Lunges are a great exercise for developing your thigh muscles, promoting hip stability and boosting athletic performance because you engage all the muscles in your legs with just one movement.
Even though bodyweight lunges are an amazing way to tone your quads and thighs, if you’re a lifter that wants to gain some serious lower body mass, you should add some extra weights to challenge your muscles even more.
The walking lunge, which is performed with a barbell, is one of the best leg building exercises, as long as you perform it with the right form. With this article we point out 4 mistakes that decrease the effects of this amazing exercise and show you how to fix them.
Leaning Forward at the Torso
If you do this, you put excessive stress on your lower back while taking the tension off from your quads and glutes.
To avoid this, you should focus on pushing your chest out and keeping your torso perpendicular to the ground, while your eyes are facing forward. Make sure your posture is upright and your lower back is arched throughout the movement.
Not Stepping Out Far Enough
If you take small steps when performing the lunges, you allow your knees to move over your toes at the bottom of every rep, which prevents proper balance of the legs and increases the risk of injuries and knee pain in the long run. Make sure you take steps big enough so that your heel hits the floor first.
Going Too Fast
When the barbell is placed across your back, you need to be moving at a moderate pace and focus on your form which should be as strict as possible throughout the movement. If you move too fast you don’t get any extra benefits, in fact you just make your form sloppy and increase the risk of injuries.
Barbell lunges work your legs in a very effective way and can significantly improve your balance, stability and muscular coordination, so you need to focus on the contraction and take it slow in order to get the best result.
Pushing Through the Toes
Like with every other exercise that aims to engage the posterior chain muscles, the lunges require you to push through the heel and not the toes. If you push through the toes, you focus the movement on the quads and the knees, which prevents you from targeting the entire leg.
To perfect this movement, you should perform it two or three times a week. Your form is more important the weight you lift, especially when performing complex exercises like this one. Stick to a lower rep range and focus on the mind – muscle connection.
After a few weeks, you will see some clear improvements in your lower body, both strength and coordination.