On a mission to tighten and tone your lower half? Boo, we got you. Add some lunges to your lunch break, and you’ll feel sculpted and strong in no time.

Lunges put extra pep in the step of exercise newbies and athletes alike. They’re a fan fave of runners and bikers because the bodyweight resistance works their legs, hips, and backs while keeping everything limber and stable.

Wanna add some lunge time to your daily routine? Let’s dive into the basics and the perks.

Credit: Dima Bazak

Remember your gym teacher’s words: Do your stretches first!

  1. Stand up straight, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Put your hands on your hips for stability.
  3. Tighten your abs.
  4. Shift your weight forward as you take one big step in front of you, allowing your back heel to rise.
  5. Sink until your forward-stepping leg is at a right angle (thigh parallel with the ground, shin vertical).
  6. Press into your front heel while you push back up into the starting position.
  7. Repeat on the other side.

BONUS MOVE: Level up your lunges by adding dumbbells. Grab two dumbbells and hold them down at your sides, palms facing in, while you perform the move.

This bumps up the burn in your core as you maintain balance and control through the lunge.

#Lungelife offers more than toned thighs. Here’s the lowdown:

1. You’ll get closer to any weight loss goals

Want to give your metabolism a boost? Building lean muscle mass helps.

Lunges work several of your body’s big muscle groups — your legs and butt. Building up muscles and reducing body fat could help you lose excess weight more quickly.

To build up muscle more quickly, use heavier weights with your lunges. You could also incorporate lunges into your circuit training routine.

2. You’ll get balanced

With lunges, you only work one side of your body at a time. This makes them unilateral rather than bilateral.

Research shows that unilateral exercise is most helpful for improving balance and regaining strength and coordination after injury.

Lunges force your spine and core to stay balanced, which is great for building stability.

3. You’ll become more aligned

If you struggle with bad posture, imbalance, or misalignment, lunges can help.

Focusing on one side of your body at a time allows you to build up strength and stability on both sides. This prevents common exercise probs like overusing your dominant side or overcompensating because of muscle soreness or old injuries.

4. You’ll feel taller

OK, so exercise can’t make you grow, but it can improve your posture so that you look taller.

Lunges make your back and core stronger. A stronger back = a longer back because you’ll sit and stand up straighter.

1. Stationary lunges = core strength

Since your front leg is used for strength and your back leg is used for balance, even lunging in place will burn your glutes, quads, and hammies.

But remember, form is everything. Proper alignment and smooth, steady moves will give you a great foundation for trying other fun lunge variations.

2. Side lunges = toned thighs

Side lunges, aka lateral lunges, are done side-to-side instead of front-to-back. In addition to your glutes and back, they work your hips and inner and outer thighs. Side lunges can also help smooth cellulite.

If you add side lunges to your workout routine, focus on squeezing your outer thighs as you lunge. That’ll give you the biggest oomph for your effort.

3. Walking lunges = better coordination

To do a walking lunge, you’ll transition smoothly from one leg to the other in forward motion (rather than resetting by standing tall each time). This will test your coordination, but the effort will tighten your core, hips, and butt.

Consistently doing walking lunges can also improve your everyday range of motion.

Wanna up the ante? Add torso twists or carry dumbbells during your walking lunges.

4. Reverse lunges = muscle training

Reverse lunges are exactly what they sound like — lunging backward instead of forward.

These provide the same muscle-building boosts while giving your knees and ankles a break. If you have joint issues, reverse lunges should be your go-to form.

Since walking in reverse takes more concentration, you might need to take these slow at first. It’ll help you train your muscles to work differently, which is a major win for your exercise routines.

5. Twisting lunges = tighter abs

Want to take your lunge routine to the next level? Add a twist. Whether you twist during your stationary, walking, or reverse lunges, you’ll feel the burn in your abs and glutes.

Since twisting can throw you off-balance, you’ll need to focus on engaging the muscles in your feet too.

6. Curtsy lunges = buns of steel

Curtsy lunges make your glutes feel like they’re on fire… but it makes them look 🔥 too. This lunge variety will sculpt your butt and thighs while helping you get stronger in general.

Bonus: Strong glutes support your back and knees, so curtsy lunges help soothe achy joints.

To deepen the burn, carry dumbbells or a kettlebell during your curtsy lunges.

7. Lunge-squat combo = lower body power hour

Lunges and squats are the OG lower-body workouts. If you’re just starting a workout routine — or if you have back issues — start with lunges. If you’re feeling strong, add some squats.

Since lunges and squats target the same muscle groups, you can play around with your workouts to see what you prefer. Maybe you prefer a set of lunges for every two sets of squats (or vice versa). Either way, you’ll see and feel results.

Which muscles will you strengthen?

Lunges help you stand taller, gain flexibility, and boost your overall strength.

Lunges will strengthen and tone your:

  • butt
  • abs
  • back
  • quads and hamstrings (fronts and backs of your thighs)
  • calves
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Slow and steady wins the race. Whether you add lunges to an existing exercise routine or simply do a few each morning, stay consistent to see results.

You’ll probably notice a difference before anyone else does. That’s because one of the first parts of building muscle is simply feeling stronger.

After a few weeks, you may see a difference in muscle tightness and tone. Regular lunges could also lower your body fat percentage after a few weeks.

It could take a few months for your muscle growth to be immediately noticeable to others.

For the best results, consistently do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 lunges. That means 16 to 36 lunges per workout. You can boost your results by doing that many reps for each lunge variety.

If you feel like things are getting too easy — or that you’re no longer seeing results — add more variations, start carrying weights, or simply increase your reps.

  • Lunges are a great no-frills workout for your core, glutes, and legs.
  • Physically, lunges will build muscle. Beyond that, you’ll probably notice an overall boost in strength and confidence.
  • Proper form is key. Master stationary lunges before moving on to twists, reversals, and other varieties.
  • Lunges aren’t just for weight loss. They’re great for tightening and strengthening bodies of all sizes.
  • Exercise is about more than visible results. Remember to relax, and enjoy the act of moving your body.