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You've Got Me Twisted...And I Like It

Take a step back. No really, take a step back.

Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart, take a step back with your right leg, and lower down so that your left thigh is parallel to the floor (if your body will allow) and your back knee is near the ground. Your torso is upright and core is engaged and your glutes and quads are firing. Now smize…you my dear are in a reverse lunge.

The lunge, whether you step backward (reverse) or forward, is a great bodyweight exercise that helps strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. The lunge is a unilateral exercise, which means it provides the opportunity to strengthen each side equally. it’s a good exercise to help build lower body stability and is a great way to work on your balance. This exercise is great if you’re a runner. Running requires strength and stability on both sides of the body since at a given time there’s more emphasis on one leg than the other. Essentially, running is like performing mini lunges.

You’ve probably performed a lunge in your workouts or as part of a group fitness class. Some people may do a variation of a lunge to help warm up the lower body. Many of you know that you can increase the level of difficulty by adding weight by picking up a dumbbell or a medicine ball like the one I have in the picture.

Buuuut how about adding an oblique twist while in your lunge?

This will change the game because now you are changing the exercise to include more of your core and upper body (your arms and shoulders are working to hold up that weight). You are recruiting more muscles and essentially making this into a full-body workout. To perform a lunge with an oblique twist here are some tips:

- While in a lunge position, holding a dumbbell or medicine ball, twist in a controlled manner in both directions.

- Remember to keep your torso upright and keep your shoulders down.

- Do not rest the weight on your chest, this way you're also working the muscles in your arms, shoulders and upper back to hold up the weight.

- To get back to standing position, press through your foot and squeeze your glute.

- Perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps on each leg.

If you’re new to this exercise, don’t be too quick to add weight, practice this exercise without weight to get your body use to the movement. If you're short on time at home or at the gym, this exercise is ideal because you use your lower and upper body in one exercise.

There you have it! I hope you’ve found this useful and will add it to your workout toolbox. If you haven’t done so, subscribe to my email to get news, information and workout tips that I don’t share here. This is your girl signing off…


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