Off the top of your head, how many lunge variations can you list? There's the reverse lunge, front lunge, walking lunge, lateral lunge, curtsy lunge — the list goes on. But now, you can add one more variation to the never-ending list: the rotating lunge.
But this isn't just a regular lunge with a fancy name. This variation is totally modifiable for all fitness levels, and it'll work your legs, glutes and abs and improve your balance all at the same time.
"This is one of my favorite [lunges], because it really loads up your glutes," says Noam Tamir, CSCS, owner and founder of TS Fitness. Plus, this lunge is equipment-free. All you need is a few feet of space to get started.
How to Do the Rotating Static Lunge
- Start standing tall with feet at hip-width distance.
- Step your left foot back a few feet, keeping the right heel planted.
- Drop into a reverse lunge, bending your right knee to 90 degrees as you bend the left knee to hover just above the ground.
- As you lower into the lunge, rotate your torso to the right.
- Reverse the motion and square your torso off to the front of the room as you straighten your legs.
- Then, drop right back into the lunge, keeping it static.
- After you complete all your reps, switch sides.
"You really want to close that oblique down," as you rotate to the side, Tamir says. So think about squeezing the muscles at the side of your torso.
Modifying the Rotating Lunge
What makes this lunge variation unique is how easily it can be modified to make it more or less challenge, depending on your fitness level or goals.
If you notice you're a little shaky, which is more likely if you do all your reps on the same side, keep the lunge static (don't step your leg back) and stand near a support for extra balance, Tamir says.
"Keep a chair [nearby] so you can rotate your body and hold," Tamir says. "Most people have trouble just stabilizing with a split squat up and down."
Or if holding the lunge static feels too easy, take an intermediate approach, Tamir suggests. Instead of holding your legs in the lunge position throughout the set, step back into a reverse lunge and return to standing between each rep. If you can pick up the pace, you'll spike your heart rate.
Take it a step farther by turning the move into a rotating forward lunge. While each rotating variation will work your core, forward lunges are an especially great challenge for your balance, according to the American Council on Exercise.
And finally, to make this lunge as challenging as possible, keep your eyes moving as you rotate to the side, Tamir says. "Use those eyes, too. We tend to use our eyes a lot as a crutch," he says. "When you move your eyes around, it challenges you a little bit more."