Lunges are an excellent exercise for toning the glutes and legs. To get even more out of them move your lunges to a hillside or up a set of steps. You’ll get a lot done in a little time—strength and cardiovascular conditioning, as well as balance and coordination.
A More Effective Lunge
The reason why hill lunges are so effective is that you are using the large muscle groups of your legs, glutes and core against the forces of gravity, which not only sculpts your muscles, it increases your heartrate for a terrific cardio effect — which will burn calories and incinerate fat!
To begin, review the basics of the standing forward lunge:
Starting Position: Start in the Athletic Stance, with your hands on your hips, ribs lifted, chest open, and eyes forward
Action: Inhale as you take a long step forward onto your right foot so that your right knee forms a 45° angle, and your left knee points down to the ground. Maintain even balance and weight distribution between both legs. Exhale as you engage your midsection, and push back through the right heel to the starting position. Repeat on the left leg.
The Hill Lunge – Step by Step
• Use the same technique as the forward lunge, only continue moving forward, alternating between both legs
• Greater power is needed from the back leg, with the initial push up the hill coming from the back toes
• Lean forward from the hips and align yourself with the fall line – moving straight up the incline (not diagonally or across)
• Begin with 10 repetitions and work up to 2 sets of 25 repetitions
• Perform each lunge in a controlled manner—slower is better!
• Maintain a tight abdominal wall to support the lumbar spine.
• Prevent low back strain, especially on hills and steps, by tilting forward slightly from the hips.
• Emphasize even weight distribution between both legs.
• Do not allow the forward knee to extend beyond the toes.
• Maintain focus at least 10-15 feet ahead.