Do you want to start adding some more dynamic movements into your workout routine?
Side Lunges are a great way to tone and strengthen your legs while also improving hip mobility and stability. They look slightly intimidating, but they don’t have to be!
If done correctly, side lunges can help you build from the ground up so that no matter what kinds of workouts you do next, you will be stronger for them.
In this blog post we’ll discuss all things related to side lunges; how they work, what muscles they target, proper form technique tips as well as benefits.
Keep reading if you’re ready to learn a new exercise move!
Muscles worked during Side Lunges
Side Lunges require a great deal of effort from the lower body muscles. These include the Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Calf muscles. Adding upper body movements can make this a full-body workout.
- Quadriceps – The vastus lateralis, which runs down the length of the thighs, is especially worked during Lateral Lunges.
- Hamstrings – Pressure builds from under the glutes up to the back of the knees.
- Gluteals – When taking an outward stride, Side Lunges target different parts of the glutes.
- Calf muscles – When weight is shifted forward, on one leg, it activates the calf muscles.
Side Lunges make the hips more flexible and stable. Doing them regularly lowers the risk of hip injuries. Plus, they help with speed and balance.
A study by Nazari M.A., Souhzgou T., and Mahdavi S. found that three sets of eight reps of Side Lunges increased the power signals from surface electromyography.
Proper Form and Technique for Side Lunges
The right form and technique for performing a side lunge is critical to prevent injuries and maximize its benefits. Here’s how to do it correctly.
5 Steps to Master Side Lunge Form and Technique
- Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart and arms on your hips.
- Take a wide step to one side, bending your knee and lowering your body.
- Push your glutes back and keep your chest up while your knee tracks over your toes.
- Drive through your heel to come back to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side for a complete set.
Take a deeper lunge to work your inner thigh muscles. To challenge yourself, add a resistance band to add difficulty to the exercise.
According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, side lunges can effectively target the glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
If you’re tired of just walking sideways, add some lunges to the mix with this step-by-step guide to Side Lunges.
Step-by-step guide to Side Lunges
Side lunges are a fab exercise for toning inner and outer thighs, glutes, and hips. Here’s how to do it correctly:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart.
- Step out with right foot, leaving left foot planted.
- Bend right knee and shift weight over to that side.
- Keep left leg straight and lower body towards the ground. Get right thigh parallel to floor.
- Push back up with right leg to standing position.
- Repeat on left side by stepping out with left foot.
When performing side lunges, keep feet pointing forward and back straight. Add weights or resistance bands to increase intensity.
Ace Fitness suggests including side lunges in workout routine. Benefits include better lateral movement and lower body strength.
Common mistakes to avoid while performing Side Lunges
Side lunges are great for working the lower body and increasing flexibility. However, doing them incorrectly can lead to injury. Let’s look at some common mistakes to avoid while doing side lunges.
- Not maintaining proper form: Feet wider than hip-width apart. Toes pointing forward. Chest lifted and spine straight.
- Bending forward: No leaning or rounding of back during the lunge.
- Moving too quickly: Slow and controlled movements are important for good form.
- Incorrect foot placement: Weight balanced over heels. Knees not extending far in front of toes.
- Failing to engage glutes: Squeeze glutes at the bottom of each lunge.
Variations such as adding weights or stepping onto an unstable surface should only be attempted once form is mastered. Listen to your body. Make adjustments if necessary.
Engage core muscles too. They help maintain balance and provide stability for other movements.
I saw someone rush through side lunges; they complained of hip joint pain afterwards. A trainer had to show them the correct form before allowing them to continue.
Benefits of incorporating Side Lunges into your workout routine
Side lunges are a great exercise to add to your workout. They offer benefits such as:
- Targets multiple muscle groups
- Tones glutes, hips, thighs
- Prevents injuries
Varying the side lunge can add more challenge. You can use a dumbbell or resistance band for extra resistance. Taking a longer step can even improve hip mobility.
Experts at Harvard Medical School, such as Dr. Suzanne Salamon, believe that even small movements like side lunges count as physical activity that boosts health.
