Toned Legs 101: 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Doing Lunges

Lunges are a great bodyweight exercise to tone your glutes, hamstrings and even your core. Pilates expert Shalini Bhargava shares how to do lunges correctly to get fitter faster.

Lunges are one of the Holy Grail exercises for an at-home fitness enthusiast. This intense bodyweight exercise works and power up your glutes, hamstrings and even your core so that you can have a Kardashian-esque bod with legs for days!

However, despite its popularity lunges are also one of the most incorrectly-performed exercises of all time. If you are not performing a lunge properly you can find your sore knees crying for help. So, we spoke to Shalini Bhargava, Fitness Expert and Director, JG’s Fitness Centre for her tips to avoid injuries and get in the best shape of your life!

Avoid doing this...

Stepping Too Far Forward or Backward: "The risk involved in stepping too far with a lunge is the loss of stability and overuse of some muscles. If you are stepping way to forward, the whole pressure gets absorbed by the front knee, causing muscle or ligament pull and tears."

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She adds, "On the other hand, if you step too much backwards, then you will fail to get a perfect 90-degree bend and the weight then gets absorbed by the back knee, which again is a recipe for pain and aches."

Having Sloppy Form: "One of the greatest lunge errors which should be avoided is the front knee going beyond of the front toe. One must also avoid too much of forward-bending of the upper body and the rounding of the back on the way upwards. Furthermore, the bent knee should track on the centre of the foot that is on the middle toe."

Do This!

Here are her tips to perform the perfect lunge and get the most benefits:

· Keep your upper body in a straight position, with your shoulders being placed back and relaxed and chin being up.

· Keep core engaged throughout.

· Now step in the forward direction with one leg, hips being lowered till both knees get bent at about an angle of ninety-degree.

· Ensure that your front knee is placed directly above your ankle and is not pushed out too far, and your other knee does not touch the ground.

· You must keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the position from where you started.

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