Lunges are an amazing lower body exercise.
If you've seen the 7 core weight lifting exercises that are included in every weight lifting workout here at WLC, you'll know that squats are one of those 7 exercises.
There's also a huge list of squat alternatives and lunges of all types happen to be one of those alternative weight lifting exercises for the squat.
In order for a weight lifting exercise to be a good alternative to squats, it better be a REALLY good exercise. And lunges ARE one of the best exercises for your entire body but especially for your lower body including your thighs, quadriceps, hamstrings, and butt. Even your calves will get worked with lunges.
I want to use this page to tell you more about lunges, go over all the different types of lunges, and to give you exercise videos of different types of lunges.
You may even be surprised at the different types of lunges you can do.
Major Muscle Groups Used During Lunges
Lunges actually give you a much different feel than squats and just might work more muscle groups throughout your legs than squats.
Because of this, I highly recommend cycling to lunges and then back to squats as you switch between different workout programs. Don't switch during a workout program but when you start a new one think about using lunges verses an actual squat variation like front squats or zercher squats.
Lunges work all of the major muscle groups throughout your legs.
The major muscle groups in your legs include the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
But that's not all the major muscle groups lunges will work. Depending on the type of lunges you are doing, you will also be working your abdominals and your back, shoulders, and arms.
For example, if you are holding dumbbells at your sides while doing lunges you will be working your forearms and grip strength.
All The Different Types of Lunges with Exercise Videos
This is going to surprise you. Take a look at all the different types of lunges you can do!
Stationary Forward Lunges
This forward lunge is very impressive by a strong lady. That's 135 pounds she is doing with a barbell. This is one of my personal favorite methods of doing lunges.
Here's another form of lunges using dumbbells and staying stationary (static lunges).
Forward Walking Lunges
Here's a video of walking forward lunges with a barbell. This is impressive.
Strong man using 120 pound dumbbells in each hand doing walking dumbbell lunges.
Dumbbell reverse lunges showing good form. Take that big step back.
Here's a reverse barbell lunge using a front squat grip. This adds a different feel to the exercise.
Elevated reverse lunges giving you even more range of motion.
Side lunges are also called lateral lunges. Here's a good overview on how to do the side lunge:
Here's a video using a barbell for side lunges.
Here's a very good video on how to do jumping lunges.
Once you have the form down, you can start adding weight to jumping lunges.
You want to see a very, very difficult exercise? Take a look here. This girl is strong.
If you decide to try this, you need to start out really light. You might choose a light weight plate to start and work your way up.
As I Said, Lunges Are a Great Substitute for Squats
I hope this page has given you some great ideas to help you with your weight lifting workouts.
The great thing about lunges is you don't need a whole lot of weight lifting equipment to include them in your workouts.
You simply need a way to increase the weight over time, and lunges will build muscle for you and increase your fitness level as well.
A tough set of lunges will wear you out as much as a heavy set of squats.
Good luck with the lunges and let me know if I can help with anything.