If you want to tone your legs and butt, then lunges are the way to go. Good for building muscle, strengthening joints, and improving flexibility, lunges are popular for a reason. Of course, standard leg lunges can only do so much on their own.
Try variations of lunges in order to maximize their effectiveness at enhancing your butt and legs. For example, try these 10 useful and targeted lunge variations:
1. Side To Side Lunge
You probably learned a similar stretch in gym class as a kid because this lunge variation is really popular. Ensuring that the sides of your legs are also deeply stretched and toned, these side to side lunges are easy to learn and perform.
- Stand with your legs out to each side, farther than a shoulder width apart.
- Bend your left knee forward.
- As you lower yourself on your left leg, extend your right leg as far out to the side as you can.
- Hold for 10 seconds, switch legs.
2. The Lunge Jump
Mixing plyometric motion with lunges is a great way to get more of a cardio workout. At the same time, the intensity of stretching and then jumping forces your muscles to work harder, making your muscles extra strong and flexible.
- Perform a standard lunge.
- To get up from the lunge, pull your legs together while jumping straight up in the air.
- While jumping, kick your legs so that they switch positions.
- As you land, dip into another lunge with the opposite foot forward.
3. Ball Between The Legs Lunge
To perform this exercise, you will have to maintain tight control over the muscles in your butt and legs. The control you use will help your muscles to move more finely and will focus the strength building involved.
- Prepare to lower into a standard lunge.
- Rather than extending a leg far out behind you, drop your knee and keep your thighs close together as you lower yourself.
- Place a ball between your thighs and hold it there 10 seconds.
- Grab the ball, switch legs, and begin again.
4. Overhead Weights Lunge
When your core and torso get a workout too, the motion can help to firm the muscles on the top of and above your butt.
- Grab two dumbbells.
- Extend your arms directly above your head, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Keep your arms up as your perform your regular lunges.
5. Crossover Lunge
Your butt is your behind and closely connected to the backs of your legs. This exercise focuses more intensely on those backside muscle for flexibility and strengthening.
- Dip into your standard lunge position with your left leg forward.
- Draw your right leg, while it is still extended, behind your left.
- Hold the position ten seconds and switch legs.
6. All The Way Forward Lunge
Extending your legs as far as they can go as well as pulling them as close as they can helps to ensure that the entirety of the muscle gets stronger and gets stretched. This exercise will help you to do just that!
- Enter your typical lunge position.
- Extend your arms directly out in front of you.
- Leaning forward without moving your legs, reaching until you put your palms on the floor.
- Stay in position for at least five seconds.
- Raise your torso back up, switch legs, and repeat.
7. Touch Your Toes Lunge
Another great exercise for working your core, your legs, and your butt, the touch your toes lunge is both challenging and relaxing if you perform it gently and slowly.
- Lunge as you normally would, starting with your left leg forward.
- Keeping your legs in place, reach with your right hand and touch your left toes.
- Next, reach with your left hand to touch your right toes.
- Switch legs and begin again.
8. Balancing Act Lunge
Weight-bearing exercises are great for serious strengthening. This lunge variation offers that component, plus it helps you better your balance!
- Lower yourself into a lunge with your left foot forward.
- While lowered, lean forward on your left foot and slowly raise your right leg behind you.
- Keep your right leg extended and straight as much as possible, raising it just slightly.
- Hold the position, rest, and then switch legs and begin again.
9. Cheerleader Lunge
It might look silly, but this exercise is a great stretch.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand and dip into a lunge.
- After holding the lunge for five seconds, jump straight up in the air.
- As you jump, reach your dumbbells as high above your head as you can.
10. Around the World Lunge
Both a way to extend the length for your lunge time and improve your flexibility and muscle control, this lunge is really good for you.
- Start in a standard lunge position with your left foot forward.
- While still lowered, draw your left foot to the right and turn your body.
- Slowly continue until you have made a circle.
- Switch legs and reverse the circle.