Lunges are an excellent functional exercise that build muscle and power in your lower body and can increase your mobility and range of motion. There are several unweighted lunge variations that you can try, but if you’re looking to amp up the intensity level of your lunges, try adding some weight! You can really challenge your lower body in various ways simply by changing where and how you hold the weight(s) during your lunges. Check out these three kettlebell lunge variations to kick up your lower body workout a couple notches!
A dead lunge, as opposed to a walking lunge, is a stationary lunge variation in which you don’t move your legs forward or backward, but bend and straighten at the knee to move the body up and down.
Start with your right leg in front of you and your left leg behind you. You legs should have a little space between them so that your feet aren’t in the same line as one another. Hold a kettlebell by the handle in your left hand with your arm straight down. Engage your lat muscles in order to keep the weight stable and to help promote a straight and tall spine and upper body.
Allow your right arm to float outward to the side in order to help with balance. Inhale as you bend at both knees while keeping your upper body tall. Engage your abs in order to help keep your balance. Sink down until the kettlebell reaches close to or touches the ground. Exhale as you power up, engaging your quad and glute muscles. Repeat 8-10 times per side per set.
Racked Reverse Lunge
The racked reverse lunge is one of the more balance-challenging kettlebell lunge variations. It requires you to balance while holding weight at chest-height and while moving one foot back and forward at a time.
Grab two kettlebells and bring them up to the rack position and place your feet right next to each out about hip-width apart. Tighten your abs and keep them tight and engaged during the entire motion. Inhale and step your right foot back and sink down toward the ground in one swift movement.
Keep your upper body tall and straight, keep your lat muscles engaged to hold the kettlebells tight in the rack position, and squeeze your glutes and quads and you exhale to come up, bringing your right foot back to its starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side, and alternate back and forth for 6-8 reps per side, per set.
Walking Goblet Lunge
To help increase your mobility and strength, try a walking goblet lunge! This kettlebell lunge variation offers to levels for you to try.
Take one kettlebell and hold it on either side of the handle at chest-height. Start with your feet together, and then step your right foot out and sink down toward the ground in one swift movement. As you power back up to a starting position, bring your left leg up off the ground.
For the Level 1 variation, bring your left leg forward and down so that it is next to your right foot and you are back to your starting position. For the Level 2 variation, bring your left leg forward and immediately go into the next lunge in the sequence. Both variations will challenge your core and stability, so once you feel comfortable with the Level 1 variation, try moving from one lunge to the next seamlessly with the Level 2 variation. Try working 8-10 per side, per set.
These lunge variations can add new and unique challenges to your lower body workouts! They will help you build more power and strength in your lower body and will also help increase your core strength. Try these out during your next lower body workout for a fun new way to increase your lower body strength!
Lauren Weiss is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor based out of Long Beach, CA. She specializes in kettlebell training and unconventional workouts and has been working with both types of fitness for over a year. Lauren has her BOLT Kettlebell Sport Certification through the USA Kettlebell League and has expertise working with kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells and several unconventional fitness tools. Lauren received her BA in Journalism and uses her writing expertise to craft thought-provoking articles about trending fitness, health & wellness topics. Follow Lauren on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
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