There's nothing wrong with a classic lunge, but these leg exercises add fresh—more challenging!—twists for a better lower body workout
You probably already do a lot of lunges. No surprise there; it's staple bodyweight exercise that—when done correctly—can increase your hip flexor flexibility while tightening up your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Even better: It's such a simple movement that you can easily add on other challenges to up your toning all over! Try these three variations to hone your leg muscles in minutes. (Psst... You can Jump Your Way to Lean Legs with Just One Exercise.)
Start off with the lunge combination. Step the left leg forward from a standing position into a lunge (make sure your thigh is parallel to the ground!). Then bring the left foot back to the start position. Take the left leg back into a reverse lunge, then push off your toes to come back to start. Alternate sides for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, then repeat two more rounds.
Add an extra challenge with the alternating forward pulse lunge. Stand tall, hands behind your head and toes facing forward. Step your right foot forward into a lunge, and pulse up and down twice, lifting and lowering hips no more than six inches. Make sure your knee doesn't go past your toes, although it may go slightly past your ankle. Push off the ground with your right heel, coming back to starting position. Alternate sides for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, then repeat two more rounds.
Ready for some plyo? (You knew it was coming!) For lunge jumps, start in a standing position and step forward on your right leg into a lunge. Bend your legs and jump up, switching leg position in the air and landing with left foot forward. Keep your torso upright! Alternate sides for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, then repeat two more rounds.
Follow along as Seattle-based trainer Jennifer Forrester lunges it out above. Then it's your turn!