Incorporating side lunges into your routine today will provide you with improved muscle strength and endurance. Plus, you’ll achieve toned glutes and tighter hips!
Tips for getting the most out of Side Lunges
Side lunges are an awesome bodyweight exercise that targets your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. To master the move, here are some pro tips!
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Upright posture and tight core.
- Point toes forward when stepping to the side.
- Sink down into a lunge, keeping knees behind toes.
- Feel the stretch on inner thigh in fully extended position.
- Squeeze legs together using inner thighs when coming back to center.
- For more difficulty, use a dumbbell or kettlebell at chest height.
Remember, everyone moves differently. You can do side lunges fast or slow, with equipment or body weight.
Incorporating side lunges into your routine is beneficial. Ancient martial artists used it for balance and agility training. It’s great for beginners & experts for strength training & flexibility. Variety is key for balanced physical fitness growth.
Variations of Side Lunges to try
Versatile Variations of Side Lunges
Side lunges are an excellent exercise that works most of the lower body muscles. To challenge your body and keep your workouts fresh, here are some variations of side lunges to try.
- Weighted Side Lunges: Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell at chest level and step to the side, lowering your hips down, and then push back up.
- Curtsy Lunges: Step one foot behind the other, then bend your knees and lower your hips down in a lunge position.
- Lateral Lunges with Knee Drive: Take a wide step out to the side, come down into a lateral lunge, then drive your same-side knee up towards your chest.
- Crossover Reverse Lunges: Cross one leg behind the other and do a reverse lunge, then repeat on the other side.
- Jumping Side Lunges: Instead of stepping, hop from side to side to get your heart rate up while still working your leg muscles.
It is essential to mix up your routine and try new exercises to challenge different muscles. Remember to maintain proper form and gradually increase resistance and repetitions.
For optimal results, incorporate a combination of these lunges into your workout routine, or switch up the variation after each set to keep your muscles guessing. Keep pushing yourself to see improvements and achieve your fitness goals!
Turn up the heat with weighted side lunges and feel the burn in places you didn’t even know you had.
Weighted Side Lunges
Tired of the same old leg exercises? Try Weighted Side Lunges for an extra power punch! This move works your glutes, quads, and inner thighs like nothing else.
Doing Weighted Side Lunges is simple:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a weight in each hand.
- Step out to the side with one foot, keeping both feet facing forward.
- Bend the knee of the lead leg and push your hips back. Go back to the start and repeat on the other side.
Mix it up by changing the weight or adding a squat at the bottom. Remember to keep your core engaged and your chest lifted for the best results.
Don’t miss out – try Weighted Side Lunges today and feel the burn!
Curtsy lunges are an awesome switch-up from side lunges, targeting the inner and outer thighs plus your glutes. This exercise is ideal for adding intensity to your workout. Here’s what to do:
- Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
- Step back with your left foot, crossing it behind your right foot like a curtsy.
- Lower your body until your back knee nearly touches the floor.
- Push up through your front foot and return to start.
- Repeat on the other side.
Plus, curtsy lunges require balance and stability and engage your core throughout reps. So if you want an exercise that challenges you mentally and physically, give them a go!
I’ve noticed a big improvement in my balance and leg strength since I began doing curtsy lunges. So why not give them a try too?
Jumping Side Lunges
Jumpin’ side lunges are an awesome twist on the classic side lunge that hits more muscles and gives you a great cardio workout. To get it right, here’s four steps:
- Start standing straight with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Take a big step to one side. Bend your knee and push your hips back until you feel a stretch in your thigh.
- Jump up high, switching sides mid-air.
- Land softly on both feet and repeat on the other side.
Keep your back straight and your core engaged while doing this move to prevent injury.
What sets jumpin’ side lunges apart is that it boosts explosiveness and agility while turbocharging your heart rate. Add them to your routine to improve sports performance and tone glutes, quads, and hamstrings.
Don’t miss out! Jumpin’ side lunges boost strength and endurance. Include them for optimal results.