One of the best bodyweight/resistance exercises you can do for your lower body is lunges. It’s a full compound exercise, meaning that it is working multiple joints and muscles at once; Hips, Knees, Ankles, Core.
For some people, Lunges are a hard, daunting and challenging exercise, and some people find balancing during them hard.
However, there is a great series of steps you can do to make them easier and better for you to do.
They can be quickly regressed and progressed.
The first step to doing them is to start with step one.
- TRX Lunges
- This is a great introduction to them. If you find you cannot balance during them, this is a great place to start as the TRX provides a vast amount of balance and stability for you.
- Bodyweight forward lunges.
- Once you feel confident doing them on the TRX, it’s time to progress onto bodyweight versions. Make sure you are hitting 90 degrees in the movement.
- Once you master bodyweight, add in some form of resistance (I’d start with a dumbbell)
- Side lunges
- You can either do forward lunges or side lunges for either level 2 or 3. When you do side lunges, make sure you sit your hips back, and you are leaning into the side lunge.
- Bodyweight reverse lunges.
- Once you have nailed forward lunges, it’s time to progress onto reverse lunges. Make sure you hit 90 degrees at each knee. Once you have nailed the movement, then add a form of resistance, a dumbbell is a good place to start.
- Walking Lunges
- This can be done early, and it can equally be done later. It is a very fluid progression. This is where you are actively moving forward with your lunges rather than staying stationary. It is a great lower body exercise, make sure you are still hitting the correct depth during the movement.
- Jumping Lunges
- This is where between each completion of the downward lunge you jump and switch legs on the way up. It is a slight plyometric exercise and allows for a good increase in heart rate so works well towards the end of a workout and in a circuit.
- Reverse lunge to knee drive
- Again this can be done earlier or later. It is a very fluid progression or even regression. This is where you do a reverse lunge then as you step back in you bring your leg forward and knee up into a knee drive. Make sure your balance is good and stable before doing this one.
- Split Squat
- This is not a lunge per se. But it is an excellent progression from a lunge. Aim to make sure you are hitting 90 degrees at both legs. Once you nail the movement, it’s time to add a form of resistance.
- Front Foot Elevated Split Squat
- This is an excellent progression from level 5. This is where your front foot is raised up onto a platform. By raising it up onto a platform, it allows for a greater range of movement to occur at the back leg, thus making it harder.
- Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
- This is similar to level 7, but it is your rear foot which is elevated rather than your front foot. This again allows for a greater range of motion, this time for both your front and rear legs.