Lunges are an awesome exercise to tone the muscles of the lower body. You can target hips, glutes, and thighs all in one simple motion.
So why don’t more people do lunges? Most exercisers complain of knee pain, especially those who have had knee problems in the past. If done correctly, lunges shouldn’t exacerbate any knee pain, but therein lies the problem.
Another reason for the added knee pain comes from the over-emphasis on the quads which can cause a slight pull across the front of the knee.
But there is a solution! Backward lunges, or rear lunges, contain all the benefits of regular lunges, but they are safer for those exercisers with past or present knee pain. Here is a list of the benefits of backward lunges and how to do them properly:
1) Safer for knees. Backward lunges are safer for the knees because it’s much easier to emphasize the muscles of the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. The pressure is reduced with backward lunges compared to regular lunges, as the tendency with forward lunges is to get the knee too far forward and over the toes.
2) More emphasis on glutes. Backward lunges help you focus more of your work on the large glute muscles, and who doesn’t want stronger, larger glutes?
3) Dynamic movements. Backward lunges are a great way to warm up and dynamically stretch your muscles.
4) Less weight transfer. With regular lunges most of your weight moves to the forward leg, causing added knee pressure and a higher risk for falling off balance. Backward lunges allow the majority of your weight to stay on the back leg. This is much safer and you won’t look silly falling off balance in the gym!
Hopefully you found your motivations give it ago on this great exercise!
Happy training! GH Fitness