This 20-Minute Lunge Workout Will Torch Fat and Sculpt Your Legs

As you grow comfortable with lunges, you can add a pair of dumbbells to make the move harder.
Image Credit: airdone/iStock/GettyImages

There's beauty in simplicity, especially where your leg workouts are concerned. While training plans full of elaborate exercises can be fun, all you really need is one type of exercise to get a great lower-body burn.

And this all-lunge workout is proof of that. Built by New York-based certified personal trainer Carolina Araujo, this two-circuit routine will torch fat and sculpt your legs in just 20 minutes.

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Circuit 1

Do:​ all of the exercises for the given number of reps, repeating the circuit for 3 rounds total. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

Move 1: Stationary Lunge

  1. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Step back several feet with your right leg, rooting your left heel to the ground.
  3. Bend your left knee to 90 degrees. At the same time, lower your right knee to hover just above the ground, bending to 90 degrees.
  4. Press through your left heel and straighten your left leg. Simultaneously straighten your right knee. That's one rep.
  5. After you finish all your reps on this leg, switch sides.

Reps:​ 12 per leg

Move 2: Pulse Lunge

  1. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Step back several feet with your right leg, rooting your left heel to the ground.
  3. Bend your left knee to 90 degrees. At the same time, lower your right knee to hover just above the ground, bending to 90 degrees.
  4. Press through your left heel and straighten your knees halfway.
  5. Then return to the bottom of the lunge. That's one rep.
  6. After you finish all your reps on this leg, switch sides.

Reps:​ 15 per leg

Tip

For each pulse, focus on putting your weight into your glutes to help you rise up, Araujo says.

Move 3: Reverse Lunge to Knee Drive

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Shift your weight into your right leg and step your left leg back a few feet.
  3. Lower the left knee toward the ground and bend the right knee to 90 degrees, keeping your chest up.
  4. Push off your right heel and stand, driving your left knee up toward your chest.
  5. Then, step the left foot back down behind you into another lunge and repeat.
  6. Complete all your reps on this side before switching legs.

Reps:​ 12 per leg

Tip

If you want to add a cardio kick to this exercise, jump off the ground as you drive your knee up, using your arms for extra momentum.

Circuit 2

Do:​ all of the exercises for the given number of reps, repeating the circuit for 3 rounds total. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

1. Bulgarian Split Squat

  1. Stand about three feet in front of a workout bench or chair, facing away from it.
  2. Keeping your right foot rooted on the floor, lift your left foot up onto the bench, toes tucked under.
  3. With shoulders and hips squared forward, place the weight of your body mainly in your right heel.
  4. Bend the right knee to a 90-degree angle. Simultaneously bend the left knee and lower toward the ground.
  5. Press into your right heel and straighten your front leg to return to standing.

Reps:​ 10 per leg

Tip

Although they're called split squats, this exercise is basically a lunge variation. As you do each rep, focus on keeping your upper body tall and avoid rounding your back, Araujo says.

2. Reverse Lunge

  1. Start standing with your feet together.
  2. Take a large step back with your left leg.
  3. Lower down into a lunge until both knees are bent at 90 degrees. Your left knee should be close to the floor but not touching it.
  4. Press through your right heel as you step your left foot forward to return to standing.
  5. Repeat, this time stepping backward with your right leg.

Reps:​ 24 (12 per leg)

3. Step-Up

  1. Start standing tall in front of a bench, chair or plyo box.
  2. Step your right foot up onto the bench and use your right leg and glutes to step up onto the seat.
  3. Tap the seat lightly with your left toes and step back down.
  4. Repeat all your reps on the right side, then switch legs.

Reps:​ 15 per leg