6 Ways to Do Squats and Lunges
If you are looking to spice up your workout routine, squats and lunges can be versatile exercises that target multiple muscle groups in your lower body. By incorporating variations of these two moves into your regular workout regimen, you can keep things fresh and challenging. Here are six ways to do squats and lunges to build strength, endurance, and tone those leg muscles.
1. Basic Squats
The basic squat is a foundational exercise that targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. To perform a basic squat:
– Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward.
– Keeping your chest lifted and back straight, bend your knees and lower yourself as though sitting in a chair.
– Push through your heels to return to the standing position.
– Repeat for the desired number of reps.
2. Basic Lunges
Lunges help tone the legs and glutes while improving balance and stability. To perform a basic lunge:
– Stand with feet hip-width apart.
– Take a large step forward with one foot while keeping the other foot in place.
– Lower yourself until both knees form 90-degree angles.
– Push into the front heel to return to the starting position.
– Repeat with the other leg for the desired number of reps.
3. Goblet Squats
A goblet squat involves holding a weight close to your chest during a basic squat. This variation increases difficulty while adding some upper body strength:
– Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell close to your chest using both hands.
– Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outwards.
– Perform a basic squat while maintaining an upright posture.
– Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.
4. Jumping Lunges
This plyometric variation adds explosiveness and increases cardiovascular demands during lunges:
– Perform a basic lunge with one leg forward.
– As you rise up from the lunge, jump and switch legs midair.
– Land softly on the opposite leg in a lunge position.
– Continue alternating for the desired number of reps.
5. Sumo Squats
The sumo squat places an emphasis on targeting your inner thighs as well as your glutes:
– Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing outwards at a 45-degree angle.
– Lower into a squat by bending your knees and keeping your back straight.
– Make sure your knees are in line with your toes throughout the squat.
– Push through your heels to return to the starting position, and repeat.
6. Curtsy Lunges
Curtsy lunges target the outer hip and glute muscles for a well-rounded lower body workout:
– Start with your feet hip-width apart.
– Step one foot behind you and across to the opposite side, as if performing a curtsy.
– Keep your front knee aligned over your front ankle as you lower into a lunge.
– Return to the standing start position and repeat on the other side.
Incorporating these variations of squats and lunges into your workout routine will not only challenge your muscles but also keep you engaged and motivated! Give them a try, and remember always to listen to your body to avoid injury.