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4 Lunges Exercise For Rock Hard Thigh Muscles

If you have even a little bit of fitness experience, you know it's important to choose the right exercises. You can spend that long in the gym every day, but if you don't do the right exercises, you will never reach your fitness goals. The best fitness enthusiasts therefore always try out new exercises, in the hope that they will work just that little bit better.

If you want to work on your thigh muscles, you have probably heard that lunges work very well for this. If you want to incorporate lunges more into your training regime, you will find all the information you need in this article. 

Not only do I explain why lunges work so well, but I also teach you some variations of this exercise, and give you a schedule for training your thigh muscles with lunges. This article is structured as follows:

  • What is the correct technique for performing lunges?
  • Which muscles do you train by doing lunges?
  • What variants of lunges are there? 4 variants
  • How do I train my thigh muscles with lunges? A handy schedule

What is the correct technique for performing lunges?

It is of course very nice to know that lunges work well for training your thigh muscles, but with that knowledge, you are not ready to start incorporating lunges into your training regimen. Exercises only work if you do them correctly, so that's why I'm starting this article by explaining the proper technique for performing lunges.

“If you do an exercise wrong, you might as well not do it at all.”

Another name for lunges is “ get off ”, and that name gives a good idea of ​​what lunges are. You start lunges by standing in the basic position. This means that you stand upright, with relaxed shoulders (but straight shoulders, you should not let them hang forward or back). Also, keep your core engaged during the entire exercise.

Then you will " get out ", in other words: you put one leg forward, while you sink down with the rest of your body. Both your knees should be at about a 90-degree angle

It is useful for your balance to keep your hands at your sides during this exercise. If you don't do this, there's a good chance you won't be able to keep your balance.

Something many people do wrong is that they don't go far enough. You will notice this because your knee will go further than your toes during the exercise, and as said before, that is not the intention. Your knee is then not at a 90-degree angle, which means that you are not performing the exercise optimally effectively. In that case, you have to step out a little further.

Which muscles do you train by doing lunges?

As you have already read in the title of this article, lunges are mainly intended for training your thigh muscles. Those are the muscles that are put to work the hardest. Your gluteus (gluteal muscle), quadriceps, and hamstrings do most of the work during this exercise. However, those are by no means the only muscles that are put to work.

Lunges are a compound exercise. This means that this exercise works for several muscle groups at the same time. Your core and calves are also put to work by this exercise. Most of these muscles play an important role in balance, so lunges are good for improving your balance in addition to training your thigh muscles.

“Compound exercises can save you a ton of time at the gym.”

Because you train so many different muscles with lunges, this exercise asks a lot of your body. This also makes lunges extremely suitable for burning calories. In addition, your leg and glutes get bigger with this exercise, and these are muscles that burn a lot of fat at rest as they get bigger. Lunges can therefore cause fat loss in two ways, which is why they are ideal for weight loss.

All in all, lunges are a very versatile exercise. That's why in my opinion lunges are a nice addition to any training schedule, especially when you consider that many people tend to neglect their leg muscles.

lunges exercises

What variants of lunges are there? 4 variants

You are probably convinced that lunges in themselves are a very meaningful activity. However, if you have little fitness experience, you know that there are a number of different variations of every exercise. 

All these variants have their own advantages so that you can better focus on specific goals. These variants can therefore be a useful addition to your training.

If you are curious about the alternative variants of lunges, read on. I will now show you four effective variants and discuss what you should pay attention to when performing these alternative lunges. These are the following four:

  • sideways lunges
  • walking lunges
  • Reverse lunges
  • dumbbell lunges

Alternative 1: Sideway lunges

If you can speak a little bit of English, then it is immediately clear what is meant by the name of this variant. A sideways lunge is a lunge in which you do not step forward, but sideways. It may seem obvious how to do this, but I still recommend that you read on, because you have to make some small adjustments in your technique for this variant.

