The lunge is a great exercise to work your legs and your core. The proper lunge position can help strengthen and stabilize your core. The lunge helps improve your balance and stability by changing your support base. The lunge mainly works the quads (the front of your thighs), glutes (your butt muscles), and hamstrings (the back of your thighs). In this video, I want to go through a little tweak that you can do with the lunge exercise to target your glutes.
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A couple of months ago, a research paper compared two different lunge exercises, adding tweaks to those exercises to see which one targets the glutes more. I will show you which exercise is the best one.
1. Static Split Squat
Static Split Squat
Take a big step forward and then move into the lunge position. Watch that your front knee does not move past your front toes. Hold that position and then go through the different lunge sets and reps.
2. Forward Lunge
Step forward, going back down into the lunge position. Press back up and return to the start. Then, switch sides and repeat.
3. Static Split Squat with Dumbbell
Static Split Squat with Dumbbell
This exercise is the same as the first one but with a dumbbell. Step forward and hold the lunge position. Hold the dumbbell on the same side as the leg you are stepping forward to work laterally. Holding the dumbbell on the opposite side of the leg you are working on; is contralateral.
4. Forward Lunge with Dumbbell
Forward Lunge with Dumbbell
Hold the dumbbell on the same side as the leg you are working on and go through the forward lunge, just as you did in the second exercise. Return and lunge on the opposite leg, switching sides with the dumbbell.
The research found that the forward lunge with the dumbbell on the opposite or contralateral side targets the glutes more.
So if you are doing the lunge exercise, do the forward lunge movement and add some load, such as a dumbbell or kettlebell. You will target your glutes more as well as your core and abdominal area a lot more.
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Rick Kaselj, MS
If you want to improve the activation, endurance, and strength in your Gluteus Maximus, then click here to check out the Best Gluteus Maximus Exercises program.