Using this type of stability exercise isolates your quads and hamstrings with the lunge motion; adding the twisting motion (with or without added weight) causes your glutes to contract more fully while it engages your core.
The lunge with twist is also a great way to challenge your balance and engage muscles that are used while performing any exercise your perform one leg at a time, such as running, cross country skiing, and even cycling.
You can also use this as a warm-up exercise to get blood flow to many muscles at one time.
How to Do the Lunge with Twist
- Stand with feet about shoulder width apart.
- Hold a medicine ball (optional) in front of you with elbows bent about 90 degrees. You may want to begin this exercise with no weight and build up your strength over time.
- Step forward with your left foot into a lunge position.
- Be sure to keep your knee over your left foot; don't twist at the knee.
- From your torso, twist your upper body to the left. Then, reach across your left side with your arms out-stretched. (Think of pointing to the left from your belly button).
- Maintain a slow and controlled movement throughout the exercise.
- Slowly move your arms to center and step forward with the opposite foot and twist to the other side.
- Continue the movement for about ten steps.
- Complete 2 sets.
Advanced Lunge with Twist:
- Because shoes offer additional support, you can increase the difficulty of this exercise by performing it barefoot. This engages the small muscles of the foot and ankle that stabilize the ankle and maintain balance.
- Turn this into a Walking Medicine Ball Lunge by performing the exercise as you walk forward 10 steps.
- Do 2 sets.