Alternating lunges are a great exercise that not only strengthens the muscles in the lower body, but also helps to stabilize the abdominal and oblique muscles. When the basic alternating lunge becomes too easy, try holding a set of dumbbells or stepping onto a bosu, which is a piece of exercise equipment that provides an unstable surface on which to perform the exercise, in order to increase the intensity.
About the Alternating Lunge
The alternating lunge is a great all-around exercise that can be included in any total body workout. This exercise is great because it not only works the hamstrings and quadriceps, but it also requires you to engage the muscles in your core. This helps to strengthen abdominal and lower back muscles, thereby decreasing the chances of back pain and strain. Working these large muscle groups will greatly increase your metabolic rate, thereby resulting in an increased calorie burn.
Positioning Your Body for the Alternating Lunge
One of the reasons that the alternating lunge is such a great exercise is that it is very easy to perform! Before actually doing an alternating lunge, it is essential that you get your body in the right position in order to achieve optimal results. Start by clearing an area where you can do the exercise, making sure the floor is free from dumbbells or other pieces of equipment that may interfere with your lunge. Stand tall, with your toes facing forward and your feet spaced approximately one foot apart. Focus on a spot on the floor that is approximately three feet in front of your body.
Performing the Alternating Lunge
Now that you are in the correct position, you can actually perform the alternating lunge. Start by taking a few deep breaths. As you inhale, carefully step your right foot out approximately three feet in front of your body. Make sure your foot is facing forward. Look down at your right leg. Ideally, your knee should be bent at a right angle with your thigh parallel to the ground. As you exhale, push off the ground with your right foot, coming back to the starting position. Now, perform the same move, but this time step out with your left foot. Repeat this exercise ten times on each leg before taking a short break. Do another two sets of ten repetitions in order to achieve optimal results.
Increasing the Intensity of the Alternating Lunge
Once you are able to perform alternating lunges with relative ease, it is important to increase the intensity in order to maintain the progress you have made. One of the easiest ways to increase the intensity of the alternating lunge is by holding a set of dumbbells in your hands. This will increase the resistance that the muscles in your lower body must work against. You'll be amazed at how much this simple maneuver can change your workout!