There are approximately 1,000,000 different ways to do lunges/split squats. Really, there are so many variations of lunges and split squats(lunges done in place) out there in the fitness world, how are you supposed to know which one to use and better yet how to do it.
Many different training schools claim they know the best style, but really there is no one right way. Which lunge or split squat you choose depends on what you are trying to achieve.
Just like any other exercises it all has to do with what your goals. You don’t just do lunges because you think you should do lunges. You do them because you want to target some muscle or movement pattern specifically. If you keep this in view then you can determine what type of lunge exercise to use.
Today’s Goal? Hamstring Strength!
Today we will look at how to do lunges in a manner that targets your hamstrings.
Take a big step out in front of you. This style has a longer split between your front and back leg. During the repetition attempt to keep the front shin vertical. The knee should stay directly over the ankle throughout this type of lunge or split squat. To stay balanced make sure you do not perfectly line up your front and back leg side to side either. Keep them about shoulder width apart.
As you stand focus on the weight spreading evenly between the front and back foot, but push primarily through the front foot. Be sure to keep the big toe, pinky toe, and heel all engaged through each repetition.
The easiest way to make this style of lunge/split squat more difficult is by raising the back leg. This is called a Bulgarian split squat. You can hold weight at your sides or in the goblet position. As you become more comfortable with this movement you could use a barbell too.
Another great way to force your hamstring to engage is by adding a band. Set the band so that it is pulling your front knee in. As you perform the split squat keep the band stretched as far as possible by keeping your knee out. Check out the video below for how to set it up.