Struggling to balance when you lunge? Try going backwards!
Last week we showed you how to tone your legs using the basic forward lunge so that you could rock short-shorts this summer. Problem is, if you’re just starting out, you may be having problems balancing. First off, this isn’t a bad thing – when you’re performing exercises, a lot of your balance comes from your core, so doing exercises that throw your balance off forces you to engage and strengthen your core muscles. That said, if you’re wobbling too much to complete a rep, it’s best to work your way up.
Check out Women’s Health’s FitGIF Friday every week for fun and challenging new moves to make your sweat sesh really count. Here’s this week’s exercise:
The reverse lunge looks exactly the same as a regular lunge in pictures, but what you’re actually doing is stepping backwards instead of forwards. It may seem odd at first to be moving in reverse, but you’ll be surprised how much easier it becomes to keep your balance once you take that forward propulsion out of the equation. What’s more, it makes it easier to keep your front knee from passing beyond your toes, taking pressure off your knee joint, plus it’s easier to recruit your glutes (butt muscles) for a bit of extra lift.
Start standing tall, with feet shoulder width apart and hands on your hips. Step back with one leg and lower down until both legs are bent approximately 90 degrees and your back knee nearly touches the floor. Pause, then push back to start. Repeat on the other leg.
Too easy? Hold a barbell or sandbag across your shoulders or dumbbells in your hands.
Keep your torso upright throughout. Keep your weight back so that your front knee doesn’t pass beyond your toes, which will put strain on your knee. Warm up your ankles with foot circles in both directions before doing the move.
Looking for more #FitGIF Friday moves? Tone your abs by mastering the Russian twist.