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Creative lunge variations you never thought about, but should try - #ChallengeMe Day 5

Creative lunge variations you never thought about, but should try - #ChallengeMe Day 5


You'll often hear that one does not simply walk after leg day in a foreboding and ominous tone. Leg day inspires abundant amounts of sarcastic e-cards, fitness memes, and it makes you cry if you're commuting to work by foot the next day. A tried-and-true staple of great a leg workout is the lunge. It is, in its most basic form, a stationary bodyweight exercise that strengthens several muscle groups at once and elevates your heart rate at the same time.

How lunges help you

Deep lunges primarily work your glutes and your hamstrings, whereas shallower lunges will really target the quadriceps in your thighs. Because lunges exert more pressure on one leg, other muscle groups come into play as your calves, your core, and your back work overtime to stabilize your body. If you're training for a big race, lunges will help you to run harder, better, faster, stronger by challenging your balance, strength, and range of motion.

How to perform a legit lunge

Maintain proper form to get the full benefits from lunges and to minimize exercise-related injuries. Step forward with one leg and create a 90 degree angle with both knees. The front knee should be in line with your front ankle and it shouldn't extend past your feet (think the corner of a square rather than the corner of a rhombus). Push your front leg off the ground and step your feet back together in a standing position, leading the movement with your other leg.

Creative lunge variations that you can try today

Once you've mastered the basic front lunge, back lunge, and side lunge, you're ready to move on to weighted lunges and plyometric lunges. These 5 creative lunge variations will make you enjoy leg day a lot more than you used to. Have fun walking up a flight of stairs the next day!

Plyometric jumping lunges with a squat

Begin in a standing position. Extend your front foot and bend your knees to form a straight line with your ankles, lowering your body down into a front lunge. Jump vertically, switching your front foot and your back foot so that you come into a lunge on the other side. Land softly as you do so. Next, jump your feet to your sides and lower down into a squat. Perform the complete movement with a jumping lunge for each leg, then squat in between.

A video posted by Debbie (@debbie.hit) on

Back lunges with a raised arm extension, dumbbell sumo squats.

Step one foot back and lower your body down into a back lunge, raising your opposite arm overhead as you do so. Carry a light weight in your raised hand for an extra challenge. When you're coming out of the lunge, step your foot to the side of your body and create a wide-legged stance. Lower down into a squat immediately, bringing the weight between your legs.

Lunges with water-filled bars. A stability exercise.

If you have a water-filled bar handy, this will help you to improve the balance and strength of your front lunge. The dynamic motion of the water adds a greater challenge than a solid metal weight would.

Lunges with knee-ups

Step one foot back and lower your body down into a back lunge. Push your back knee up and off the ground, pressing it to your body before you step it back into a lunge position again. Do this with weights to intensify your workout. Perform this exercise on a smith machine like PumpUp member @tinytinne demonstrates below if you'd like to add more weight.

Weighted overhead lunges

Get creative with these and make sure you don't arch your back. If you're tired of regular weighted lunges, bring the weights overhead to give a bonus burn to your core, shoulders, and traps. No weights? Make sure you have a firm grip of whatever (reasonably dense and heavy) object you have on hand: textbooks, camping bags, or dictionaries!

Loved these creative lunge variations? A great general rule of thumb is to do 3 sets of 12 lunges per leg. Earn 30 points for every set of 12 lunges if you're participating in our June #ChallengeMe series! Let us know which creative lunge variations you liked best in the comments below!

A killer 3 move, no-equipment leg and butt workout

A killer 3 move, no-equipment leg and butt workout


The gym can wait. If you're short on time and equipment, try this awesome no-equipment leg and butt workout from PumpUp member @fitmissrach. Get it right and tight with just 3 moves. This workout will challenge your balance, improve your agility, and get your blood pumping.

Leg and butt workout

Instructions: Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise

High knee runs

High Knee Runs | No equipment leg and butt workout (GIF) from the PumpUp Blog

Keep your elbows close to the sides of your body, forearms extended straight out in front of you. Your palms should be facing downwards. Maintain a straight posture as you drive your knees up to the palms of your hand, alternating each leg as you do so. Attempt to make as little noise as possible throughout the movement. Your legs should be moving quickly and landing softly.

Plie Squat Reach and Jumps

Squat reach jumps | No equipment leg and butt workout (GIF) from the PumpUp Blog

Begin with your feet turned slightly outward and your legs a bit further apart than the width of your hips. Squat down and lightly touch both arms to the ground, in between your feet. Bring your body out of the squat, making a jump as you ascend. Your arms should reach and extend past your head as you jump.

