Unlocking the Benefits: Why Lunges Should Be a Staple in Your Workout Routine

As a Physiotherapist, I have witnessed the incredible impact that a well-rounded exercise routine can have on individuals’ overall health and well-being. One exercise that often takes centre stage in my recommendations is the simple and often understated lunge. Lunges, a dynamic lower body exercise, offer numerous benefits that can elevate your workout routine to new heights. So, whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, an athlete in training, or someone seeking to improve mobility, read on to discover why incorporating lunges into your workouts can be a game-changer.

4 reasons to add lunges to your workout routine.

  1. Lunges Boost Lower Body Strength: One of the primary advantages of lunges lies in their ability to target and strengthen your lower body muscles. By engaging your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, lunges provide a complete lower body workout. Regularly performing lunges can improve strength levels, helping you perform daily activities with greater ease and reducing the risk of falls or injuries in the long run.
  2. Lunges Enhance Balance and Stability: Balancing on one leg while performing a lunge requires core stability and control. The act of stabilising your body during lunges helps improve balance and proprioception (awareness and control of body position), which is beneficial for preventing falls and enhancing performance in sports or other physical activities.
  3. Lunges Improve Hip Flexibility: Incorporating lunges into your routine can greatly improve hip flexibility. During a lunge, the hip muscles go through a full range of motion, stretching and lengthening tight areas. This increased flexibility can alleviate hip pain and improve hip mobility, making lunges particularly beneficial for individuals with sedentary jobs or those who experience hip tightness.
  4. Lunges Develop Functional Strength: Unlike some isolated exercises that target specific muscles, lunges engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, mimicking real-life movements. This functional strength development can enhance your ability to perform daily activities effortlessly, such as walking, climbing stairs, or lifting objects. By incorporating lunges into your routine, you’ll be training your body to move more efficiently and effectively.

There are hundreds of types of lunges, but for simplicity sake these 4 are my favourite and honestly give you the best bang for your buck! These 4 target different muscles and add variety to your workout routine. My top 4 are;

Lana Johnson, Physiotherapist and Polestar Pilates Mentor

1. Forward Lunges: Begin with your feet hip-width apart and step forward with one foot while lowering your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Push off the front foot to return to the starting position.

2. Reverse Lunges: Similar to forward lunges, but instead of stepping forward, you step backward. This variation places more emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings.

3. Side Lunges: Start with your feet together and take a wide step to the side, shifting your weight to the lunging leg as you lower your body. This variation targets the inner and outer thighs, as well as the glutes.

4. Walking Lunges: Move forward by taking alternating lunging steps, dynamically engaging multiple muscle groups while improving coordination and balance.

So there you have it, adding lunges to your workout routine can yield numerous benefits, from building lower body strength to improving balance, flexibility, and functional movement. Experiment with different variations of lunges to engage various muscle groups and prevent workout monotony. As always, it is essential to perform lunges with proper form. If you feel you may not be using the greatest of techniques, seeking guidance from your Physiotherapist or movement professional is a must if you want to truely realise the benefits of this exercise. So, lace up your sneakers and incorporate lunges into your workout routine to unlock a world of strength, stability, and mobility improvements. Your body will thank you!