Dumbbell lunges are one of the most common exercises on leg days. More often than not, you’ll find fitness coaches and enthusiasts putting this exercise on their leg-day routine.
That's because lunges focus on the quads, calves and posterior muscles. Moreover, it's a great exercise to improve strength and can be used in various workouts, such as bodyweight training, circuit training, HIIT sessions and others.
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Correct Form of Doing Dumbbell Lunges
The first thing to know about lunges is that you can do it while standing at one spot, or you can do walking lunges. It’s advised that you understand how lunges work when you’re standing at one spot before moving to walking lunges.
To do lunges, hold the dumbbells in both hands, and stand straight.
Step out with your right leg, and land on your heel. Bend your left knee towards the floor, and push your right knee outwards. Keep going till you reach a point where your right quads are parallel to the floor. At this point, your leg should be balancing on your toes.
This is the first position in lunges. Now, push yourself back up using your right heel so that the right quads can take on the resistance. Perform this exercise for ten reps on your right leg before moving to your left.
Tips for Doing Dumbbell Lunges
Ensure that your feet are shoulder-width apart. That's because you'll be stepping out at the same width you have in your starting position. If you step out at a narrow-width, you could lose balance and fall.
Take a big step forward. You want to ensure your muscles are getting stretched. The bigger you step out, the more your back leg gets stretched, which eventually helps in stretching the hamstrings and glutes.
Control your breathing. It's essential to control your breathing when doing dumbbell lunges. Inhale when you lower your knees, and exhale when you push yourself back up.
Keep your core engaged. This exercise requires balance and stability. An engaged core helps you with the stability you require to efficiently carry out this exercise.
Benefits of Dumbbell Lunges
The quads are the primary target muscle group for lunges. However, apart from that, lunges focus on your hamstrings, glutes and calves as well.
Additionally, lunges can help with improving strength in the quads, which makes it easier for you to climb stairs, walk uphill, cycle, and perform other activities. Therefore, lunges are not only compound movements but also functional ones.
Here are some of the common mistakes you need to be aware of when doing dumbbell lunges:
Extending your knee past your toes
You don't want to bend or push your front knee forward so that it extends beyond your toes. You need to ensure your knees and toes are in line. If it goes beyond your toes, the knee joints will take on unwarranted pressure, which can lead to injury.
As mentioned earlier, balance is of utmost importance in this exercise. Therefore, you need to have a proper balance between your upper and lower body.
One of the points of concern is that sometimes beginners lean forward, which leads to disbalance. Ideally, you need to keep your torso upright and back straight when you’re doing dumbbell lunges.