You’ve probably seen people doing those weird stationary stepping things at the gym and wondered what the heck their purpose is. Of course what we are talking about is the lunge and they can look pretty goofy when you see other people doing them, especially when you don’t know what their purpose is.
You may think that the only thing lunges are good for is to stretch and make other people at the gym think that you’re doing something, but that is not so. There are many different benefits of lunges that you may not know about.
Lunges aren’t only good for giving you a tighter booty, but can also strengthen your muscles, increase balance and mobility, and a whole lot more. Keep reading our comprehensive review of exactly what the benefits of lunges are and what you can reap from doing them on a regular basis!
Benefit #1: Lunges Are Versatile
A big benefit that comes along with doing lunges is that they can be done in a number of ways and are ideal for fitness levels of all kinds. If you are just a beginner you can do regular old lunges and you don’t have to do too many of them. If you are slightly more advanced in your fitness level you can add lunges to some kind of circuit routine, or just do them in a high intensity nature.
Also if you are already quite fit and very physically active you can hold some weights or dumbbells while you do the lunges to add an increased degree of difficulty. You can even use steps, a box, or even a chair to do some more advanced lunges. Mo matter what fitness level you are currently at, lunges can be done by all.
You can start out by doing 3 sets of 10 lunges with about 1 minute of rest in between and work your way up to doing 5 sets of 20 lunges while holding heavy dumbbells and also having minimal rest in between sets. Engaging in an exercise that is ideal for slow progression is a great way to go from flab to fit in no time at all.
Benefit #2: Lunges Build Some Serious Muscle
The next big advantage that is to be had from doing lunges is that they can greatly increase your strength. Of course, being exercises that mainly work your legs, lunges are great for increasing the strength of your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and all of the other major muscles in your legs, but that is not all.
One of the most important aspects of lunges is that they train all 3 of your glute muscles, muscles which are necessary to be able to walk right. Without strong glutes, walking can be made near impossible over time.
Doing lunges requires a certain amount of balance, and to achieve that balance you need to engage your lower back muscles as well as your abdominals to stay upright, thus also working out your core at the same time and targeting various muscles in your body at the same time.
Lunges are really great bodyweight exercises that will strengthen your muscles and tone them at the same time. If you want some stronger legs and a stronger core, lunges definitely make for a good choice of exercise. Having stronger muscles will help you in your everyday life as well. Walking up stairs, running, walking, and lifting up your kids are all made easier thanks to the virtues of lunging.
Benefit #3: They Can Be Done Anywhere
One of the things that we really like about lunges is that they can be done anywhere and at any time. Organized sports force you to show up to a certain place at a certain time, cardio exercises force you to leave your home to go on a long journey, and working out at the gym is expensive and makes you have to deal with all of the people there.
Lunges are great because you can do them in your home during the wee morning hours or you can do them at a park in the afternoon. If you are a really busy person you can also do them in your office space during your lunch break.
You can do lunges in front of your TV or you can do them while you wait for your pasta to finish cooking. These exercises are very versatile and that is something that is very beneficial about them, not to mention that you don’t need any special equipment, plus they are completely free to do as well. Lunges don’t cost you a single thing and that is something which you should definitely appreciate!
Benefit #4: Increasing Body Symmetry
The next great benefit you can get from doing lunges is that they can help you even out muscular imbalances in your body. This is because you do squats independently, or in other words, you do them one leg at a time, thus allowing you to account for muscle asymmetries.
Therefore, if you have a weaker side or one leg that has much more muscle, you can do more lunges on one side in order to even out the deficit. Nobody wants a crooked or uneven body and lunges are a great way to fix that problem.
Moreover, if you’ve suffered from a leg injury such as a broken leg which has left one leg weaker than the other, lunging is a great way to heal those broken leg problems in no time at all. If you want a great looking and even body, lunges are definitely a way to go.
Benefit #5: Development Of Balance
Lunges are also an excellent way to develop your balance. This is because lunges are a classified as a type of exercise known as unilateral training. For example, squats are known as bilateral exercises, that being because you use both legs at once, thus working out both of your legs at the same time.
While that is not necessarily a bad thing, they don’t work to train your balance. Lunges, on the other hand, are done with one leg at a time, thus requiring you to utilize your balance and train it in the process.
