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How To Do Side Lunges Correctly To Get Slim And Toned Legs

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ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
How To Do Side Lunges Correctly To Get Slim And Toned Legs July 17, 2018

Side lunge is one of the best exercises to get kickass thighs (pun intended..or not!). It targets your inner and outer thighs and helps prevent inner thigh chafing and reduce outer thigh bulges. But if you don’t do it correctly, you may end up pulling your muscle and injuring yourself. Give this post a read to know how to do side lunges with minimum risk of injury and get a toned and strong lower body. Swipe up!

How To Do Side Lunges

How To Do Side Lunges Pinit

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If you know the correct technique and maintain good posture, doing side lunges is a piece of cake. The best way to start is by doing it in front of a mirror. You will be able to see your body posture and correct yourself, without the hassle of having a personal trainer. Also, when you do this exercise, your body looks super strong and sensual, which can be a good nudge for you to keep side lunging daily.

Here’s Cassey Ho, one of the most trusted and popular fitness trainers, breaking down the steps of the side lunge exercise. Take a look.

Steps To Do Side Lunges

Step 1

Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders relaxed, and palms together.

Step 2

Step 2 Pinit

Youtube

Lift your right leg off the floor and place it wide apart, as shown in the image. Make sure your toes are facing forward, shoulders relaxed, chest out, and core engaged.

Step 3

Flex your right knee, keep your spine straight, and lower your body to the right. Make sure your left leg is fully extended, and left foot flat on the floor. Keep your palms together for support. Hold this pose for a second and feel the stretch in your left inner thigh.

Step 4

Get back to the starting position.

Step 5

Flex your left knee, keep your spine straight, and lower your body to the left. Make sure your right leg is fully extended, and right foot flat on the floor. Keep your palms together for support. Hold this pose for a second and feel the stretch in your right inner thigh.

Step 6

Get back to the starting position.

Variation: You can keep your hands on your waist if keeping them together makes your body too unstable.

Sets And Reps
  • Beginner – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Intermediate – 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Advanced – 3 sets of 25 reps

As you do side lunges, you will feel the burn in specific areas of your thighs and butt. To know which muscles this exercise works on, read the following section.

What Muscles Do Side Lunges Work On?

What Muscles Do Side Lunges Work On Pinit

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Side lunges target the following muscles:

  • Adductors – inner thigh muscles
  • Abductors – outer thigh muscles
  • Hip Flexors – the muscles that help flex the hip joints
  • Glutes – hip muscles
  • Quadriceps – the front part of the thighs
  • Hamstrings – back of the thighs

So, you see, you get to target various muscles in your thighs and butt. And that, for sure, will burn some serious calories. But how much? Find out next.

How Many Calories Do Side Lunges Burn?

The number of calories you burn depends on your current weight, exercise intensity, and sets and reps you do. Side lunges can help you burn anything between 10 to 100 calories in 10 minutes. And the benefits of doing them for just 10 minutes are immense. I have listed them below.

Benefits Of Side Lunges

Benefits Of Side Lunges Pinit

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  • Tone The Inner Thighs

Inner thigh chafing is not only annoying but also painful when the friction leads to rashes. The excess flab in your inner thighs can be managed with the help of side lunges. Just increase the intensity and time duration and add some weights (we’ll see the variations of side lunges soon) to get rid of the inner thigh bulge.

  • Help Shed The Thigh Saddlebags

Thigh saddlebags are the outer thigh bulges right below your butt cheeks, toward the outer side of your buttocks. Don’t confuse these with the womanly curves – because these curves are not flattering in any way. And since side lunges target the abductors and glutes, you can quickly get rid of the extra outer thigh flab.

  • Improve Posture

Doing any exercise with precision can help improve your posture. And side lunges too can help you in this aspect.

  • Improve Balance

Instead of moving front and back, you will move side to side while doing side lunges. This can help improve the balance and stability of your entire body.

  • Shape Your Buttocks

Shapely buttocks look good and are a sign of good health. But if your buttocks are sagging, take help of side lunges, along with other exercises that target the glute muscles. Side lunges target the gluteus muscles, which no other exercise does. They will tone your buttocks and make them firm and round.

