Bridalicious Fitness: Why You Should Learn to Love Lunges (and How to Do Them)
Lunges work your hamstrings -- the backs of your thighs. Stronger, toned hamstrings will not only help make your legs look lean and lovely, they'll help increase your range of motion. Climbing stairs becomes easier, as does dancing that requires you to go low.
What You'll Need
A pair of medium-to-heavy dumbbells or a barbell with medium-to-heavy weights. If you're a beginner, you may want to use just your body weight.
How to Do Them
1. Place one foot out in front, with your toes facing forward and your back heel off the ground. Hold the weight on top of your shoulders with your hands at about shoulder-width if you're using a barbell; hold the weights at your sides, palms facing in, if you're using dumbbells.
2. Without leaning forward or backward, lower your body straight down toward the floor. Lower yourself on a slow count of four until your knees are at about a 90-degree angle, making sure your front knee doesn't extend past your toes. Hold for a count of two.
3. Press upward and extend your legs for a count of two until you return to the starting position.
4. Repeat, doing three sets of 12 on each leg with one minute of rest between sets.
Pairs Well With...
Other leg and butt work. You can typically set aside a day to work legs only. Squats, calf raises and hip raises will help round out your leg workout.
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