Try reverse lunges if you’re new to the lunge exercise (LINK LUNGE) and find balancing in a forward lunge a challenge. Reverse lunges are a little easier because you’re not moving as much. Reverse lunges also place more of emphasis on toning your glutes and hamstrings, while keeping your center of gravity between your feet.
Start in a standing position with your spine erect, your core engaged, and your feet hip-width apart. Step back between one and two feet with your right leg. Lower your torso by bending at your knees and hips, until your front thigh is parallel with the floor and your rear leg is in a 90 degree angle. Keep your torso straight and your knees in line with your toes and hips. You will feel a good stretch in your hip flexors.
Push up with your extended leg to return to the starting position. Complete the recommended number of repetitions. Repeat with the other leg.
To place more emphasis on your glutes, take a longer step back and use your heel to push yourself back up. To place more emphasis on your quads, take a shorter step and use the ball of your foot to push yourself back up.
Hold a pair of dumbbells to make this exercise more challenging. Hold one dumbbell in each hand as you perform the exercise according to the instructions above.
Another way to add difficulty and place even more emphasis on your glutes is to do this exercise off a platform or step. Step back off the platform and perform the exercise as described. Lowering your back knee all the way to the floor will activate your glutes even more as you raise yourself to the standing position. You can also add weights to this modification.
April 22, 2015
Janet O’Dell, RN