Side Lunge

The side lunges is an exercise to work your legs and butt. It primarily focuses the glutes, especially the gluteus maximus, and it will also work the hamstrings, quadriceps and the inner and outer thighs.

A benefit of the side lunges is that they work your lower body a bit differently than traditional lunges or squats. Allowing you to add variety to your workout routine. They also engage your adductors and abductors, a group of muscles of the inner and outer thigh, which usually get neglected during leg exercises. These muscles stabilize the knee joint, so strengthening them will decrease the risk of knee problems.

Side lunges are a useful exercise for sports players as they involve a side-to-side that is practiced in many sports activities, like tennis and basketball, this will improve your balance and mobility.

The side lunges is a body weight exercise that requires no equipment. Once you mastered the side lunge with your body weight, you can add resistance by holding a set of dumbbells or a barbell.

Exercise Video

How to do

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  2. Lunge out to your right with your right leg.
  3. Lower your body by flexing the right knee and hip until both the knee and hip are bent at a 90 degree angle, and the thigh is parallel to the floor. The opposite leg should remain fully straight.
  4. Push yourself up to the starting position by extending the right knee until your legs are straight. Repeat for the desired reps, then switch sides.

  5. The lunge distance changes what muscles are worked more. Longer lunges emphasize more on the glutes, while shorter lunges will put more focus on the quadriceps.

    The most common mistake is that people tend to collapse over the straight knee. Focus on bending and lowering from the hips, with your back straight and core engaged, as with a squat.

    Align your shinbone over the foot. A common mistake is when people step too wide so they cannot align their shinbone over the foot, this puts them in a mechanical disadvantage, making this exercise harder to perform and more prone to injuries and knee damage.

    Do not use your hands to push your thighs. Keep the hands to your sides, held together on the chest, or any other place that help you maintain balance but will not assist the movement.

    The leading knee should point to the same direction as the foot. Otherwise, the knee might twist causing loss of balance or even injury.

    Keep the heels of both feet on the flat floor. This is important to keep your balance.

    Don't let your knees go past you toes, this will put a lot of pressure on the knee joint, try to keep the knee directly above the ankle.

    Keep your torso straight and core tight. Look straight ahead and hold your chest up.

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