September 15, 2019 at 02:00PM by CWC
When it comes to building up your lower body, lunges are all-stars. You only have to do a handful of them to start feeling the burn. But amping things up with a variation of the move could help increase your strength and boost your balancing skills in the process.
Unlike a regular lunge, the pendulum lunge involves one foot staying on the ground as the opposite leg alternates between a forward and reverse lunge—the ultimate test of balance as you’re trying your hardest not to fall over. “This movement is effective as it trains strength, balance, and control—muscle acceleration and deceleration—in multiple directions,” says Gideon Akande, personal trainer and founding instructor at Shadowbox Chicago. “The more you perform and perfect this movement, the better your proprioception, spacial awareness, and overall athletic ability will be.”
At first, the pendulum lunge can be hard to nail down. Once you do, you’ll be reaping benefits far beyond a tighter toosh and super-toned legs. Here’s exactly how to do one at home, according to Akande.
How to perform a pendulum lunge
- Start with your feet side by side. Step into a forward lunge, bringing your back knee toward the ground. Be sure that your forward knee stays stacked above the same-side ankle.
- Without lifting your back foot, explode into a reverse lunge with your forward leg. The legs have now switched between forward and back in the transition.
- Repeat the pendulum motion for 8 to 12 reps per side for 3 sets.
Don’t stop here. There are three other trainer-approved ways to upgrade your lunges for a full-body burn. Also important? Learning how to find the perfect balance of squats and lunges in your workout routine.