Lunges are great cross-training exercises. They can be done anywhere and the results can be seen in no time, in the form of defined toned legs.

Different types of lunges help to sculpt, define and strengthen the lower body muscles including the gluteus maximus (glutes), hips, hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors, and quadriceps (upper) thighs.

Many repetitions are required to achieve the desired results because they work large muscles. In the beginning, you can start with two sets of ten lunges on each leg and gradually, you can progress to higher repetitions.

Note: To avoid a knee injury, the position is very crucial while performing a lunge. One should keep one leg straight while making a large step with the other. It is important to point your foot straight. The knee of your bent leg should be at a 90-degree angle aligned with your foot but behind the toes. 

Take a look at the different types of lunges to get your desired toned legs.

Forward Lunges

Stand with your feet about 6 inches apart from each other and toes pointed forward. Step forward to drop the opposite knee toward the floor to lower the body. To return to the starting position, push up and back by extending your heel. Your leading knee must stay behind to the leading toe.

Backward/Reverse Lunge

Unlike the forward lunge, to take one step forward, you have to take one step backward and lower the body towards the floor.

 Like the forward lunge, both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge. Rise back to start and repeat. These lunges strengthen the quadriceps and glutes and tone the lower body while keeping pressure off the knees. After your form is perfected, you can create more resistance by adding weights.

Side Lunges

 It is an effective exercise to strengthen your quads, glutes, and hamstrings while also targeting both the inner and outer thighs. Unlike the forward and backward lunges, it involves side to side motion. To do a side lunge, engage through the right heel as you drop your hips down and back while keeping the left leg straight. Stretch the groin on the left leg and keep both soles of the feet on the ground and toes pointed straight forward. Push off on the hell to return to the starting position to the centre.

Diagonal Lunges

Make a large step forward and to the side on a diagonal line. Bend your rear knee and lower body to the floor. Your front knee will form a 90-degree angle. Repeat with the other leg after returning to the start. It specifically targets the quads and hamstrings and also improves lower body stability.

Once you have mastered the lunge technique and can execute it with nearly perfect form, you may choose to add weights for more resistance or do plyometrics for a more intense cardio workout. Plyo-lunges are performed by jumping from one lunge position to the next, which can add more intensity to your lunge routine.

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