When it comes to working out your lower body, lunges are one of your best weapons. When you add extra resistance with dumbbells, you increase the effectiveness of this powerful exercise.
How To Do Dumbbell Lunges
Make certain you have enough room to step out comfortably. Choose the right dumbbell weight for you. You should pick a weight that will allow you to complete at least 12 repetitions (reps). After doing 12 reps, if you feel you can do more, you need to use a heavier weight.
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and hold them at your sides parallel to the floor. You may also hold the dumbbells in both hands and lightly rest them on the tops of your shoulders.
- Step one foot forward and land heel first. The back knee should bend toward the floor. The knee should not actually touch the floor. Your back foot should come up on your toes.
- Return to the starting position by pushing off with your front foot.
- Repeat the lunge with the other foot.
- Continue alternating lunging with each foot. Repeat 12 times. This is considered one set of reps.
You should do weight bearing exercises at least twice a week. Because the actual strengthening of your muscles happens the following day when the muscles are recovering, you should only do strength training every other day. Many people alternate training their lower body one day and their upper body on the next day.
Why You Should Do Lunges
Weight bearing exercises are essential to make your bones strong. The push and pull of your muscles on your bones as you do weight bearing exercises are what strengthens your bones. Strong bones reduce your chances of developing the brittle bone disease, osteoporosis. Lunges also help to improve your balance. Balance exercises can help you prevent injuries not only while exercising, but also while performing everyday activities.
The Muscles You Are Working
The width of the stride you use when you lunge determines which muscles you work more. When you take a long step forward, you will be working the muscles of your backside. Lunging with a shorter step will emphasize the muscles along the front of your thighs.
- Keep your upper body straight.
- Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in.
- Do not let the knee that is going forward land beyond the toes of the lunging foot. You should be able to see the toes of your front foot if you are doing the lunge correctly.
- Do not rise too high on your back toes until you have become accustomed to balancing your body during the lung.
- Do not lock your knees when you come up from the lunge.
How to Intensify Your Lunges
- Increase how many sets of dumbbell lunges you do.
- Increase your intensity by gradually increasing the weight of the dumbbells you use.
- Holding the dumbbells in each hand and lightly resting them on your shoulders will also increase the intensity of your lunges.
Dumbbell lunges are vital to creating strong yet slim bottom and leg muscles. The added benefit of improving your balance makes dumbbell lunges a requirement in your exercise arsenal.