One of the most effective ways to work multiple muscle groups with one exercise is by utilizing stationary and walking lunges. Lunges target your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings and depending on the depth of your stance the focus can be geared more towards a particular muscle. There are many different progressions with lunges to work towards that will engage many other muscles and help you become more efficient with your workout.
By adding an ab twist to your lunges it will provide time to strengthen and tone your abs while still working your legs and coordination. With the proper technique you will feel each repetition challenging your whole lower body.
First stand up tall with your chest out and abs engaged and take a deep breath. Start with your arms at your side and your feet shoulder width apart. Step out with the right leg and lunge down so that your right thigh is almost parallel with floor and your left knee is nearly touching the floor. The depth of your step will determine how much of the focus is on your quadriceps, hamstrings or glutes. As you lunge down in your repetition extend your arms straight out in front of you and interlock your hands. Twist at the torso towards the side of the leading foot. The twist shouldn’t exceed a 90 degree angle, meaning your hands shouldn’t go past the hip of the side you are twisting towards. If you’re lunging with your right foot twist to the right and vice versa. Keep your arms extended at the same height in front of you and make sure to squeeze your abs in coordination with your twist to maximize the work for your obliques. You may also know obliques as love handles. It’s essential to maintain great form when you lunge down by keeping your abs engaged, chest out and back straight. Exhale as you lunge down and twist, inhale as you return to the starting position then switch legs.
If you already have a lower body or leg workout that doesn’t include lunges, try adding 2-3 sets in your next workout. There are many other progressions to incorporate more of the upper body and make lunges more of a total body exercise. The more efficient your workouts become, the better your results will be.