It’s workout time! You look down at your lower body lift workout plan. The lunge, squat, deadlift, leg curl, and all the usual suspects are on the docket. You want to work your legs and booty but are feeling a little bored.
Yeah, me too! As a personal trainer and fitness enthusiast, I love my workouts. They sometimes are the highlight of my day! But the truth is, sometimes they can get a little boring when you’re doing the same thing over and over. This is when variations can save the day!
Using alternate variations of a specific exercise can add some variety into your workout AND keep you motivated to push hard.
Today, I want to help you add some variety into one of my favorite exercises.
Why lunge variations?
The lunge is an incredibly effective movement to target your glutes, quads, and hamstrings but it doesn’t have to be boring!
In fact, by inserting some different variations into your workout, you can target slightly different muscle groups AND see improved results.
Below are three of my favorite variations!
Too often, we focus on performing lower body exercises in only one plane of motion, moving only forward and back. By lunging in just about every possible angle, 360º lunges will work your entire bum and leg. Not just that but this move will get your heart rate up, improve your balance, and strengthen all the little stabilizing muscles in your ankle too!
Tick Tock Lunge
One of my pet peeves of the lunge is that you have to do so many reps unilaterally. For some reason, this bores me to no end.
This variation will hit both a forward and backward lunge, allowing you to target your quads and glutes in one movement…without feeling like you are doing the same movement for five minutes.
Heavy Unilateral Lunge
Hello full body burn! I absolutely love this exercise because it hits your core, legs, and shoulders. Because you have to hold the weight at 90º, your shoulder gets WORKED. And because you only are holding one weight, this move takes a lot of core stabilization so you don’t tip over.
Try to go as heavy as you can with this one because you’ve only got one weight. But remember, form is most important , so don’t go heavier than you can hold at a 90º angle. You can always progress an exercise without adding more weight!
Feel free to sub these into your workouts instead of the standard forward or backward stepping lunge. They help make your sweat sesh even more fun (and effective!), which we know helps us stay more consistent in our workouts.
What’s your favorite exercise variation or substitution?