Are you ready to take on the 28 day lunges challenge?
Lunges are one of the best exercises for building butt and thighs muscles. In fact, lunges activate my quadriceps better than squats. Squats alone are not enough to build a strong and toned lower body. So adding lunges to your workout will give you the best results.
If you came across this article by chance and not sure whether to take on the lunges challenge or not, here are a few reasons this is one of the best challenges you’ll ever do.
You’ll burn lots of calories – Lunges are a compound exercise, which means they activate different muscle groups at the same time. But they don’t just activate any muscles. They activate the biggest muscles in the body – the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and the core. As you may know, training bigger muscles burns more calories than smaller ones.
Your hip flexibility will improve – Lunges stretch the hamstrings and hip flexors – muscles that influence hip flexibility. And if you sit for long hours these muscles have definitely tightened.
You’ll lose fat faster – Lunges will increase lean muscle mass fast since they train the biggest muscles and this will consequently boost your metabolism and enhance fat loss. Additionally, research shows that training lower body muscles boosts production of growth hormone.
If you’re still not convinced, read more benefits of lunges.
While doing my research on lunge challenges, I noticed a few mistakes. Look out for these two common mistakes in any lunges challenge.
Lack of variations – Most lunge challenges only have one lunge variation. While you can still benefit from such a challenge, it won’t give you optimal results. A good lunges challenge should have different lunge variations. You can also agree that doing the same exercise over and over gets boring pretty fast.
Too many reps – Most beginners can’t do 150 reps of lunges a few days after starting the challenge. High reps are discouraging and make it hard to complete the challenge. This lunges challenge is totally different. It starts with low reps and gradually increases reps as you get fitter.
28 Day Lunges Challenge Details
This is a bodyweight challenge so you don’t need weights or equipment. And it can last longer than 28 days depending on your strength level. I’ve divided it into 3 levels, beginner, intermediate and advanced level.
Like any other workout challenge, it will get harder as time goes by. But you will advance to harder lunge variations instead of increasing reps.
Here’s how to choose best lunges challenge level for you.
Beginner level – This is for folks who have been living a sedentary lifestyle and are out of shape. This level will tone your lower body and give you strength to do challenging lower body exercises.
Intermediate level – Choose this level if you can do more than 20 lunges nonstop. By the time you complete this level your legs and butt will be bigger and stronger.
Advanced level – Start with this if you’ve been doing lunges consistently and the regular lunges are not a challenge for you anymore. This level will give you strength to do the hardest leg exercises like the pistol squat.
There are two ways of counting lunges reps – you can count one rep when you lunge with one leg, or count one rep when you lunge with both legs.
For this challenge, we’ll count 1 rep when you lunge with one leg. If you bring one foot forward then return it to starting position that’s one rep.
Note that you don’t have to complete all the reps in one set. But complete the reps in the least number of sets possible.
You will do different lunge variation for each week. So by the end of one challenge you’ll have done 4 lunge variations. Don’t worry if you don’t know the proper form for these variations. Below each challenge level there are demonstrations for each exercise (click on the exercise title to expand and see demonstration video).
Below are the lunge challenges:
Beginner Lunges Challenge
Beginner Lunges Variations
[expand title=”Alternating lunges”]
Stand with feet hip-width apart, pull the shoulders back and stick the chest out.
Step forward with the left foot and bend its knee until the thigh is parallel to the floor. Lower the rear knee until it almost touches the floor.
Push back with the toes to return to starting position. Lunge forward with the right foot and repeat the movement.
[expand title=”Pulse Lunges”]
Stand with feet apart then step forward to get in the lunge position.
Bend the front knee until the thigh is parallel to the floor then rise and straighten both legs (without stepping back). Bend both knees to get in lunge position again.
Rise up and down as many times as possible. Switch legs and do the same number of reps.
[expand title=”Side lunges”]
Stand upright with feet close together. Make a long stride sideways with the left leg then bend the left knee until it’s on a 90 degree angle.
Now step back to starting position and repeat. You can complete reps for one leg first or alternate legs after each rep.
[expand title=”Reverse lunges”]
Stand straight and keep the feet apart. Step backwards with the left leg and then lower the rear knee until it almost touches the floor, at the same time bend the front knee until it’s on a 90 degree angle.
Pull the left leg to starting position and repeat.
Intermediate Lunges Challenge
Intermediate Lunge Variations
[expand title=”Walking lunges”]
You need space to perform this exercise. If you don’t have space, walk back and forth in the little space you have.
Lunge forward with the left foot, then as you rise, lift the right foot and bring it forward then lunge. Keep alternating legs as you move forward.
[expand title=”Curtsy lunges”]
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step backwards with the right foot and step on the left side. Such that the legs step on the same side (left).
Bend the front knee to a 90 degree angle. Now, step forward to complete the rep and repeat.
[expand title=”Lunge with rear leg raise”]
Lunge forward with the left leg. As you rise, lift the right leg backwards (keep it straight) until it’s parallel to the floor.
Bring it back to the floor then return to starting position and repeat.
