Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: forward lunges.
You’ll come across many iterations of lunging in your workout routine; lateral, reverse, jumping… but when it comes to building a functional body, there’s nothing quite like a classic forward lunge. The stepping motion not only builds strength through our most common movement but also focuses on strengthening, stretching and mobilising your hips: an area that doesn’t get a lot of love thanks to our sedentary lifestyles.
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What is a forward lunge?
The forward lunge involves taking a large step forward and bending your back knee to touch the floor.
The exercise is great because:
It’s functional: as it builds strength in the movement patterns you use every day.
It builds lower body strength: the move works your quads, glutes, hamstrings and hips.
It builds stability and balance: as it’s a unilateral move.
It can improve joint mobility: particularly of the hips and ankles as you will be moving through a large range of motion.
What muscles does a suitcase carry work?
A suitcase carry mainly works into the upper and body and core, including:
- Hip flexors
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How to do a forward lunge
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight by your side.
- Stand tall with a neutral spine, pulling your belly button towards your spine to engage your core.
- Lift your right foot off the floor and take a big step forwards. As you do, bend your left leg to bring the knee close to the floor. Your right thigh should be parallel to the floor.
- Ensure your back remains flat during the move, rather than arching through the spine.
- Press through your right foot and squeeze your core to lift back to standing.
Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).