There are more ways to do lunges than you can count on your fingers. You can lunge forward, backward and sideways. You can put a barbell on your back, hold a pair of dumbbells or even twist while holding a medicine ball. If you’re looking for a way to work your legs but don’t have access to weights, lunging with your rear leg raised will likely do the trick. There are two ways to lunge with your back leg raised. One will require a plyo box or a bench to put your back foot on, but you can also use a coffee table, chair or ottoman if you’re working out at home.
Lunge with Rear Leg Elevated
Stand facing away from a plyo box or bench. The higher the box or bench, the more difficult the exercise becomes. Position your feet so that your heels are about two feet away from the box.
Lift your right leg up and behind you, putting all of your weight onto your left leg. Set your right toes onto the top of the box. Once you get your foot set, ensure that your hips are facing forward.
Bend your left knee so that you drop your hips down toward the floor. Continue until your left thigh is parallel to the ground and then extend your knee to return to starting position. Repeat until you perform all of the assigned repetitions and then switch legs.
Lunge with Leg Raise
Take a large step forward with your right leg so that you’re in a staggered stance. Your torso should be erect and hips square.
Bend your right knee so that you lower your left knee toward the floor, stopping once the knee is just about to touch the ground.
Extend your right knee to come up out of the lunge. As you do, place all your body weight onto your right leg and lean slightly forward so that you can lift your left leg up and behind you at the hip. Your left leg should remain straight as you lift it up and then return it to the floor. Once your foot returns, go into the next lunge repetition. Perform all repetitions before switching legs.
- To increase the difficulty of the exercise, interlock your fingers and place your hands behind your head. This makes you slightly top heavy and thus increases the demand on your core muscles. You can also hold a pair of dumbbells or place a barbell on the back of your upper shoulders.
- Lunges can place excess stress on your knee joints if done incorrectly. Never allow your knee joints to travel further forward than the vertical line of your toes. If you find that your knees are traveling too far forward, readjust your feet so that they’re further apart.
Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.