When you reach the point at which you're nervous to step on the bathroom scale because you're afraid of what it might tell you, it's time to shed a few pounds. Not only will the scale seem less of an enemy, but you'll also feel better overall. The exercises you can choose to help you in your weight-loss journey range considerably, but strength-training exercises such as lunges aren't generally as effective as aerobic exercises.
To perform a body-weight lunge, stand upright, bend your arms and place your hands on your hips. Step forward with either foot, landing on your heel first and, while keeping your back straight, lower your body until your back knee is an inch above the floor. Step back to the upright position and repeat the exercise with the other foot forward. Lunges are an ideal strength-training exercise because you can perform them with just your own weight as resistance or while holding such free weights as a barbell or a pair of dumbbells.
Lunge Calories Burned
Strength-training exercises don't burn calories at nearly the same rate as aerobic exercises. Lunges, according to Military.com, fall under the category of calisthenics. Harvard Medical School notes moderate-intensity calisthenics will help a 185-pound person burn 200 calories in 30 minutes. If the person can maintain a vigorous pace of calisthenics for 30 minutes, she'll burn 355 calories. Aerobic calisthenics such as jumping jacks and jogging on the spot burn calories faster than strength-training calisthenics such as lunges. As such, you'll burn fewer than 200 calories in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity lunges because the bulk of calories you'll burn during calisthenics are from the aerobic exercises you perform.
Although lunges don't burn calories quickly, they're an effective exercise to increase your muscle mass, which can positively affect your goal of burning fat. Lunges target your quadriceps muscles, but also involve your glutes, calves and hamstrings. When you build your muscles, you raise the rate at which you burn calories while resting. WeightLossResources.co.uk notes every pound of muscle you add to your body will help you burn 50 more calories per day.
Losing weight is the result of consistently burning more calories than you consume. On their own, a set of lunges each day is unlikely to provide enough of a calorie burn to help you lose weight. If you combine lunges with regular aerobic exercise, however, you can increase your chance of developing a fitter body by losing fat and building muscle. Choose aerobic exercises that burn calories quickly. For example, a 185-pound person will burn 533 calories in 30 minutes of bicycling between 16 and 19 mph. If you've built muscle through lunges, the fat loss you experience might not be immediately noticeable upon weighing yourself due to the increased muscle mass you've added.
- ExRx.net: Lunge
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Lunge
- ExRx.net: Barbell Lunge
- Military.com: Avoid the Gym by Using Calisthenics
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- WeightLossResources.co.uk: How to Make Your Body Burn More Calories
- Bodybuilding.com: Fat-Loss Circuit Training
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.