There are so many different types of exercise, but if asked to categorize them, people often lump them into three categories. The first is cardiovascular exercise. This is any aerobic exercise that puts your lungs and heart to work. The second is strength-based exercise, which includes weight lifting and other exercises focused on making your muscles stronger. The third is stretching, which focuses on elongating muscles and increasing flexibility. Most exercise programs include a little of all three. However, there's a lot of room for variety here. We will write more about exercise in all of its forms on this blog. Welcome!
Lunges are an excellent body-weight strength training exercise that you can do at the gym. This simple exercise, which involves taking a step forward, lowering your body until your front thigh is parallel to the ground, and then returning to an upright position, builds strength in several muscle groups. Through dedication to this exercise, you can expect to strengthen your leg muscles and glutes. A lot of people find that the weight of their own body provides enough resistance during lunges, but you may eventually decide what you wish to increase the resistance. Here are three options for you.
Holding a pair of dumbbells as you do your lunges is a simple way to boost the challenge of the exercise and thus build muscle faster. There are various ways that you can hold these weights, but a good place to start is by hanging your arms at your sides. Your local gym has dumbbells in many different weights, so it's a good idea to start with a low weight. For example, you might try a pair of 10-pound weights as you perform your lunges. Over time, you can replace these dumbbells with pairs that are heavier.
You'll often see people performing lunges while holding a barbell for resistance. This can be a goal you can work toward — perhaps after you've experimented with using a pair of dumbbells. While some people hold their barbell at chest height, it's also common to position it across the back of the shoulders while you do the lunges. This position involves a little more coordination, as it can be an adjustment to get used to holding weight in this part of your body. As with dumbbells, you'll want to start with a low-weight barbell and get used to the movement.
If your gym has kettlebells for its members to use, you may wish to try one or two kettlebells as a form of resistance during your lunge workout. If you favor using one of these weights, you can hold it with both hands at chest level. You can also work toward elevating the weight over your head. Increasing the weight will add a new challenge, as will holding two kettlebells instead of one. If you have a pair of these weights, you can also hold them at chest level or above your head. Give these weighted lunges a try during your next strength training workout at the gym.
For more information, visit a gym such as Chris Cohen Fitness.