The split stance of a lunge causes Asymmetrical Loading or unequal load with more weight on one side, forcing the body to stabilize with your THASS + core, building alignment and symmetry, hence the reason to LOVE them!
As part of the 5 functional movements of planks, squats, bridging and trunk integration, lunges build core + single leg THASS (where your thigh meets your glutes) strength improving mobility and strength in multiple joints of the hip, knee and ankle.
Pilates Lunge-Based Exercises
- Reformer + Chair Standing Single leg lunge + curtsey lunge;
- Reformer Eve’s Lunge;
- Reformer Front + Back Splits;
- Standing Side Splits with Lunge on Reformer;
- Mountain Climber on Chair;
- Cross-Overs + Adductor Lunge on Chair;
- Reformer Single Thigh Stretch.
Benefits of a Lunge – Asymmetrical Loading
- Lunges integrate muscles of the THASS (glutes + hamstrings) & quadriceps building strength for functional movements such as walking, climbing stairs, biking, and running;
- The split stance of a lunge causes Asymmetrical Loading or unequal load with more weight on one side, forcing the body to stabilize with your core, building alignment and symmetry from side to side;
- Lunges are a fundamental movement pattern, building mobility & strength in multiple joints of the hip, knee and ankle flexion;
- Strong glutes or THASS prevents and relieves back and knee pain;
- Lateral Lunges like the Curtsey on the Chair, sculpt and strengthen hip abductors + adductors, specifically gluteus medius at the top of your hip, improving hip stabilization.
Overview of working Lunges Muscles:
- Quadriceps: Rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis oblique, vastus intermedius (downward phase)
- THASS: Gluteus Maximus + Gluteus Medius (upward phase);
- Hamstrings: Biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus;
- Spinal Back Muscles: Erector spinae;
- Inner Thighs: Adductor magnus: posterior fibers (lateral lunge);
- Calves: Gastrocnemius, soleus;
- Deep Core Abdominals:Transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal oblique, pelvic floor (balancing up right working against single leg Asymmetrical Loading).
Bottom-Line Reason to Love Lunges?
Lunges strengthen and sculpt your legs, improve strength imbalances, alignment and symmetry.
Asymmetrical movements like the lunge, require focused movement and builds proprioception “connecting” our minds to our bodies, helping gain or re-train natural movement, coordination, core strength and balance so we can function in life with ease and grace.