  • Easy On Your Knees

Many exercises like running, squat jumps, box jumps, high knees, and explosive lunges can injure your knees if you do not warm up and do them correctly. A side lunge can be used as a warm-up exercise and is very easy on your knees.

  • Increase Heart Rate

Depending on the intensity, side lunges can increase your heart rate, helping you burn fat and get back in shape.

Apart from the traditional side or lateral lunges, there are a few ways you can amp up the effect of these exercises. Here are a few variations of side lunges that are extremely exciting and effective. Take a look.

Side Lunge Variations

1. Dumbbell Side Lunge

Target – Adductors, abductors, hamstrings, glutes, quads, abs, and shoulders.

How To Do Dumbbell Side Lunge

1. Hold a dumbbell in goblet hold. Keep your feet hip-width apart, shoulders rolled back, chest out, and look straight. Keep the dumbbell close to your chest and elbows down. This is the starting position.
2. Exhale, lift your right leg off the floor, and lunge to your right.
3. Inhale and get back to the starting position.
4. Exhale, lift your left leg off the floor, and lunge to the left.
5. Inhale and get back to the starting position.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

Variation: You can hold a dumbbell in each hand, keep your arms extended down, and do side lunges.

2. Kettlebell Side Lunge

Target – Adductors, abductors, hamstrings, glutes, quads, and shoulders.

How To Do Kettlebell Side Lunge

1. Hold a kettlebell with both your hands. Keep your hands extended down, feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders rolled back, and chest out, and look forward. This is the starting position.
2. Exhale and lunge to your right. Squat low so that the kettlebell touches the floor.
3. Inhale and get back to the starting position.
4. Exhale and lunge to your left. Squat low so that the kettlebell touches the floor.
5. Inhale and get back to the starting position.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

3. Barbell Side Lunge

Target – Adductors, abductors, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and shoulders.

How To Do Barbell Side Lunge

1. Bend down and lift a barbell. Place the barbell behind your upper back. Keep your palms facing forward, elbows slightly out, knees a little bent, and feet close together. This is the starting position.
2. Exhale and step out toward your right and do a side lunge. Hold the pose for a second.
3. Inhale and get back to the starting position.
4. Do the same on the left side.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

4. TRX Side Lunge

Target – Adductors, abductors, glutes, hamstrings, quads, shoulders, and upper back.

How To Do TRX Side Lunge

1. Hold the handles of the TRX band. Keep your feet wide apart, shoulders rolled back, and chest up, and look up at the point where you have secured the TRX band.
2. Lift your right leg off the floor. This is the starting position.
3. Exhale and do a side lunge to your right.
4. Inhale and get back up to the starting position.
5. Exhale and repeat.
6. Do the same on your left side.

Sets And Reps

2 sets of 10 reps

5. Side Lunge Stretch

Target – Adductors, groin muscles, calves, and glutes.

How To Do Side Lunge Stretch

1. Assume a sumo half-squat pose with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Flex both your knees and lower your body.
2. Do a side lunge to your right. Make sure your left leg is fully extended, spine straight, and left foot pointed.
3. Hold this pose for a second and then get back up to the starting position. Without pausing, do a side lunge to your left.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps

These are the side lunge variations that you can do at home or the gym. Here’s how you can incorporate side lunges into your workout routine.

Ways To Use Side Lunges For Training

  • Side Lunge Warm-up – You can do side lunges for warming up before a cardio or strength training session.
  • Cardio – Get creative and add side lunges to your cardio routine. Add them to your circuit routine and see how soon you shed the extra flab from inner and outer thighs.
  • Strength Training – Use weights, resistance bands, and your body weight to do side lunges to define the muscles of your thighs.

Don’t just pay attention to the front and back of your thighs. The love handles, saddlebags, and inner thigh fat can only be targeted by doing side lunges. So, start doing side lunges, along with a few variations, and you will see results sooner than you expected. Take care!

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