What Muscles Do Lunges Work

June 28, 2024 3 min read

What Muscles Do Lunges Work

What Muscles Do Lunges Work

Lunges are a popular exercise that can help strengthen and tone various muscles in the lower body. But do you know exactly which muscles lunges target? Let's explore  the muscle movement behind this effective workout.

1 . Quadriceps

One of the primary muscles worked during lunges is the quadriceps. These are the muscles located on the front of your thighs. 

How do Quadriceps Work in Lunges - During lunges, the quadriceps are heavily engaged as you bend your knees and lower your body towards the ground. This movement activates the quadriceps to stabilise your knee joint and support the lowering phase of the lunge. The quadriceps work in conjunction with other muscles, such as the glutes and hamstrings, to help you maintain proper form and control throughout the exercise.

2. Glutes

Another major muscle group that lunges target is the glutes, they are made up of three muscles: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. These muscles work together to help you move your hips and thighs in various directions.

How do Lunges Engage the Glutes - When you perform a lunge, your glutes are activated to help you push yourself back up from the lunge position. This engagement not only helps you rise but also stabilises your body during the movement.

Benefits of Targeting the Glutes - By targeting the glutes during lunges, you can strengthen these muscles, improve your overall lower body strength, and enhance your stability and balance. Strong glutes are essential for various activities, from walking and running to lifting heavy objects.

 3. Hamstrings

The hamstrings, located on the back of your thighs, also play a role in lunges. As you lower your body into the lunge position, the hamstrings are activated to control the movement and support your body weight.

4. Calves

Additionally, lunges engage the calf muscles, which are located in the back of your lower legs. The calf muscles help with stabilizing your body during the lunge and assist in the push-off phase of the exercise.

5. Core

While lunges primarily target the lower body muscles, they also engage the core muscles. Your core muscles help with balance and stability during the lunge movement, making it a great exercise for overall strength and coordination.


How to Perform a Lunge Properly

  1. Begin by standing in an upright position, with your feet spaced apart at hip-width and your hands resting on your hips or hanging loosely at your sides.
  2. In order to take a proper step forward, make sure that your knee is positioned over your ankle.
  3. The body can be lowered by bending both knees until the thigh is parallel to the floor, while keeping the knee slightly above the ground.
  4. Keep your upper body upright, with your chest lifted and your core engaged.
  5. Drive your body back up to the starting position by pushing through your heel.
  6. Alternate between your legs, switching sides with each repetition for the intended number of sets or repetitions.

Variations of Lunges

There are a number of variants of this movement, in its basic form, a forward lunge is a functional move which can be advanced by holding free weights such as a pair of dumbbells ( increase the weight as needed)  or a single kettlebell in one hand to create some instability and to help develop your balance, other Lunges to consider are:-

  •  Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is a great variation that targets the hamstrings and glutes. To do a reverse lunge, step backward with one leg and lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your back straight and core engaged throughout the movement.

  • Walking Lunge

The walking lunge is a dynamic variation that targets multiple muscle groups at once. To perform a walking lunge, take a step forward with one leg and lower your body into a lunge position. Push off with the back leg to bring it forward and repeat the movement on the other side.

  • Side Lunge

The side lunge is a variation that targets the inner and outer thighs. To do a side lunge, step to the side with one leg and lower your body into a lunge position. Keep the other leg straight and push your hips back as you lower your body.

  • Curtsy Lunge

The curtsy lunge is a lateral lunge variation where you step one leg behind the other at a diagonal angle, mimicking a curtsy motion. This move targets the inner and outer thighs, as well as the glutes. It's a great way to add variety to your lunge routine.

  • Jump Lunges

Jump lunges are a plyometric variation of lunges that involve jumping and switching legs in mid-air. This explosive move helps improve power and agility while also providing a cardiovascular benefit. It's a high-intensity lunge variation that can really get your heart rate up.

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