5 Variations of Lunges That Can Help Strengthen Your Knees

By performing lunges and the numerous variations, you can take a proactive step towards building a stronger body by adding greater muscle mass, balance and coordination along with flexibility. Here are 5 lunge variations that can also help you strengthen your knees.

Reverse Lunge

To begin, stand tall with your hands at your hips or overhead. Take a large and controlled step backward with your left foot (a). Lower your hips so that your right thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor with your right knee positioned directly over your ankle. Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor with your left heel lifted. (b). Return to standing by pressing your right heel into the floor and bringing your left leg forward to complete one rep. (c). Alternate legs, and step back with right leg. Continue alternating for 20 reps total.

Forward-Reaching Lunges

How to: Get in a split stance with one leg in front of you and the other behind you, and your arms bent and hands held just outside of your shoulders. Bend your knees to lower your back knee toward the floor until your hips are just higher than your knees. Keep your weight in the heel of your front foot. This is your starting position (a). From here, while keeping your back flat, hinge at the hips to bend forward as if you are reaching for something in front of you on the floor (b). Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep (c). Perform 20 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

Up-and-Down Lunges

How to: Get in a split stance with one leg in front of you and the other behind you, and your arms bent and hands held just outside of your shoulders. Keep your weight in the heel of your front foot. This is your starting position (a). From here, while keeping your back flat, bend your knees to lower your back knee toward the floor until your hips are just higher than your knees (b). Then, drive through your front foot to reverse the movement and return to start. That’s one rep (c). Perform 20 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

Side-to-Side Lunges

How to: Get in a split stance with one leg in front of you and the other behind you. Bend your elbows and hold your hands just outside of your shoulders. Bend your knees to lower your back knee toward the floor until your hips are just higher than your knees. Keep your weight in the heel of your front foot. This is your starting position (a). From here, while keeping your back straight, spine neutral and hips steady, bend your torso toward the right, then the left. That’s one rep (b). Perform 20 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

Rotational Lunges

How to: Get in a split stance with one leg in front of you and the other behind you. Bend your elbows and hold your hands just outside of your shoulders. Bend your knees to lower your back knee toward the floor until your hips are just higher than your knees. Keep your weight in the heel of your front foot. This is your starting position (a). From here, while keeping your back straight, spine neutral and hips steady, twist and rotate your torso to the right, then the left. That’s one rep (b). Perform 20 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

References

Emily Bibb. (2013) Backtracking With an Alternating Reverse Lunge! Retrieved from https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/How-Do-Reverse-Lunge-160059