right foot forward in an elongated stride. As your foot touches the floor, bend both knees and lower yourself until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your left thigh is perpendicular to it. Your left heel will be off the floor. Exhale and press off the ball of your foot, stepping back into the starting position. Repeat, alternating legs.

Make sure that your forward knee never travels past your toes. Keep your eyes focused forward; if you look down, you might lose your balance. Keep your spine straight through the entire movement, with your shoulders always positioned squarely over your hips. And don't forget to keep those abs sucked in the entire time!

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