Alternating one legged reach and jump

Alternating one legged reach jumps | No equipment leg and butt workout (GIF) from the PumpUp Blog

Maintain a slight bend in the knee of your standing leg. Reach your hands up and overhead. Keep your back flat as you reach your arms down towards your toes. Your standing thigh should almost be parallel with the ground, and the raise leg should extend straight and back behind you. Bring the raised leg back to standing position, and hop upwards while extending both of your arms. Land lightly on your feet and keep the movement controlled, attempting to minimize any wobbling or imbalances that occur.

3 move no-equipment leg and butt workout from the PumpUp Blog: High knee runs, squat reach and jumps, and one-legged reach and jumps. Do 10 reps of each exercise for 3 sets.

Loved this 3 move, no-equipment leg and butt workout? Try our other workouts here. Follow @rachaelgervais on Instagram for more of her workout videos. Have an awesome leg and butt workout to share on #WorkoutWednesday? Tag them on Instagram with #TeamPumpUp so that we can see them! 

Stability ball hamstring curls will be your next favourite exercise

Stability ball hamstring curls will be your next favourite exercise


If you're ever bored of mundane machines and seek a way to spice up your hamstring exercises in a major way, grab a stability ball and do your hamstring curls on them! When all the racks or machines are taken at the gym, stability ball hamstring curls are a sure-fire way to get your workout in. As you perform the exercise, make sure you keep your hips raised high and squeeze your glutes when you draw the ball toward you in order to maximize the benefits that you can derive from this move.

How to do stability ball hamstring curls

  1. Begin with your calves on the ball, arms at your sides
  2. Contract your abs and raise your hips high the ceiling, keeping your entire body aligned
  3. Bend your knees, draw the ball toward you until your feet rest flat on the ball
  4. Pause, then straighten your legs once again. Hips remain raised.

Step 1

stability ball hamstring curls

Step 2
stability ball hamstring curls

A gif!
stability ball hamstring curls
Images and video content courtesy of PumpUp member @jkennedyfit! Check out PumpUp's Facebook page for more workout videos and inspiration!

Never leave the floor with this  handy workout circuit

Never leave the floor with this handy workout circuit


Is your Sweaty Sunday feeling more like a Lazy Sunday? Too busy watching House of Cards on Netflix? pumpupapp member @emjoy88 has a quick circuit that will target your legs, glutes, and thighs without you ever having to leave the floor:

  • Ab bicycles
  • Donkey kicks
  • Wide leg in and outs
  • Scissor kicks

Add ankle weights for an extra challenge! What's your favourite way to exercise while you're doing a typically sedentary activity? Share about it with the PumpUp community! Planks, calf raises, and wall-sits are amazing ways to make your television marathons a little bit more exciting!

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To the window, to the wall-(sit)

Wall-sits work your quadriceps (colloquially known as quads). They are a group of four muscles at the front of your thighs that straighten your leg from your knee. It’s important to have strong quads to boost your speed and stamina for various sports like cycling and kickboxing. The wall-sit is a static exercise that will help you become the next Bruce Lee in no time.
According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the longest wall-sit ever held was achieved by Dr. Thienna Ho for an impressive time of 11 hr 51 min 14 sec.
Do a wall-sit at any point today and comment how long you held it below (have your back against the wall, feet shoulder-width apart, knees at roughly a 90-degree angle and hold)! How long can you hold it? Good luck! 

Skipping Legs Day? Think Again!

Friends don't let friends skip leg day!When you ask the average person what they do when they work out, you’ll hear things like bicep curls or exercise ball crunches, but what about your legs? Remember, those beautiful tree trunks that get you from A to B? Working your lower half doesn’t just avoid getting ‘chicken legs’, but also has multiple benefits that can improve your workouts and your life!

First off, leg exercises like squats increase your body’s metabolism for up to 48 hours post-workout. This means you’ll be burning more calories than usual for a full two days after your workout! Want to gain muscle mass while leaning out your body? Just throw some squats into your workout.

Working your lower body also enhances your overall power. Anything from sprinting to jumping will see drastic increases from just a few hours a week of dedicated lifting. This is huge for all you athletes trying to get to the next level. PumpUp’s leg workouts give you the opportunity to gain that explosive athletic power needed to dominate your opponents.

As we age, our balance takes a hit. Want a way to delay those aging effects? Easy: don’t skip out on legs day. Leg exercises contribute to improved balance and coordination that will help you in your daily life.

Need another reason to work your legs? Multiple studies have shown that women and men find the opposite sex more appealing when they have a developed, athletic-looking lower body. So, don’t forget to work your legs because you will regret it!

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