A lunge is a basic but effective move that uses your own body weight in a stepping forward motion. A poll taken by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) of 36,000 fitness instructors put lunges second on their short list of most effective exercises to shape your glutes. But can they help you lose weight? As long as they are part of an overall exercise and eating plan, then the answer is yes.
Overall Fitness and Cardio Workouts
You've heard the old adage that you might have six-pack abs under that tummy fat, but you won't know until you get rid of the fat. The same goes for lunges and your glutes. While the lunge is an effective move for lower-body toning, especially your bum, you must get your heart rate up to a fat-burning level on a regular basis in order to lose weight and see the muscle. Adding 30 minutes of cardio along with a 15-minute session of walking lunges can burn up to 400 calories for a 150-pound person, according to Health Status. Brisk walking, jogging, swimming and cycling are all effective ways to get that blood pumping.
Proper Diet to Reduce
No matter how many lunges you plan on doing, you won't lose weight unless you take in fewer calories than you expend. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day, choose foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and stay away from the processed junk. Eat real food and eat less of it. You'll need to eat about 500 fewer calories per day to lose a pound per week, per the Cleveland Clinic.
Proper Form: Forward Lunge
The forward lunge works multiple parts of your body such as the abs, hips and gluteus, plus your quads. Begin the move standing straight with your shoulders back and feet close together. Lift one leg slowly and pause to establish your balance. Step forward into a lunge; keep your upper body straight and try to lunge forward until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Engage your thighs and gluteus to push back to the starting position. Work up to three sets of 10 reps on both sides, per ACE. You can also do walking lunges using the same technique except instead of pushing backward to standing, you pull the back leg forward to meet the front leg back into a standing position.
Proper Form: Side Lunge
The side lunge is a variation on the regular forward lunge that essentially works the same muscle groups, with the added bonus of working the hips a little more. Start by standing straight with your feet facing forward hip-width apart; step out to the side with one leg as far as you can while keeping your foot flat on the ground. Keep your knee directly above your foot and your shinbone vertical to the floor. Push off back to standing. Work up to three sets of 10 reps on each leg, per Popsugar Fitness.
- American Council on Exercise: ACE Certified Professionals Say Do More Squats, Lunges
- Healthstatus.com: Calories Burned Calculator
- American Council on Exercise: Forward Lunge
- Harvard Health Publications: Strengthening your Core: Right and Wrong Ways To Do Lunges, Squats, and Planks
- Shape: Know Your Basics: How to Do a Lunge
- American Council on Exercise: Side Lunge
- Pop Sugar Exercise: Step Right Into Side Lunges
- Cleveland Clinic: Eating Sensibly to Achieve a Healthy Weight