[expand title=”Step up lunges”]
Put a step up box or a bench in front of you (it shouldn’t be higher than your knee height).
Step on the box with the right leg. Keep the right knee bent and then push through the right heel to bring the left foot on the box.
Once both feet are on the box, step back with the right leg followed by the left leg. Keep alternating legs.
Advanced Lunges Challenge
Advanced Lunge Variations
[expand title=”Slider lunges”]
Step a sliding workout disc or a towel placed on a slippery floor.
Slide the leg stepping on the slider backwards as you bend the front knee. Keep sliding until the front thigh is parallel to the floor.
Now, slide the rear front forward to starting position and repeat.
[expand title=”Split lunges jump”]
Step forward to get in the lunge position. Then as you rise, jump off the floor and switch legs in the air. Bring the rear-foot forward and the forward-foot back.
Once you step on the floor, lunge and jump again.
[expand title=”Reverse lunge kick”]
Do a reverse lunge and as you bring the rear foot to starting position, kick forward. And instead of placing it on the floor, bring it back, lunge and repeat.
[expand title=”Backpack lunges”]
Load a backpack with books or newspapers to make it heavy. Wear it and then do alternating lunges. Add more books to increase resistance.
Lunges Proper Form Tips
Since you’ll be doing different lunge variations, here are general tips that can be applied in different variations.
Keep the upper body upright – One common mistake folks make is leaning forward. This makes the exercise less effective because the core isn’t activated as it should be. A few things that can help keep the upper body upright is – pulling the shoulders back, sticking the chest out, looking forward, and keeping the back slightly arched.
Lower the rear knee slowly – You should take caution especially when performing lunges on a hard surface. Dropping the rear knee slowly will prevent it from hitting the floor. The rear knee shouldn’t touch the floor, it should be slightly above it. Also make sure the floor is not slippery to avoid sliding when your lunge forward or backwards.
Keep the front knee directly below the ankle – Don’t allow the knee to go past the toes when you lunge forward. This puts pressure on the knee and can cause knee problems if done repeatedly.
Front thigh should be parallel to the floor – Always bend the front knee until the thigh is parallel to the floor. For this to be achieved you have to make long strides. But realize that long strides make it hard to maintain balance. Start with short strides if you’re a beginner
Use your toes to push back to starting position – Using your toes to lunge back to starting position will help activate the calf muscles.
Breathe properly – Breathing is important when doing any exercise. Inhale as you start the rep and exhale as you lunge back to starting position. Holding your breath or breathing too fast can lower your performance.
Now, you don’t have to memorize all these tips. Once you start the challenge it’ll be easier to notice the mistakes and correct them.
Remember To Warm Up
Don’t jump straight into the challenge, do a 5-10 minutes warm up before every workout. Warming up reduces risk of injury, increases flexibility and improves workout performance. The best warm up exercises for lunges are exercises that activate the legs and butt muscles.
Combine different warm up exercises to activate all muscles and joints. Here are 5 best warm up exercises for lower body (click to expand and see video).
[expand title=”High knees pulls”]
Stand with feet hip-width apart then bend one knee and lift it up.
Grab it with both arms and bring it as close to the chest as possible. Quickly release it, lift the other foot and do the same thing. Do this for 2-3 minutes.
[expand title=”Glute bridge”]
Lie flat on your back, bend your knees and bring the heels close to the butt.
Place your arms on the floor and then lift the butt off the floor as high as you can. Squeeze the butt for two seconds at the top then slowly lower it and repeat.
[expand title=”Leg swings”]
Lift one leg off the floor then swing it forth and back – increase the range of motion after every swing. After a few swings, start swinging the leg from left to right.
[expand title=”Mountain climbers”]
Get in the push ups position and tighten the core.
Lift one leg and pull-in the knee close to the chest. Quickly return the leg to starting position and then pull-in the opposite knee. Keep alternating the legs as fast as possible.
[expand title=”Jumping rope”]
Do different jump variations to warm up the whole body.
Exercise alone won’t transform your body, you have to eat healthy to lose fat and build muscle.
If your goal is to lose weight, consume less calories than you burn. Some of the things that can help you reduce calorie intake include – drinking a lot of water, eating proteins, eating high fiber foods, avoiding calorie-containing beverages, reduce sugar intake and so on.
You may also want to read diet mistakes that hinder weight loss.
Upper body training
Don’t take on the challenge and forget about upper body training. To get the best results you have to train all muscle groups. So combine this challenge with upper body exercises like push-ups and pull ups.
Doing upper body training 2-3 times a week is enough to keep your arms, chest and back toned.
Remember that rest and recovery is important, do don’t do any exercises on rest days.
Now it’s time to start the lunges challenge. Don’t wait for Monday or next month or tomorrow to start the challenge, start today.
It only takes less than 10 minutes to do 80 reps of lunges. And I’m sure you can find 10 minutes each day. In fact, doing the challenge every morning will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you energetic through the day.
Tracking your reps will help you stay on track – write down the number of reps you do in each workout.
Don’t wait for tomorrow, start the lunges challenge today!