All you need is your body weight and space to step forward.
Even in its most basic form, the lunge works multiple muscle groups at once, explains Alissa Rumsey, MS, certified strength and conditioning specialist.
This move tightens and strengthens the muscles in your legs, while using your core for support. Lunges are also a good functional exercise, Rumsey adds. Functional exercises develop and train muscles to make everyday activities easier and safer. She explains that lunges fall into this category because they closely resemble a normal walking pattern.
Legs, butt and hips
Step 1: Stand up straight, with your feet together and core tight. Keeping your shoulders back and chin up, step forward.
Step 2: Begin bending your front knee at 90 degrees, keeping your front thigh parallel with the floor beneath it and your back knee brushing the floor. (Don’t extend your knee past your toes, advises Rumsey; otherwise you put too much strain on your knee.)
Step 3: Bring your arms forward for balance and make sure your front foot is placed firmly on the floor. Keep your weight on your front heel. Then, push off your front leg through your front heel to return to the starting position. Tighten your core, thighs and butt muscles as you stand.
SUGGESTED REPS: Start with 8 to 12.
Making the move a little easier: “Step your front foot to the side a bit to give you a wider base of support,” suggests Rumsey. This will enhance your balance.
Making the move a little more challenging:” Keep your hand on your hips as you step forward and back,” says Rumsey. “This forces your legs and core do most of the work.”