Lunges are a fantastic exercise to increase lower body strength. If your first thought is, “I don’t think I can do that”, please read on. The key is understanding if performing a lunge would be appropriate for your exercise program. This speaks to the layers of exercises created by having a system versus randomly selected lower body exercises.
The lunge incorporates quite a bit of balance, hip and ankle flexibility, core strength, and lower body strength. Compared to exercises such as a squat, the lunge will work musculature across the hips that are not utilized during those movements. The other piece is the ability to stop our body safely after taking the step. As with any exercise, several layers (progressions/regressions) exist to meet your ability level.
Literally taking a step backwards makes the lunge pattern easier because your body can absorb the forces better. Not stepping at all or holding onto straps to help you stand are other options. The point here is that your needs and goals dictates the exercise. A purpose exists as to why you step forwards or backwards, don’t step, or do a different exercise altogether.
Without a system this post would be about a bunch of random lower body exercises to add to your workout or change up your usual routine. Systems give direction and much more substance as to why an exercise is given.