When mastered front lunges, you can move on to more difficult back lunges. Since in this exercise you make an unusual for normal life big step back, for the first time it will be difficult to keep balance. In this case you can increase the size of step gradually, but remember: the wider the step – the more effective exercise.
What muscles work: quadriceps, buttock muscles, rear hip muscles.
Performing the exercise: take the starting position, as in classic lunges, but lean your body a little forward at start, and make a big step back (photo 1). Continue the movement, bending the front leg in knee until the back leg’s knee touches the floor (photo 2). After one second pause go back to the starting position.
Notice: rise from the lower position using only the muscles of your front leg, but if it’s difficult for you – help yourself by pushing with the rear leg a little. Do the exercise with 2-1-2-1 tempo (two seconds to go down, one second at the bottom, two seconds to rise and one second to prepare to the next rep). You can breathe arbitrary, but agreeing movement and breathe would be better (go down – inhale, go up – exhale).
When you fully master front and back lunges, try to combine them: when you have made the front lunge don’t go to the starting position, straighten, put your rear leg to the front one. Then do the back lunge and go back to the starting position, put your front leg to the rear. This will not only differ your trainings and give the additional load on muscles, but need more coordinated moves, training also your sense of balance.
Also you can increase load on muscles by putting your front leg on a small 15-20cm high pillar. Because of bigger amplitude (photo) you can not only regulate the load, but get better hip muscle stretch, which allows to perform leg exercises (like full squats) more effective.
When you reach high results in previous exercises (at least 20 lunges on each leg), you can try power kind of lunges with high pillar (50-60cm). Put one leg on full foot on the pillar, with the other one make a step back, like for lunges. For the best cross your arms by your back (photo 3). Without bending the rear leg, start going down by bending knee and hip of a base leg. At the final point the hip of a front leg should touch the calf with its rear part and the chest with front. If it is difficult for you to do the exercise with your rear leg straight – you can bend it in the knee a little (photo 4).
Though the exercise may seem quite easy – for the first time don’t do too much reps (20 on each leg will be enough), or you’ll not be able to tie your shoes next day. Have a good training!
Good books to read:
Bret Contreras. Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy – Human Kinetics, 2013 – 224 p.
Kavadlo Al. Pushing the Limits: Total Body Strenght with No Equipment – Dragon Door Publications, 2013 – 224 p.
BJ Gaddour. Your Body Is Your Barbell: No Gym. Just Gravity. Build a Leaner, Stronger, More Muscular You in 28 Days – Rodale, 2014 – 288 p.
Paul Wade. Convict Conditioning 2: Advanced Prison Training Tactics for Muscle Gain, Fat Loss and Bulletproof Joints – Dragon Door Publications, 2012 – 340 p.