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Glutes Exercise: Lunges

Lunges are great butt and upper thigh exercises. Whilst they target mainly the gluteus maximus, they also focus on building strength and definition in your quadriceps (front thigh muscles). Lunges target all four regions of the quads including the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus meialis and vastus intermedius.

Lunges can be done using a barbell (supporting it on the back of your neck), with dumbbells or using no weights at all. This specific move is a dumbbell lunge.

To perform this exercise:

  • Grasp a suitable sized dumbbell in each hand.
  • Your arms should be at your sides, palms facing inwards.
  • Stand with your feet together or shoulder width apart.
  • Look forward, and ensure that you are standing straight, with your back aligned.
  • DOWNWARD: As you inhale, slowly take a big step forward with your right leg, ensuring that your torso is kept stable and as straight as you possibly can.
  • Your left leg will automatically bend forward, until your knee is almost touching the ground but don't let it touch.
  • Ensure that your right thigh is parallel to the floor and that your right knee does not come in front of your ankle.
  • UPWARD: As you exhale slowly bring yourself back to the starting position.

REMEMBER: The bigger the step, the more your gluteus maximus muscle is stressed, therefore the more you will be working your buttocks. The smaller the step, the greater amount of stress will be placed on the quadriceps group of the leg in front.

If you are performing these exercises without any weights, it is best to keep your hands on your hips or resting on the knee of the leg you bring forward (as shown in the photo below).

The ending position of a lunge

The ending position of a lunge

Author: Dimi Ingle
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