What to do instead of lunges?


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By Amy Eisinger

What exercise works the same muscles as lunges?

Step-ups focus on the same muscles (quads, hamstrings, glutes) as lunges. This exercise requires a little balance, but it’s pretty simple—just stand up tall, and use your right leg to step up on to an elevated platform.The 6 Best Lunge Alternatives For Bad Knees

  • Reverse Lunge. The reverse lunge is an excellent modified lunge for bad knees.
  • Split Squat.
  • Sled Drag.
  • Goblet Squat.
  • Dumbbell Or Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift.
  • 6. Box Squats.

Lower Body Strength & Cardio Workout

  1. Deadlift – 10 reps.
  2. Front Kicks – 1 minute.
  3. Glute Bridge – 15 reps.
  4. Mountain Climbers – 1 minute.
  5. Hamstring Roll In – 10 reps.
  6. Punching – 1 minute.
  7. Step Up – 10 Right, 10 Left.
  8. Burpees – 1 minute (if low impact needed stand and skip the jump)


  1. Glute Bridge. Performed on either a floor or bench, glute bridges use the hip extensor muscles in a position that is safe for both the back and knees.
  2. Step-ups.
  3. Rear Lunges.
  4. Lateral Lunges.
  5. Kettlebell Swing.

What exercise can be substituted for lunges?

You can replace lunges with squats or step ups while you develop more strength. Are step ups better than lunges? Step ups work very similar muscles to the lunge but have a very practical carry-over. You can also increase the height of the step to further activate the glutes.

Do squats and lunges work the same muscles?

Squats and lunges both use glutes, quads and hamstrings. However, a single leg exercise, such as lunge, activates more the gluteus medius muscle for stabilization on one leg. Leaning forward in a lunge means more work for glutes and hamstrings.

What muscles do you work with lunges?

The lunge exercise strengthens the leg muscles, primarily the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, quadriceps, and gastrocnemius/soleus (calves). In addition to being prime movers, the hamstrings and gastrocnemius function as dynamic stabilizers at the knee joint through the lunge movement, increasing its effectiveness.7 better lunge alternatives just in time for leg day

  • Landmine reverse lunges.
  • 2.Single-leg press.
  • Bulgarian split squat.
  • Proprioception lunges.
  • Dumbbell low lunge.
  • Uneven lunges.
  • Step-ups.

What is a modification for lunges?

Placing your front foot on a step or small platform is another modification to try if regular lunges make your knees ache. Make sure your entire front foot is on the step or platform and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor.

The Best Lunge Modifications for Bad Knees

  1. Go one-fourth of the way down. You may start out feeling strong in your lunge form.
  2. Try VMO dips.
  3. Shorten the stride length of the lunge.
  4. Use a small wedge for the pad of your big toe to land upon.
  5. Keep your weight on the front leg.
  6. Switch to reverse lunges.
  7. Do high-knee walks.

Tips & modifications:

  1. To add a challenge, you can hold weights or a dumbbell in your hands.
  2. Press into the outer edge of the foot of your straightened leg for extra stability and hip opening.
  3. Engage your core to help keep your spine straight and chest lifted.

How do you make a lunge easier?

During lunges, it’s easy to put too much stress on the knees by allowing this joint to extend past the toes. While your knee may come forward a bit, focus on taking the body down as you lunge rather than taking it forward. Another key point is to keep the front knee in line with your second toe throughout the lunge.

How can I make my lunges harder and easier?

Add a knee raise or front kick.

One way to increase the difficulty of a lunge is by adding on an additional movement after you actually complete a lunge. Adding a knee raise or a front kick helps extend the length of the exercise. This is also known as a runner’s lunge or runner’s start.

How do you make lunges less painful?

Instead of going all the way down into a full lunge, try bending only halfway. Lunge backward instead of forward. Reverse lunges allow you to focus on your form and don’t rely on forward momentum, which can sometimes bring that front knee too far forward and cause knee pain.

Why do I find lunges so difficult?

“I think the main reason a lot of people find lunges harder than exercises like squats is because lunges are a single-leg movement,” Ashby says. “You’re relying on one side of your body to carry your weight.” Lunges also require a lot of balance, which might make you feel like you lack stability.

Do lunges ever get easier?

It Doesn’t Always Get Harder Before It Gets Easier (And Vice Versa) On my first day, I wobbled and lost my balance a few times when trying to get my footing. But to my surprise, it actually wasn’t as hard as I anticipated—especially for someone who had never done lunges before.

5 Rules For Better Lunges


Why do I not feel lunges in my glutes?

Even if they aren’t hyperextended as shown in the video, most people, if they have a vertical trunk orientation (straight up and down with their body), will most likely not feel their glutes during this movement. One tip we like to recommend to people is to lean forward slightly.

Why are lunges so hard on my knees?

Knee pain during lunges can come from two sources: improper form or a muscle imbalance. Normally, when you step forward into a lunge, your knee can naturally push forward.

Why is it so hard for me to do lunges?

“The main reason people struggle with lunges is that they take a very narrow stance. If you evenly distribute your weight by keeping your legs about hip distance apart or wider, lunges should feel a lot easier,” Ashby explains.

5 Effective Ways to Make Lunges Easier on Your Knees

  1. Learn Forward a Little. One way to reduce the pressure on your knees is to lean your body forward slightly from the hips when you lunge.
  2. Do Reverse Lunges.
  3. Widen Your Stance.
  4. Keep Your Front Knee Stable When You Lunge.
  5. The Bottom Line.
  6. Related Articles:

Will I get better at lunges?

The more things you ask your body to do, the more ways you find to challenge it, the more it will be able to do. Enjoy feeling strong. Lunges are a terrific way to improve lower body strength and tone. Be sure to use correct form to avoid injury and target the intended muscles.

Are lunges harder than squats?

“Squats are more balanced than lunges and lunges need more coordination which is why squats are better for beginners. When you do a lunge, the front foot takes more load, so the muscle activation is different. As a beginner, start off with squats and progress to lunges when you have confidence in your strength.

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