Side-to-Side Twisting Lunges

Adding a twist to your lunge helps tone your midsection.

Adding a twist to your lunge helps tone your midsection.

If you're wondering if there's an all-in-one exercise that can work and tone your abs, obliques, butt and thighs, look no further: Try side-to-side twisting lunges. Forget going to the gym, you can twist and lunge your way to a shapely figure right at home. Doing the same exercise technique over and over can get a little old, but don't worry; there are several versions to try -- with or without additional training aids.

Equipment-Free Twisting Lunges

Stand tall with your legs hip-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Hold your arms straight out from your shoulders. You should look like the letter "T” -- the starting position.

Take a large step out to your right with your right foot. Angle your foot slightly outward. Bend your right knee 90 degrees, and, while keeping your left leg straight, lower your body toward the floor. Stop when your right thigh becomes horizontal.

Keep your hips pointing forward and your arms straight out to your sides. Rotate your torso to the right as far as you can and then reverse the movement. Rotate your torso to the left and again reverse your movement. Push with your right foot, return to the starting position and repeat.

Add a slight change in lunge direction for a variation. Begin with the same starting position, but instead of lunging toward the side with your right leg, lunge forward. Bend your knee 90 degrees and lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Keep your left knee a few inches above the floor. Twist your torso to the right and then to the left. Push with your right leg, return to the starting position and repeat.

Try another variation -- forward moving lunges with a twist. Use the same technique in Step 4 to lunge forward and rotate your torso right and then left, but instead of pushing with your right foot and bringing it back next to your left foot, keep the right foot in place, push with your left foot and bring it up next to the right. Take another forward-moving lunge with your left foot and repeat the sequence, continuing to move forward and twisting across the floor.

Medicine Ball Twisting Lunges

Add resistance by using a medicine ball. Securely hold the ball in both hands, stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and extend your arms straight out in front of your chest. This is the starting position

Take a big step forward with your right foot. Bend your knees 90 degrees and lower your body toward the floor. Stop when your right thigh becomes parallel to the floor. Keep your hips pointed forward and your eyes looking straight ahead.

Hold your arms straight and slowly rotate your torso 90 degrees to the right. Reverse the movement, push with your right foot, return to the starting position and repeat.

Perform a reverse twisting lunge for a change of pace. Take your starting stance and hold the medicine ball straight out in front of your chest. Take a large step backward with your right leg, bend your knees and lower your body. Twist to the right, reverse the movement, return to the starting position and repeat.

Items you will need

  • Medicine ball

Tips

  • Do a quick warm-up to loosen your muscles and increase your flexibility.
  • Start with 10 to 12 lunges per leg and gradually increase the number of reps.
  • Medicine balls come in a variety of weights. Use one heavy enough to slow your movement but light enough so you can maintain control.

Warning

  • Lunges can be hard on your knees. When you lower into your lunge, keep your front knee aligned with your ankle.
 

Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images