Your basic position resembles that of a normal lunge but is slightly different. As before, start standing up with your feet level with your hips. Place your hands on your hips again to maintain balance. What's different from a regular lunge is that your toes are allowed to point out slightly for this exercise. Also, don't let them point too far out, because you could damage your knees with this exercise.

Then you step sideways with your leg half a meter. Then slowly lower yourself until the knee of the extended leg forms a 90-degree angle. Keep the other leg as straight as possible during the exercise. It's okay if your knees what outwards during this exercise, but it should not hurt.

Then you stay in this position for a while. To return to the starting position, push yourself off with your heel. You can only extend your bent leg again when you are standing upright, so not before or during the rise. Working yourself up is an important part of the exercise, in which your thigh is put to work.

Alternative 2: Walking lunges

This exercise is also fairly self-explanatory. Perhaps you already noticed that lunges in some way to run similar, and walking lunges is that actually what you do. A walking lunge is nothing more than a lunge with you every time you step forward runs, instead of your leg retracts.

The technique is very similar to that of a normal lunge; getting out works exactly the same as I described earlier in this article. However, getting up works differently. Instead of your front leg, you use it now because your back leg to your drop too. This puts you on the outstretched leg, and you have therefore taken a step.

Walking lunges are primarily intended to improve your balance. Of course, they also have all the other benefits of normal lunges, but maintaining your balance is a lot harder when you're moving than when you're standing still. You will probably have some trouble holding yourself up during this exercise at first, but that is a sign that you are performing the exercise correctly.

For walking lunges, it is important to have a flat, long area for this exercise. If you don't have that, you always have to turn around after a few steps, and that is of course inconvenient. What you should never do is turn while doing walking lunges. If you do not put your legs straight ahead, the risk of injury is many times greater.

Alternative 3: Reverse lunges

Just like the other variants in this article. It is probably already clear from the name how this works. Instead of your front leg, reverse lunges use your back leg to step out. This exercise is very similar to a normal lunge, but you really put your muscles to work in a slightly different way with this variant.

Also in this exercise, keep in mind that both knees are at a 90-degree angle. You may now front knee so do not pass your toes out, because that means you do not properly perform the exercise. This means that you have to step out further with your back leg because then your front leg will automatically end up in the correct position.

Alternative 4: Dumbbell lunges

Dumbbell lunges are again exactly what the name suggests: they are lunges where you use a set of weights. You are supposed to hold a dumbbell in each hand while doing the "regular" exercise. As you do this, keep your arms straight at your sides. Furthermore, you use the same technique for the dumbbell lunge as for the normal lunge.

The idea of ​​dumbbell lunges is that you make the activity a bit heavier with them. Your muscles have to work harder to keep you up and balance, which is why this variation is more effective than a regular lunge. In addition, you can't keep your hands at your sides, which makes it a bit more difficult to keep your balance. This means your core has to work harder during the exercise.

If you have little experience with strength training, two weights of a few kilos are probably more than enough for this exercise. If you are stronger, you should of course go for heavier weights

The most important thing is that you keep challenging yourself. If you can barely manage three sets of about 12 reps, you know you're using the right weights. As you do this exercise more often, you will of course have to start training with heavier weights to keep challenging yourself.

How do I train my thigh muscles with lunges? A handy schedule

Now that you know why lunges are such effective exercises, and what different variations of this exercise exist, you're ready to incorporate them into your workout. In my opinion, lunges are a useful addition to any workout, so you can easily add them to your current training schedule.

However, you may want to focus specifically on training your thigh muscles by focusing exclusively on lunges. If that is the case, you can use the diagram below for this. It states how many sets and reps you need to do of each variant to give your thighs a good workout.

It goes without saying that this is not a full-fledged (full-body) workout. With this, you focus almost exclusively on your thigh muscles, so if you are a bit serious about fitness, you will not be enough with this schedule alone. You can use this schedule in addition to your regular workouts.

Practice Number of reps Number of sets
Normal lunges 12 3
sideways lunges 12 3
walking lunges 10 3
Reverse lunges 12 3
dumbbell lunges 10 3

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