Lateral Lunges: Benefits, Technique, Mistakes
Lateral (side) lunge is an effective exercise for the legs and buttocks, which can be performed with or without dumbbells. It is one of the options for classic lunges, but it has certain features. This article will discuss the benefits and effectiveness of lateral lunges, the features of the execution technique and variations of side lunges with different equipment.
Lateral lunge: technique and performance features
Why include a lateral lunge in the training plan when there are so many exercises for the legs and buttocks? There are at least two good reasons for this. First of all, this exercise qualitatively involves the adductors, which means it helps to work additionally on the inner surface of the thigh (in addition to quadriceps and buttocks).
Secondly, a lateral lunge gives less load on the knee joints compared to squats and normal lunges. Considering how often people deal with knee problems, this is also a significant argument in favor of including side lunges in the training plan.
Side lunge technique
- Starting position: legs together, shoulder blades brought together, back straight, stomach tucked up, look in front of you. Arrange your hands in such a position that it is convenient for you to keep balance during the exercise. The knees are soft, relaxed;
- As you exhale, take a wide step with your right foot to the side. Lower the foot completely to the floor and move the body weight to the right (supporting) leg. Tilting the body slightly and pushing the pelvis back, do a deep squat so that the thigh is almost parallel to the floor;
- The left leg at this moment is a straight line, the knee is tightened. The farther you put your foot aside during the lunge, the better the buttocks and muscles of the inner thigh are involved;
- While exhaling, push your heel off the floor vigorously and return to the starting position. Then repeat the exercise on the same leg 10-15 times.
What to look for:
- The knee of the supporting leg (which we take aside) does not go forward toe;
- The heel of the supporting leg is pressed to the floor at the moment of lunge;
- The back remains straight during the entire phase of the exercise (does not hump);
- The step to the side should be wide to stretch the muscles as much as possible;
- Squat should be deep enough to include gluteal muscles.
Besides, the position of the hands in the lateral lunge can be any, it practically does not affect the load. Choose a comfortable position for yourself, in which it is convenient for you to maintain balance:
- hands on sides;
- arms outstretched in front of you;
- interlock your fingers in front of the chest;
- hands behind head.
When you have mastered a lateral lunge with your own weight (without inventory), you can start using additional weights to increase the load.
Common mistakes when doing lateral lunges
- Knee support leg comes forward toe;
- The heel of the supporting leg comes off the floor;
- The back is leaning forward or slouching;
- The loin has a strong deflection;
- A step to the side is non-amplitude;
- The squat is shallow.
Why do you need to do lateral lunges?
Unlike standard lunges forward and backward, side lunges in addition to quadriceps also involve muscles of the inner thigh (adductors). That is why this exercise is so useful for girls. In addition, a lateral lunge is an ideal exercise for overall leg harmony and getting rid of breeches, so be sure to include it in your leg workout plan.
The following muscles are involved during lateral lunges:
- Gluteus maximus muscle;
- Gluteus Medius;
- Lead muscles (adductors);
- Triceps triceps;
- Back of the thigh (indirectly).
10 benefits of doing lateral lunges exercises
- Side lunges help strengthen the gluteus maximus muscle, which is responsible for the shape of our buttocks, as well as the gluteus medius muscle, which is an important stabilizing muscle for the hip joint;
- This exercise helps to work out the adductor muscles. This will eliminate the problem areas in the inner thigh;
- Lateral lunges also allow you to work out the quadriceps from a different angle, which means it helps to develop leg strength;
- Together with the lateral lunges, you can simultaneously perform exercises for the muscles of the upper body. This will help you burn even more calories and strengthen your body (examples of such exercises are presented below);
- Side lunges improve balance, stability and coordination, which will be useful to you both in sports and in ordinary life;
- This exercise also develops functional strength since it involves a large number of muscles in the lower body;
- Lunges can be performed both without additional equipment and with dumbbells, a barbell, a weight, and other additional equipment;
- Side lunges have a less traumatic load on the knee joints compared to squats and classic lunges;
- This exercise is suitable for both beginners and advanced practitioners. The load is easily adjusted due to the weight of the weights;
- In addition, from the point of view of technology, lateral lunges are a fairly simple exercise, especially when you compare them with squats or lunges forward and backward, which have many technical nuances.