You see, balance has to do with your proprioceptors, also known as the parts of your body which respond to your body’s position in order to counteract weight and position changes, and ultimately causing you to balance. Lunges train your proprioceptors to react to positional changes much quicker, this increasing your body’s ability to balance.
Increased balance is important in life, especially when you’re doing things like walking on ice, lifting up your baby, or even just walking up stairs. Good balance is a necessary thing, especially in old age where a slip or fall could mean broken hips.
Benefit #6: Increasing Everyday Function & Flexibility
Something else that is excellent about doing lunges is that they are a good way to train for everyday motions. Lunges mimic walking as well as going up stairs, motions which can get tiring after a while, but with lunges, you can train your legs to be stronger and do those things easier.
If you have issues walking or getting up stairs, lunges make for a great way to increase your ability to do so. A part of the reason for this is because lunges help to increase your flexibility, especially so in your hip flexors.
In today’s world where we spend a majority of the time sitting down, our hips can get very tight and inflexible, something which not only limits our range of motion but can also cause severe hip problems as we get older.
Doing lunges on a regular basis is a great way to work out your hip flexors, keep them in motion, and keep them from getting stiff and inflexible, something which can even cause severe back pain over time. Even better is the fact that increased flexibility will also go a long way in improving your sex life too!
Benefit #7: Improving Your Spinal Health
Another great thing about lunges is that they help to increase the overall health of your spine, and it’s thanks to something called spinal deloading. There are many exercises out there, such as doing squats, or most types of weight lifting, all of which serve to load your spine, or in other words they compress the spins.
Now this is not necessarily bad in itself, but it isn’t good to only do exercises which load and compress your spine because over time that can cause damage, pain, and inflexibility. On the other hand, lunges cause a deloading or decompression of the spine, thus giving your spine an occasional break and the chance to relax.
This has the effect of creating a more flexible and pain-free spine, therefore also making lunges a great choice of exercise for people who tend to suffer from serious back pain. Lunges also help to decrease back pain because they strengthen other parts of your body such as your core and legs.
A stronger core and stronger legs mean that those particular muscles help support you more, thus taking the strain off of your back and supporting it greatly.
Benefit #8: A Tighter Butt
Something else that you should particularly like about lunges is that they go a long way in not only strengthening your butt but making it look all around better. People, especially the ladies, tend to spend a lot of time trying to get that nice and toned butt, after all, who doesn’t want to look good in a pair of tight pants? Many people do squats to get the butt shaping results that they want, but lunges are actually just as effective if not more so in terms of butt sculpting.
Benefit #9: Improve Your Coordination
Another thing that lunges are good for is to increase your muscular coordination. Lunges involve using several muscle groups at once, mainly one leg to lunge, the other leg to balance, and your core and back to keep you upright.
Therefore lunging involves using several muscles in unison, all of which have to work in perfect harmony to successfully execute the exercise at hand. Coordination is another really important part of life and is necessary for everything from walking and running to playing sports as well.
Benefit #10: Better Moods & More Self Confidence
The final thing about lunges that is definitely praiseworthy is that they can surely make you happier. First off, a well-known fact is that exercising on a regular basis causes your brain to release neurochemicals.
These chemicals, such as serotonin and various endocannabinoids, serve to increase your mood. These are feel-happy chemicals that cause your brain to feel happier, less anxious, elated, and just all around better. On a side note, endocannabinoids also help to decrease your sensitivity to pain as well, yet another great benefit!
Thus, lunges and exercising in general is great way to deal with anxiety and depression, not to mention to feel a sense of accomplishment too. Lunges won’t only make you feel happier because of brain chemicals, but they will also make you happier because of the simple fact that they make your booty look much better!
As you can see, something as simple and inexpensive as doing lunges actually has a great number of benefits. From increased flexibility, balance, and coordination, to stronger muscles and a tighter looking butt, the benefits of lunges are endless, too much to pass up on them. If you haven’t already tried doing lunges, we would recommend that you start immediately. This exercise is simple, easy, and cheap, plus they can be done anywhere you go. They are a perfect way to start getting into shape and slowly progress towards that toned body that you have always wanted!