The lunge is a weight training exercise that is used to strengthen the quadriceps muscles, gluteal muscles and the muscles comprising the "hamstrings", the semitendinosus, the semimembranosus, and the biceps femoris. A long lunge emphasizes the glutes whereas a short lunge emphasizes the quadriceps.
To perform the lunge, the individual stands with their feet shoulder-width apart, and then steps forward, landing with the heel first. The knee should be at 90 degrees and directly above the toes, not further (taking a shorter step can put added pressure on the knee). The motion is continued until the back knee is nearly touching the ground. The individual then returns to his or her starting position by driving upward with the front leg.
The lunge can be performed without weights (i.e., bodyweight). However, weight trainers usually seek to increase the difficulty using either dumbbells (held in each hand) or a barbell with weights on it (held atop the neck and shoulders). Advanced trainers may find that grip strength is an issue with the dumbbell lunge, and therefore prefer the barbell lunge.
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