Every woman would love to have great legs and a lifted butt. To do that you need a well-rounded exercise program that includes compound lower-body exercises. Reverse leg lunges work the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings in one exercise. Adding a step to the exercise increases the depth that you can lunge, which increases the challenge of the exercise.
Before you try lunges off a step or elevated box, you need to perform them correctly on the floor with just your body weight. Start by standing on a clear space on the floor. Make sure nothing is right behind you that you can step on when lunging. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides. Step back with your right foot about twice your shoulder width. Stay on the ball of your right foot, with your left foot flat on the floor. Bend both knees, lowering your body toward the floor. Stop when your left thigh is parallel to the floor and your right knee is an inch or two above the floor. Press up through your left foot and bring your right foot back to the starting position for one repetition. Repeat leading back with your left leg.
Using a Step
Once you've mastered the reverse lunge on the floor, you can try it from a step. A normal step that is used in a group exercise class is about four inches high. Use just the step with no additional risers to start. Stand on the step with your feet hip-width apart. Step back with your right foot, but not as far back as you would on the floor. Stay on the ball of your right foot, with your left foot flat on the step. Lower your body toward the floor by bending both knees. Stop when your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Press through your left foot and step your right foot back up on the bench for one repetition. Repeat with your left side.
Sets and Reps
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends one set of eight to 12 repetitions if you are a beginner or you just want to maintain the muscle that you already have. You can increase to two to three sets of the lunges off the step to see changes to your lower body. One repetition is a lunge back with each leg. To increase the challenge, you can hold a set of dumbbells or a medicine ball.
You can do the lunges a few different ways. You can add a balance element and do all repetitions on one leg before switching as well. You can lunge back and as you step up bring the leg up to a knee lift in front of your body. From the knee lift go right back into the lunge until you do all repetitions on one side. Another variation would be to do a glute squeeze. Lunge back and as you lift up press your back leg straight back and squeeze your butt. Go right back down into a lunge performing all repetitions on one side before switching.
Bethany Kochan began writing professionally in 2010. She has worked in fitness as a group instructor, personal trainer and fitness specialist since 1998. Kochan graduated in 2000 from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, Medical Exercise Specialist and certified YogaFit instructor.