Leapin’ Lunges!

Lunges are one of my favorite leg exercises, but like everything in life, you don’t want your leg routine to become, well, routine.

Once you’ve gotten comfortable and confident with regular lunges, give yourself a new challenge. Turn them into a plyometric exercise by adding a jump. Here are 3 ways to do this:

Stationary Jump Lunge

Lower yourself into the bottom position of a lunge with your feet about a leg’s length apart. Jump up out of the lunge, gently landing back where you started. You can swing your arms for momentum or keep them at your sides. It might take a little practice to land comfortably without losing your balance. You can also try to jump laterally, so that you’ll land a few inches to the side of where you began.

Cycle Lunge
The cycle lunge is a harder variation of the jumping lunge. It starts out the same as the stationary jump lunge, but once you are in the air, quickly switch legs before you land. Continue to alternate legs, going from one rep right into the next.

Lateral Leapin’ Lunge onto Bench

Jumping up onto a bench can be hard enough without making it a lunge too, so don’t try this one until you’ve gotten good at the other types of jumping lunges. You’ll need to find a relatively long surface to leap up onto; a bench works great but feel free to explore other options. Once you’re ready to go, lunge down next to the surface you plan to jump (remember to position yourself parallel to the object) and go for it!

Have a Safe Landing
Always stay light on your feet during the landing phase of a jump. Remember that lowering down into the lunge as you hit the ground will help you to absorb the impact. These types of exercises will help you to build strength and flexibility, as well as balance and total body control.

Watch the video below for more:

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  • Dragonmamma/Naomi

    Good stuff. I haven't done those since I broke my ankle four months ago. I can do just about anything else, but even non-pylo lunges feel a bit iffy. (Give me a couple more months.) Never done the lunge jump onto a bench; eek, those look scary! I just might skip those…

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    Hey Naomi – I agree that four months seems a bit soon to be doing plyo lunges after a broken ankle. As long as you can do squats you'll be fine for now!

  • http://www.strengthrunning.com Fitz

    Wow, you're killing it. Before most of my runs I like to do a lunge matrix. 2-5 lunges per leg of front lunge, front lunge with a twist, side lunge, diagonal backwards lunge, and finally a backwards lunge. It's a great way to get warm, gain strength, and prepare for a run.

    The leaping lunges are probably done best after a run…

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    …or on a separate day altogether!

    Glad you like this one, Fitz.

  • http://flawlessfitnessbook.com/blog FitJerk – No BS Fitness

    Heavy lunges kick my ass every time. I have a love/hate relationship with this exercise.

  • http://www.AlKavadlo.com/ Al Kavadlo

    How could anybody hate doing lunges? :)