Side lunges are a great tool that will help any athlete improve in their game. Basketball, football, baseball, and tennis are all non-linear sports that benefit from the ability to move smoothly and quickly from side to side. Even those who are not physically active in a sport can use lunges as an easy way to warm up and stay in shape.
What to expect from forward & side lunges
Side lunges are different as an exercise choice because it works on so many muscle groups: quads, hips, glutes, and even gets down to your calves. Side lunges complement squats and regular lunges, and you can use barbells or dumbbells as you perform them. Forward or basic lunges strengthen the muscles on your leading leg, as well as tone your butt muscles. While squats and stepups also strengthen your glutes, lunges help shape them into a firmer and rounder shape. It will also help your body work better not just on a field, but to become more functional off of the field.
How to prepare to do forward and side lunges
You may find it easier to get more out of lunges if you go in with a strong core. Your core strength will improve either way as you work on your lunges. Although lunges help improve your balance, as you start out it might be a good idea to steady yourself with a nearby wall or chair if you feel you might fall over. It is overall a low-key, simple, and safe exercise.
Muscles you'll work with forward & side lunges
Side lunges work your gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius. These butt muscles are usually worked more on the leading leg, so it is important to make sure that you do the same number of reps on each leg so one side is not weakened. Your hamstrings are also used, as the back of your thighs work with your glutes and hips as your leading leg goes into the lunge and then comes back up. In the front of your thigh, the quads extend your knee, and your adductor muscles on the inside of your thigh on your straight leg are stretched out as the lead leg extends.
Tips for success with forward and side lunges
In order to actually benefit from your forward and side lunges, you have to maintain good posture: straight back, head up, shoulders aligned with your hips. Any other way just encourages poor posture which can mess with your muscles, or may outright cause you to lose your balance and put stress on your back. And in order to properly stretch out, keep your knee at a 90-degree angle, not leaning over your ankle. Remember to keep the heels of both of your feet flat on the floor, so your weight can shift between your hips. You can also alter the length of your side