Lunges provide an excellent opportunity for unilateral (single-sided) leg work. It allows you to work on balance, stability, strength, mobility, and, of course, endurance (if you tell me your HR doesn't go up during these bad boys, you're lying). Below are 4 different lunges variations I recommend including in your programming. **Please note: I don't recommend doing all four of these in your weekly or even monthly programming, but dispersing the variations throughout your training phases and seasons. Watch the video with sound on.
Lunge variations: 1. Reverse lunges. I'm a BIG fan of all reverse lunges. It allows you to gain strength in the lunge position without putting the added pressure on your knee like it would in a forward lunge. (Don't get it confused though -- forward lunges also have their place!) 2. Deficit lunges. My favorite. These allow you to increase the depth of your lunges (hello, mobility meets strength). I recommend starting out with a 45 lb plate to create the initial deficit, then increase ROM (range of motion) using either additional plates or a short step. 3. Lateral lunges. Why yes, we will want to add some work in the frontal plane. Lateral lunges are generally a bit more challenging for people initially. This is because we're constantly moving in a forward motion, so we like to stay in that plane. We naturally avoid moving side-to-side, although it's imperative we learn this motion. 4. Front racked lunges. By holding the weight at your shoulders, you're changing the position of load on your body. The front racked position reduces the amount of load on your forearms and requires an increase in core engagement to properly complete the exercise. Please note: one of these variations is not superior to the other. They all have a place in your training. If you choose any two to start with, I'd recommend starting with reverse lunges and lateral lunges. Happy lunging!